This speech was presented at a community event back in 2010. A Sapna NYC health worker spoke from her heart about our participatory research project, Bondhu, that led to the development of the ASHA Depression Treatment program. The original Bondhu Team is shown above.

Greetings Sisters and Brothers:

The goal of the program is to find out about the mental well  being of women, the problems they face, the reasons behind these problems and most important of all, to develop a solution to these problems.  We, the 16 Bondhu members, along with the WSP planning team, are working   together for this project.

The Bondhu partners identified problems related to mental health among women through discussion.  According to our view, women not only women but human beings. We are seeking to help women by increasing their level of awareness. But will it be enough to increase the level of awareness among women only? How about men? What about the family and society!!!

In our patriarchal society, women are neglected. This fact is known to everyone. Abuse and deprivation have a huge Impact on the physical and mental health of women.  But our counterparts –men–are also victims of patriarchal society – which is rarely acknowledged. Men are carrying all the burden of family and social responsibilities. Men are tired and overwhelmed.  As a result, they take out their frustrations on their beloved family members.  The question we must ask ourselves is how long it will continue!!!!

Once in a while, we the women tried to come out from these chains of society. But what about our husbands and brothers. Do we ever think about how we must save our men from the burdens of patriarchy?

Now is the time to make a change in our status and condition. I urge you all on the path of victory. Let’s raise our voices, put our hands together and work both and men and women together to change our condition in our society and family.

Thank you.