Thursday, November 25, 2010

Spotlight on Kolkata Sanved- Saving Lives Through Dance

This week's organisation that empowers girls and women is Kolkata Sanved. We're departing from our usual sports empowerment theme to focus on an organisation that uses dance as a form of therapy and empowerment.

Kolkata Sanved is a breath of fresh air for the people who this unique organisation helps. The women and children who come to Kolkata Sanved have suffered horrific and unimaginable abuse and violence: traditional methods of counselling and therapy aren’t always effective enough.

Since 2004, Kolkata Sanved has been using dance to aid the recovery of victims of abuse, violence and trafficking, mental health patients, children living with HIV or AIDS and children living in slums.

Every year, 2,500 women, girls and boys, are reached through its dance classes and workshops.

Through the medium of dance, Kolkata Sanved teaches vulnerable and troubled women and children to express their experiences and feelings.

What’s more, this form of dance therapy can turn around a person’s negative body image and attitude; it also empowers the participants to be creative artists in their own right. As Sohini Chakraborty, Founder of Kolkata Sanved says: “Not only does the process of Dance Movement Therapy bring about positive changes in mind, body and spirit, it also enables the women, children and youth to interact with mainstream society on an equal footing.”

However, Kolkata Sanved’s interventions don’t stop there. Public performances and awareness-raising campaigns mean that another 5,000 people a year are reached.

By making more people aware of the exploitation and suffering experienced by Kolkata Sanved’s participants, it is hoped that the government will start to make policy changes on health, trafficking, prostitution, education and HIV/ AIDS.

The response and success rate of this programme has been so fantastic that is has been launched in other parts of rural and urban India, Bangladesh and Nepal.

Click here to visit the website and read more about this organisation's exciting and innovative work.

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