“Mother’s Day Action 2017” at Community Resource fair was the place where voices were heard
Queens, NY: On 21st May, 2017, SAFEST- South Asian Fund for Education, Scholarships and Training- organized the “Mother’s Day Action 2017” event at Avenue C Plaza, Brooklyn, New York. Felix W. Ortiz, Assembly member of Assembly District 51, was present as the chief guest and speaker. He was very excited about this event and announced to sponsor this event every year from this year onwards.Majeda A. Uddin SAFEST founder and president called for and gathered victims of domestic violence, mental illnesses, immigration issues, hate crimes etc along with members, volunteers and interested mothers and women of all ages of the community. The main objective was to spread awareness and let people, especially women know that they are not alone and they have a platform here where they can come share about their suffering and seek help.
There were many who spoke on the day and got their voices heard. Some shared their stories of domestic violence and other kinds of suffering while others spoke encouraging words and promised to stay beside the victims. Roksana Ahmed , a now a single mother said “I went through all the abuse and I felt alone. Now, I am a single mother and trying to be strong and independent. I seek blessings from everyone for my son and me so that I can raise him right.”
NAZMEEM Tasmmen , a victim of depression added, “I didn’t know the importance of mental health before. If I did, I would have been able to help my sister who has been suffering from bipolar disorder and didn’t feel comfortable sharing and is now missing. I’ve been a victim to depression myself and now I want to work for and help people.”Michelle, victim of fire accident shared, “It is a nightmare come true when one minute you are a normal kid going to school and happy and the next minute you are outside in your flip-flops, not knowing what to do and what will be your life next.”
Another case NUSHRATH Zahan is one of a girl who has grown up in this country watching her father abuse her mother. She tried living with that but didn’t know what to do about it since it was her father. She decided to go live in dorm when she got into college because she could take it no more. One vacation she went home and discovered two other families living in that one bedroom house. Those were her father’s relative’s and their son’s family. Interestingly, the men of those two families did the same with their wives- raising hand on them to vent out frustration.
I know accounts of hate crimes are nothing new now but what is going on in such families cannot be overlooked. One such incident is of one where an owner kills off his employee and now the single widowed dependent mother doesn’t what to do with her three young children and have been almost homeless. Only that family knows what they are going through not to mention the misery and anger of losing a husband and the fear of not being able to take care of her children.
A similar case is of one family who having issues with their immigration documents have been left literally homeless suddenly with very young children, not being able to get a job or shelter, living the worst phase of life.
One sad story is of a woman Sonia Khanam who risked for her husband and brought him all the money from her country to buy a home and that man kicked her out of the house and made sure the children hate her too. With no place to live in this big foreign country and the misery of losing her children and the betrayal from her husband have all literally driven her insane and now she is in a mental asylum.
Lawyers ready to help pro-bono were also there including people from many positions and career fields. It was a beautiful day spent at the community resource fair where members of many other organizations also joined and gave their valuable speeches, brightening up the event further. Founder of SAFEST and Assembly member, Mr. Ortiz and all the members, victims and volunteers and all who were present all hope that this initiative is going to help bring in more to share their stories, seek help to live a happy and prosperous life.