I like to give props where props are due. I’m sure that we millennial have it better than the generation of South Asian “kids” that grew up before us. The generation before us, the children of the first wave of immigrants, broke in our parents and community so to speak in questioning tradition and eradicating deplorable social acts cloaked as cultural norms. So, thank you, ye trailblazers.
Because of the hell raisers from the 80’s and 90’s, we now have a bevy of organizations and resources specifically designed to address many stigmas in the South Asian community that our parents were too embarrassed to discuss, discouraged to seek resources for, or just flat out didn’t deem important enough to warrant attention.
This is all to say that as a Diaspora group, we’ve come a long way. But old habits die hard and we still have some ways to go in discussing gender violence, mental illness, sexual orientation, and political rights.
Below are five organizations that we deem extensive in their ability to connect people with a diverse range of resources, resources that you may have not be aware exist in our South Asian community. Time to remove the stigma in discussing certain topics in our community. These resources may prove useful in your search for spearheading discussions and mobilizing resources.
Although the main headquarter for Sakhi for South Asian Women is in NYC, their reach and ability to connect women with resources go well beyond state lines. Founded by 5 South Asian women in 1985, Sakhi, means “woman friend” in Hindi, and was created to end violence against women and change the conversation of domestic violence in South Asian communities.
- Nobody should have to live in fear and threat of domestic violence
- Survivors of domestic violence have the right to be safe and to regain control of their lives.
- Supporting women and their families to achieve safety; empowering our community to become stronger; and advocating for broader social change works.
Their online presence delivers resources on safety planning, legal protection, information on women’s health initiatives, how to be a part of economic empowerment programs, and much much more.
Like Sakhi, SALGA is also based in NYC where support groups meetings are held. Yet their reach, too, is wide. SALGA, a truncation for South Asian Lesbian and Gay Association’s website serves as a valuable connector between different South Asian LGBTQ organizations across the USA.
On this site, you will find access to internet resources, blogs, and publications galore providing social and political support group for South Asian lesbians, gay men, bisexual, transgender, and queer people.
South Asian Autism Awareness Centre or SAAAC was “created with the intention of inspiring families impacted by Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) with a special focus on the cultural elements in the South Asian community that pose particular challenges.”
SAAAC takes into consideration things that may impact ASD families like the necessary English language skills needed to communicate effectively with healthcare and educational professionals.They also address stigmas and misinformation surrounding Autism which are culturally based. SAAAC provides powerful tools and resources to address these stigmas and connect families necessary treatments and interventions.
SAAAC’s programs provide children, youth, parents and caregivers the tools and resources to meet the challenges posed by ASD.
Click here for more info.
South Asian Americans Leading Together or SAALT is the community’s voice in our nation’s Capitol. SAALT connects with elected officials, media, and government agencies to highlight issues that affect South Asians.
We strongly encourage you to hit up SAALT if you’re looking for meaningful ways to partake in civic engagement and policy change.
SAALT’s website is also chock full of important fact sheets, resources, and policy reports.
Counselors Helping (South) Asians/Indians,Inc. or CHAI takes a holistic approach to providing proactive and culturally relevant information and referrals on mental health and wellness to the South Asian population. CHAI works collaboratively with communities and service organizations to end stigma and increase access to mental health services. They outline their goals as “providing information on mental health and wellness, outreach, appropriate referrals, and workshops to increase cultural proficiency.
Source: The Teal Mango by Soni Satpathy-Singh