Tuckered Out with Ami Thakkar

Kavita Mehra Is Changing Conversation On Gender-Based Violence

todayFebruary 29, 2024 1

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    Kavita Mehra Is Changing Conversation On Gender-Based Violence #HeliumRadio

 Kavita Mehta is a a non-profit leader with 20 years of service and a deep commitment to fostering cultural change, organizational transformation, and movement building.Kavita is the Executive Director for Sahki for South Asian Women, a survivor-led gender justice organization whose goal is to eradicate gender-based and domestic violence. Sakhi is the second largest organization of its kind in the US, and celebrates its 35th anniversary this year. It has really changed the conversation on gender-based violence in our community while uniting survivors and institutions to work together.In our conversation,  Kavita delves into how Sakhi provides a safe space and community for survivors; the high rate of gender violence in the South Asian diaspora, the challenges in overcoming it, and its connections to South Asian culture and beliefs. We talk about South Asian family dynamics and how they have impacted us, She generously opens up about her own trauma, how it drove her to do the job she does, and how she overcomes trauma to this dayWhat we talked about: 

  • Kavita’s Sakhi Journey:  How Kavita joined Sakhi at the advent of the MeToo movement + the challenge of COVID + preparing for the migrant crisis in New York City. (6:26)
  • A Force for Transformative Change:  Sakhi’s unique holistic survivor outreach from counseling to housing + how 48% of South Asian Americans have experienced gender-based violence  +  Saki’s inclusive rebranding (10:50)
  • The Need for True Community and Safety: How fear of judgment and the need to keep up appearance isolates and suffocates South Asians + how feeling like an outsider in childhood impacts adulthood  19:45)
  • Live in the Trauma Or Live in the Healing: Kavita opens up about her violent and traumatic childhood + haunted by the life her mother could have had + how she found healing through her work with Sakhi + South Asians breaking the stigma around mental health. (24:31)
  • The Hidden Trauma in South Asian Families: Amy and Kavita reflect on their gradual awareness of childhood toxicity + the need to educate the next generation  (29:02)
  • What next for Sakhi: Celebrating Sakhi’s 35th anniversary + ringing the bell of the New York Stock Exchange + gala (34:16)
  • Lessons Learned: Kavita’s anxiety, learning when to accelerate and when to slow down + Sharing internal struggles of making decisions (37:26)
  • The Need for Self-Care: Kavita talks frankly about her need for regular therapy +  the case that haunts her to this day (39:30)
  • Rapid Fire Questions: (42:35)
  • Kavita’s Bucket List: (45:36)

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This podcast is produced by Ginni Media

Tuckered Out with Ami Thakkar

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