Campaign to be launched by heritage association for victims
Stabroek News
August 10, 2002

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Following the cutting of the hair of a robbery victim by a bandit, the Guyana Indian Heritage Association (GIHA) is to launch a national campaign to involve the public in acts of solidarity and to provide support to those who have been victimised.

The campaign to be known as `For Anita’s Pride’ is named for Anita Singh of Melanie Damishana whose hair was chopped off earlier this week by a bandit after she and her family had been robbed and terrorised.

In a press release yesterday, GIHA President Ryhaan Shah said “traditionally, long hair is the pride and beauty of Indian women and the bandit’s act of cutting off Anita’s hair accompanied by words of race hate is deeply shocking”.

In solidarity with Singh, GIHA is launching the campaign in which members of the public will be able to demonstrate their support by pledging to grow their hair for certain periods as Singh regrows hers. Participants will pledge to grow their hair for one month and upwards to raise money to help victims of “ethnic violence”. The aid will include counselling, assistance to purchase medicines and direct financial aid where necessary.

Shah said that the need for the fund has become even more necessary and urgent over the last few months.

GIHA has in the meantime arranged for Singh to receive complimentary hair care and styling from a city hairdressing salon as she grows it back to its former waist length.

The release said that GIHA is also documenting the experiences of victims for future reference and as a history of the “ongoing ethnic violence in Guyana”.