Indian heritage body launches campaign for violence victims
Stabroek News
August 26, 2002

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The Guyana Indian Heritage Association (GIHA) launched its "For Anita's Pride" solidarity campaign and the GIHA-JAHAJI fund at a press conference at the Hotel Tower earlier this month.

The "For Anita's Pride" campaign gives members of the public an opportunity to show solidarity with Anita Singh by pledging to grow their hair for a period of one month and upwards as she regrows hers following a recent bandit attack at her Melanie Damishana home. Singh had very long hair touching her waist but it was chopped by one of the bandits who raided her home.

According to a release from GIHA, monies raised from the pledge will go towards the GIHA-JAHAJI Fund which has been established to help victims of ethnic violence.

GIHA informed that through GIHA-JAHAJI, victims will be able to receive professional, individual counselling, medications and direct financial aid where needed.

The Indian heritage body also intends to use the funds to establish a network of support groups for victims since the trauma of ethnic violence is far-reaching and victims suffer the effects of their experiences years after the initial attack.

Further, the release stated, a number of city businesses have already donated $50,000 to the fund. The GIHA-JAHAJI Fund account has been opened at GBTI and members of the public who wish to help can donate directly to the fund into account number CIBA 933418.

Moreover, pledge sheets for the campaign are being distributed nationwide and can also be picked up from any GIHA executive member or at the Alim Shah store, at 97 Regent Street, Lacytown, Georgetown.

Meanwhile, Singh and her family have already been helped with professional counselling, medications and some financial aid from GIHA.

The association has also replaced the $23,000 bursary which was stolen from Singh's 11-year-old son Ryan Singh during the bandits' attack and is also helping the mother with funds for school supplies for her children.

According to the release, GIHA is currently helping a number of victims who have come forward, including a few who are still suffering trauma from attacks during the Buxton disturbances of May 2001. Victims of ethnic violence who need help can contact GIHA's Victims Hotline on telephone number 231-7626.