Annual Rakhi Project
6 July 2012
The thin, purple braided bracelet little Ishraj Rasode tied around the wrist of older brother Kyle holds heavy significance. At the launch of the second annual Rakhi project at Surrey City Hall July 6, attended by staff of U.S. Consulate General Vancouver, Ishraj was illustrating the tradition of Rakhi, sisters tying a around their brothers’ wrists the bracelet which symbolizes love and respect.
As explained on the City of Surrey’s website, “Rakhi is a traditional Indian ceremony honoring the relationship between brothers and sisters…. The Rakhi Project blends this traditional event with the issue of domestic abuse.”
“We’re making sure that we’re doing everything we can in the City of Surrey to raise awareness around domestic violence and ensure that it does not happen again,” said Mayor Diane Watts.
“Around the area of domestic abuse, we looked at people who were entrusted to love and care for people in their homes,” said Councillor Barinder Rasode, chair of the community safety committee. “The fundamental premise is that you should feel safe in your home environment – and the fact that we still lose 500 lives a year to domestic violence in Canada is quite tragic.
“We hope the Rakhi Project will get people talking openly about the issue of domestic violence and help break the cycle of abuse for women and their children, who often witness the violent behavior,” she said.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is an outspoken advocate of ending abuse against women. “Let us work together, in partnership, to make all forms of violence a thing of the past,” she said at last year’s 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day.
When U.S. Consulate General Vancouver hosted a videoconference last year with Judge Judy Harris Kluger who explained how domestic violence courts in New York were established and how they are operated, the broadcast was extended to a satellite location at Surrey City Hall to make it convenient for people in and around Surrey to attend.