Daya, Inc. Newsletter
In this Issue
Another Successful Fundraiser
An Ounce of Prevention=A Pound of Cure
Daya Welcomes New Members
Woman by Mamata Misra
A Page from a Volunteer Diary
Thank You, Volunteers
Double Standards by Roop Rai
The Economic Impact of Domestic Violence
How to support us
Another Successful Fundraiser...
Daya's annual fundraiser, "Our Family .. Our Future", on the International Women's Day, Saturday, March 8th, 2009 attended by 300 community members was a huge success. Daya raised more than $60,000 from sponsorships,advertisements, auction and entry tickets. Majority of funds raised will go towards Daya's Transitional Home and the Economic Empowerment Initiative for South Asian women victims of domestic violence.
Council Member Jolanda Jones with Daya Board member Shaila Patel and a guest
The Board of Daya would like to thank all of its donors, volunteers, and supporters for making this event successful. The organization is grateful to the Houston community for their overwhelming response to the fundraiser and support of Daya's mission and goals. Thank you for helping us to make a difference in the lives of women and children who are striving for a life free of abuse.
Council Member Jolanda Jones J.D., a Rhodes Scholarship recipient, three time NCAA heptathlon champion, recipient of the title Greatest Female Athlete of the Century and a1996 qualified U.S. Olympic Trials athlete, was the keynote speaker for the evening. The event was also attended by Council General of India Mr. Sanjiv Arora & Mrs. Chhaya Arora, Judge Kirkland, attorney and long time Daya supporter Sandra Peake, Sonal Buchar Board FBISD, and many other dignitaries from the community. Vijai Nathan, an NBC top stand up comic of 2005, provided entertainment for the night.
An Ounce of Prevention = A Pound of Cure
Singers Chris Brown and Rihanna - two famous youth, made more famous by the alleged criminal threats against Rihanna by Brown in February and Brown's subsequent arrest and upcoming hearing. Through talk-shows like Oprah, this incident has brought the serious issue of teen dating violence into the national spotlight.
Per statistics, one in three high school students in America have been or will be involved in an abusive relationship. One in five teens involved in a serious relationship reported being hit, slapped or pushed by a partner. Teen dating violence and adult domestic violence are similar in that both victimize women more than men and both are fueled by jealousy, insecurity and the need to control on the part of the abuser. Like domestic violence, date violence also crosses the barriers of racial, ethnic, religious and economic backgrounds. In both types of violence, the effects on the victim - low self-esteem, self-blame, denial and feelings ranging from isolation and guilt to thoughts of suicide - are the same and equally damaging. It is mind-boggling considering teen relationships are supposed to be fun and non-committal.
In this picture published by TMZ, singer Rihanna is shown suffering from
severe wounds that were the result of the physical abuse by her boyfriend and singer, Chris Brown
Like domestic violence, date violence is a taboo issue especially in South Asian communities, and there is no current data on violence among South Asian teens. However, if the increasing number of adult domestic violence calls that Daya receives are any indication, date violence is a ticking bomb that we, as a community, will have to deal with soon.
"The message this(Brown/Rihanna) story sends to teen girls and boys everywhere is disturbing, and it is also dangerous," says Oprah. Her advice: "We need to try to evolve from this moment ... use this as a moment to allow our society to begin to grow." Daya has recognized the significance of such 'teachable' moments by holding seminars on topics including alcohol and drug abuse among teens and teen depression and suicide.
One of Daya's 2009 goals is to focus on violence prevention which, of course, begins with our youth. The underlying dynamics that can lead a teen toward violence (as a perpetrator or victim) include peer-pressure, low self-esteem, unrealistic body image, cultural conflicts and lack of communication with parents. In August, Daya plans to hold an all-day community forum to discuss these topics so that we, as a community, can arm ourselves against the crippling problem of Date/Youth Violence.
As Daya helps victims of abuse to lead violence-free lives, it envisions a Houston South Asian community that is violence-free. This can only be achieved by teaching our youth to resist violence by protecting themselves from becoming perpetrators or victims. As the saying goes, "An ounce of prevention equals a pound of cure." Daya's August seminar (date and venue to be announced) is that preventive measure that is needed to end adult domestic violence in our communities.
Please join Daya in welcoming its new board and staff members. Indrani Nathu Goradia, who joined Daya as an Advisory Board member, is a master life coach with Martha Beck, Inc. She has held several positions of leadership in various organizations such as the Kingwood Women's Group and the Kingwood Quilt Guild. She is currently involved with the Texas Children's Hospital in Houston, Texas where she actively raises money for their cancer research center. She is part of the Coach Training faculty with Martha Beck Inc.
Indrani conducts small group workshops locally and overseas to help others to peel back their layers and uncover their potential. She is working on her first book: THE INDRANI PRINCIPLE, Inhale life Exhale Joy.
Purvi Patel has been a supporter of Daya in the past and started volunteering with us earlier this year whereby she was inspired to help out even more. Purvi joined the Daya Board in April. She is a CPA, who although she is not a native Houstonian, has lived here long enough to consider Houston her hometown. Purvi is excited and committed in working with the other Board members, staff and volunteers in helping Daya carry out its mission and goals.
Amber Riaz joined us in March as the new Community Development Coordinator. Her major role is to outreach and educate the community about building healthy relationships and raising awareness about domestic violence. She will also be responsible for volunteers and their activities. To contact her, please email at email@example.com.
by Mamata Misra
She is not an idol made of clay or stone
She is not a goddess seated on a throne
She is just like us made of blood and flesh
She has basic needs like everyone else
She is not a Seetha she isn't from a story
Not fire-born Dhraupadhi she needs no glory
Fire burns her body, just like mine, and yours
She is just a woman she wants what is hers
She is not an item she has no owner
How come she is given away by a donor?
Marriage is a means; it is not the end!
She can be an ally; she can be a friend!
In a lifelong journey she can share the load!
Why make her a burden, then leave on the road?
She isn't a slave; she does not need a master
Wants a friend to walk beside, not run past her
Mother made by Nature, children she must raise
Higher than the Heaven? Overstated praise!
She is only human has no godly power
She can't bring bad luck good luck she can't shower
If she's not a goddess must she be a witch?
Is she less than human pushed into a ditch?
Why can't we all see this ridiculous mess?
There's no witch or goddess just woman speechless
Why isn't she sent to school just like her brother?
Marriage is a means for him but end for her?
Why is he raised an asset she a burden?
She an unpaid gardener he owns the garden!
We are like flamingos standing on one foot!
Eyes closed, head tucked! Can we change our attitude?
This poem is extracted from Mamata Misra's book Winter Blossoms and Other Poems with the author's permission. The illustration is by Indira Chakravorty, a former board member of DAYA. For more information about the book or the author visit www.mamatamisra.com.
"One Voice" A page from a volunteer's diary
Daya held its annual event, "One Voice" on October 4, 2008. More than 250 community members joined hands on streets of Hillcroft to mobilize the community to break the cycle of abuse and create healthy relationships thus healthy communities. Here is a page on the event from the diary of Daya's 8 years old volunteer Golam Nashman. Nashman is also the son of Daya's very own Transitional Home Coordinator Nusrat Ameen.
Thank You, Volunteers!!
The Board and Staff of Daya would like to thank all of its volunteers for helping Daya fulfill its mission. The volunteers play a key role in aiding with all logistical and education aspects which range from making presentations at community events and mainstream organizations to grocery shopping for our transitional home clients. Thank you for helping us to make a difference in the lives of of our very own community members in need of help.
Double Standards by Roop Rai, Daya volunteer
"I hate this traffic!" he said as he slammed the brakes for the umpteenth time that evening, "Can you try and get off work an hour earlier, Ma? It's easier for me to pick you up then. We'll miss this rush hour traffic that way."
"You know I can't do that, sweetheart", her weary voice replied.
"Why don't you just quit that job, Ma? Who needs you working at McDonald's? Dad makes enough for us."
Traffic had started moving.
"Beta, we are doing all this for you, our children, so that you can study well and don't have to work the jobs that we do."
"Aight, whatever you say."
He had lost interest in the conversation and was fiddling with the car stereo with one hand and steering the wheel with the other.
"You should pay attention to driving", she said to him rubbing lotion on her hands.
"Ma, I've told you so many times not to do that in the car. You always make the handlebars greasy."
She smiled with pride at her grown-up son who was now a responsible adult. It was only last month that he had turned 18.
"Tell me, do you know if your sister is - what do you kids call it - dating someone? Are you keeping an eye on her?" she asked him staring at him keenly to observe changes in his facial expressions.
He squinted his eyes and shook his head as if she had spoken an alien language that he couldn't comprehend.
"I didn't understand what you are saying, Ma. Who am I supposed to be keeping an eye on and what for?"
"Your sister!" she retorted.
"What? What do you mean? Which one?? Why?"
He was still squinting his eyes and a look of confusion adorned his face.
"Of course, not the ones who are married", she scoffed.
"What do you mean 'am I keeping an eye on her'?"
His voice got louder and audibly agitated.
"As a brother, it is your duty to keep an eye on your sister to ensure that she is not dishonoring the family by dating someone," she stated obviously disappointed in him, "How do you not know that yet? Have me and your father not taught you well?"
He broke out into a hearty laughter.
"Maaa, it is no longer 1940s in a village in India. We are now in Canada!! It's 2009!! Times have changed! I am not keeping an eye on anyone. HA keep an eye!!! She's five years older than me and in med school. I am sure she can take care of herself. Quit being old-school, Ma."
Her heart almost stopped.
This was not what she had raised her son to be. Where had she lost her son who she had prayed for at innumerable temples? Where was her child who was to be a savior of her honor and her family's honor when time called for it? Who had he become? Oh she regretted the thrill that she had felt 20 years ago when her husband had told her that they'd be moving to Canada. Maybe if they were still back home, her son would've understood his duties and performed them like a worthy son.
She was lost in her thoughts, teary-eyed, when his cell-phone rang. He answered it cheerfully after glancing at the glowing phone screen.
"Who is it?" she interrupted.
He didn't answer her.
"I told you to not do anything else when driving," she said sternly.
"Ok ok, I'll talk to you later", he spoke into the phone.
"What, Ma? Why do you keep annoying me?"
"Who was it? You are always on the phone. We have to work hard to pay your huge phone bills, you know."
"I thought you worked for us, your children, Mother," he laughed, "It was my girlfriend on the phone."
"Girlfriend," she repeated after him as if she had run out of words to say.
He chortled as he swerved into their house's driveway.
"I am only joking, my darling old woman," he said to her looking at her endearingly. She smiled back forgetting all the despair that she was feeling moments ago.
"Make sure she is Indian when you get one," she said to him before stepping out of the car.
"I thought dating was dishonorable, Mata. Wouldn't me having a girlfriend be dishonorable to our family?" he shouted behind her with a chuckle.
She pretended not to hear and shut the house door behind her.
The Economic Impact of Domestic Violence Statistics
Americans suffer 16,800 homicides and 2.2 million medically treated injuries due to interpersonal violence annually, at a cost of $37 billion ($33 billion in productivity losses, $4 billion in medical treatment).
In 2005, domestic violence victims made up 20% of all adult victims compensated by victim compensation programs; 34% of all assault claims were paid to domestic violence victims.
When updated to 2003 dollars, IPV costs exceed $8.3 billion which includes $461 million for rape.
What You Can Do
Workers whose employers and businesses offer domestic violence awareness and prevention training in the workplace report a greater readiness to respond and help co-workers in need.
Domestic violence victims and survivors feel safer when an Employee Assistance Program is available.
Call Daya to learn about federal,state and county assistance programs, including crime victims' compensation, to see how they may help you or a loved one.
Impact on Victims
High and ongoing medical costs combined with lost earnings put many domestic violence victims in a vicious cycle of economic dependency. They literally cannot afford to get the help they need. Seeking medical or legal help may necessitate unpaid leave from work; going to work may mean sacrificing health care needs.
Victims may suffer financial abuse as well as physical. Some abusers withhold money or ruin a victim's credit history in order to control them. This makes it harder for victims to establish their own economic independence.
Houston Area Women's Center,www.hawc.org
Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Medical Costs and Productivity Losses Due to Interpersonal Violence and Self-Directed Violence, 2007.
"FY 2004: Compensation of Victims Continues to Increase." National Association of Crime Victim Compensation Boards, 2005.
Max W. Rice DP Finkelstein, "The economic toll of intimate partner violence against women in the US". Violence and Victims, 2004.
Advocacy Training for Volunteers at Houston Area Women Center May-June 2009
Minding Your Business Urban Business Initiative Workshop Saturday, May 16, 2009
Healthcare Providers' Lunch Sunday, June 14, 2009
Daya's Volunteer Training Thursday, July 16 & Friday, July 17, 2009, 5:30-7:30pm Saturday, July 18, 2009, 10am-4pm
Seminar on Healthy Relationships August (Date and Venue to be announced)
For more info on these events, please contact us at 713-981-7645.
How to Support Us
There are many ways you can support Daya's efforts.
Domestic and international phone cards
Non-perishable food items
Shopping cards to Wal-Mart, Target, Kmart,and Office Depot.
Gas cards for one month fueling of a car
Pro bono legal services
Pro bono counseling services
If you own a home in Houston & are currently renting it out, you can donate 12-24 month rent-free space to Daya for client housing
Assistance with job referrals
Donate extra storage spacePrepaid Visa cards
Old Vehicles Ceritification courses
Host a benefit party
Make a monetary donation
If you have any questions or are interested in helping in any of these ways, please get in touch with us at
This newsletter is a way to keep you posted on Daya's activities, unveil the effects of Domestic Violence, and be a source of information for you.If you would like us to include any pictures, poems, or articles in our next newsletter please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please limit the number of words to 250 words/entry. Any suggestions/ideas regarding the newsletter are also welcome.All submissions are subject to editorial board approval and editing.
Amber Riaz Community Development Coordinator Daya, Inc.