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Apna Ghar celebrates 20th anniversary

November 17
01:40 2010

CHICAGO: Chicago witnessed a landmark event on November 14. Apna Ghar (Our Home) a place for battered women and victims of domestic violence, celebrated its 20th anniversary with a gala dinner and entertainment program at the Carlisle Banquet Hall in Lombard.

The evening honored Professor Margaret Abraham, Professor of Sociology at Hofstra University in New York for her research in the field of Domestic Violence. Abraham is the author of the acclaimed book Speaking the Unspeakable: Marital Violence among South Asian Immigrants in the United States. She has been involved in research and activism in the field of domestic violence in the South Asian immigrant community for more than a decade.

In her keynote to the guests, she said “We need to address domestic violence, affordable housing, healthcare and immigrant rights. Let us all think in ways that we can make a significant impact in achieving human rights for all. We can link hope and action in influencing policy by writing letters to public officials.

We can be partners in this journey with Apna Ghar.”

Alongside Abraham, the founders of Apna Ghar Kanta Khipple, Prem Sharma, Ranjan Bhargava, Lee Maglaya and Late Frances Kung were felicitated for their twenty years of relentless dedication to the organization. Awards were also presented to Dr. Shastri Swaminathan and Naiyer Rafathullah for their devoted services to Apna Ghar and The Polk Bros. Foundation for its support of Apna Ghar for many years.

In a letter to the Apna Ghar team, Chicago Mayor Richard Daley commended Apna Ghar for its two decades of assisting victims of domestic violence and their children and offered his best wishes for continued success. Governor Pat Quinn in his letter pointed out that over the years it has touched many lives, helping to restore hope and a sense of dignity and self-respect, “and I want to thank and commend them for everything they have done and continue to do to serve the community and end domestic violence.”
Surinder Nand, President of Apna Ghar, observed that “as we look towards the future, we will continue our intervention services.

We will focus more on education, awareness, outreach, research and prevention efforts. My hope is that twenty years from today, the President of Apna Ghar will stand here and tell you that there is no need for organizations like Apna Ghar because we would have realized our vision of eradicating domestic violence from our communities.”

Another highlight of over three hours program was the dance music performance from Natya Dance Theater. It performed specially choreographed dance sequence of AR Rahman songs titled “Asha -Hope”.
Apna Ghar provides emergency shelter and transitional housing, along with a range of supportive services, to survivors of domestic abuse in the Chicago area. All services are free and available to survivors regardless of race, religion, ethnic origin, or socioeconomic status. A large proportion of clients are immigrants from Indian sub continent and other Asian and African countries.

Suhani Amin

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