Shadhika Shadhika


In the midst of an avalanche of desperate news, it has been heartening and humbling to witness this outpouring of support.

Responding To Oppression With A Mindset of Abundance

By My Lo Cook, Executive Director

April 29, 2021

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The pandemic crisis unfolding in India is leaving devastation in its path that will likely reverberate through all aspects of Indian life for years to come. Over the last week, the country hit a world record of new infections each day, the hospitals are overwhelmed, and India is now recording one COVID-related death every 5 minutes. Local lockdown and curfew orders are hindering the logistics of an effective response and restrictions on movement will likely further penalize already marginalized communities, including migrants, racial and religious minorities, women and girls, and many more. Right now, the education of 290 million students has been disrupted and only 40% of households own a smart device to access virtual learning, meaning their educational future is in limbo.

The situation is dire and urgent. In moments like this, our instinct towards self-preservation is natural and understandable. Yet, rightfully state governments are pledging aid and the response from individuals and the private sector has been swift, like Google CEO Sundar Pichai pledging $18 million to relief efforts on the ground. 

Since Monday, the supporters of Shadhika have given generously and leveraged their networks of friends and colleagues to raise close to $15,000, which will be re-distributed in rapid response grants to partners in India. Those unrestricted funds will enable these organizations to take the most needed actions, whether it is distributing material relief in their communities, expanding their technological capacity to conduct virtual programming safely, or simply give their staff time to take care of themselves and their families.

In the midst of an avalanche of desperate news, it is heartening and humbling to witness your outpouring of support. In retrospect, it is not surprising at all. 

While the world was on fire in 2020, what sustained us were quiet yet incredible acts of generosity by family, friends, essential workers, and strangers alike. When some boarded up their homes to protect themselves, many more worked double shifts, delivered meals, opened their windows to share music, and organized their communities to be safe and healthy.

This mindset of abundance is what fuels Shadhika and its network of partners and Scholars because it defines feminism at its core: the idea that lifting up women does not diminish the power and value of men, but only expands everyone’s welfare and dignity. This mindset of abundance defines racial justice: that expressing outrage and solidarity for AAPI victims of gun violence in Atlanta and Indianapolis does not diminish the movement of Black Lives Matter. This mindset of abundance is the exact antithesis to patriarchy and other forms of oppression–and the only true remedy.

There is no way to overstate the heartache and human loss of the situation in India. But it is this mindset of abundance that will sustain us through this crisis again.

On behalf of the Shadhika partners, program participants, team and board, thank you for your ongoing support and generosity. 

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