Intertwined with our legacy, Sakhi is built upon an urgent, interminable need to speak against injustice. In 1989, a group of five South Asian women—Anannya Bhattacharjee, Mallika Dutt, Tula Goenka, Geetanjali Misra, and Romita Shetty— founded Sakhi to fill a critical need. Sakhi owes its success to many others who have supported and shaped its mission since its inception, including but not limited to Megha Bhouraskar, Ranu Boppana, Nandini Nathani, and Tamseela Tayyabkhan. Sakhi builds power with survivors of gender-based violence in New York City and serves survivors of all genders who are of South Asian descent from Bangladesh, the Caribbean, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, as well as the larger global South Asian diaspora in New York City.
Over the years, Sakhi has worked to unify the movement for gender justice. In building justice and equity for survivors, Sakhi actively invests in providing direct services, educating our community and building awareness that advocates for systems-change work.
Through Sakhi’s efforts to serve survivors and mobilize community members to condemn abuse, Sakhi has changed the conversation on gender-based violence in our community. Margaret Abraham, author of the seminal text, Speaking the Unspeakable: Marital Violence Among South Asian Immigrants in the United States, noted that: “What Sakhi did was bring together issues around ethnicity and gender, which were previously not discussed in our communities. They shifted domestic violence from a private family problem to a public social issue.”
Our interpersonal advocacy is balanced with our long-term vision of a violence-free future. At Sakhi, we strive to illuminate the complex realities and needs of our community within both the South Asian community in New York and across the wider public’s consciousness.