HOPE RAN and the difference it made

Sunday, January 17, 2010 Chetan Bhawani 2 comments
Words from the Arpan Team,

As you know not only did adult surivovors of CSA share their stories
with Harish during the 'HOPE RUNS' campaign, but also when they saw
him running with the placard today during the marathon.
Harish said, "One man just out of the blue hugged me and started
crying, I asked him if he knew me and if I can be of any help to him."

He simply replied, "Thank You".

Harish wondered why this stranger was thanking him, he thought it was
a case of mistaken identity. When Harish asked him further the
stranger replied, "I am a survivor of child sexual abuse too." Saying
so, he again hugged Harish and revealed that he had not shared it with
anybody, but today for the first time with a stranger. He smiled and
vanished into the crowd.

Everything can't be measured and valued... some differences are just
immeasurable and invaluable... that moment was one of them....

We got covered today by the Times of India, Radio Mirchi, IBN 7 and NDTV 24 X 7.
Today's Times of India (Mumbai edition), pg 29 carries Harish's story.

Thank you everyone for all your support and best wishes.


I would like to thank Harish Iyer, the strength for all those people who never had a hope of better life. Never had a hope of living ahead after being a victim of such horrid crime.

He has been spreading the awareness about ill effects of Child Sexual Abuse. Its different, its not easy to stand in the crowd talking about something like that, but Harish did it, not just for himself, but for every one who could not, but wished they could speak out.

Many adult survivors have shared their stories with Harish, throwing away all the insecurities, and he did the same running the Mumbai Marathon today, holding the Placard for Hope Runs campaign!

Thanks to everyone who supported Arpan group, Harish, and all of them involved in the cause.

(8/8) HOPE RUNS - cos 'survivors' CAN become 'thrivers'

Saturday, January 16, 2010 Bhuvan 1 comments
"I started speaking up slowly for animal rights. I then started standing up for myself. I found recognition, and support, and decided to speak up. Sadly, but not to my surprise, I have found many more boys open up to me in anonymity... I help them as much as I can and later direct them to psychotherapists….. I am 30 now. It has taken me years to comprehend that I am not a remnant of my past. I have made a conscious decision to speak about child sexual abuse, because ignorance about sex abuse didn't help me. And the one who wrote 'ignorance is bliss' had the dictum working for him. I cannot be him.”” - Harish Iyer, adult survivor of child sexual abuse

Sadly millions of adult survivors suffer silently. Finding that there are other people who’ve been victims of childhood sexual abuse gives them support and HOPE that they are not alone and sharing becomes the first step to healing.

Ignorance is not bliss….. repressed memories and emotions of traumatic experiences eventually percolate into an individual’s thoughts and belief systems affecting him/her at every level; emotional, physical, psychological, sexual, leading to many other problems. It is important to deal with these emotions and memories and negate them through therapy so that they stop having harmful effects on the individual.
Survivors CAN become ’thrivers’ and lead lives of peace and happiness.

And though the light at the end of the tunnel seems far we CAN get there. We WILL get there. One day.

Yes, there is HOPE.

Harish’s story has helped lots of other adult survivors find some solace in the fact that they are not alone. Countless people have called him even through this campaign to share their experiences and find support. There are many more adult survivors who’ve faced such severe sexual abuse. Each story is as shocking and painful as this has been.

Harish is a symbol of courage and determination and we applaud individuals like him who’ve helped bring the issue to light.

Watch out for our ‘DREAM MAKER’ Harish running with the Arpan banner during the marathon on 17th January and do cheer him!

We have crossed our target amount of Rs. 1,01,000/- and raised Rs. 1,10,500/- ! : ‘ )

A very big ‘Thank you’ to all our supporters:

Aaditya Dhoot

Ajay Maheshwari

Amit Laxman

Archana Bhatia

Chhavi Sachdev

Harveer Singh

Kartikeya Talreja

Mariya Mubarak

Mrunalini Kolekar

Mukunthan K. R.

Neelu Jalan

Nishant Philip

Pooja Taparia

Priya Krishnamoorthy

Rachana Rathi

S Vivek Krishna

Sanjeevi Girdhar

Smietaa Dhoot

Suman Srivastava

Suraj Shetty

Sushil Somani

Umakantha Adiga

Venkatesh Iyer

We would also like to thank all our friends who managed our blog and pages on twitter and facebook.

We have huge challenges that lie in front of us and knowing that you are with us gives us strength. We hope that you will continue to support us even in the future. Thank you so much!


Join Arpan's facebook group. - facebook/arpan

and you could join/follow the "hope runs" campaign here



(7/8) HOPE RUNS - to say 'NO' to abuse

Monday, January 4, 2010 harish iyer 2 comments
My problem was not that I faced pain during the abuse; it was that I felt nothing. I would lie like a log of wood. I was absolutely nihilistic. But now it was getting difficult, as I was gaining consciousness from my trance. I was understanding what pain feels like. Every day was getting worse, a thousand revolting voices rang in my mind. One day, the revolution took definite form. My relative pounced on me, and I kicked him. My eyes were red and bloodshot, and I ground my teeth and said 'NO'. A loud and clear 'NO'. This is all that it took to end this ordeal. Once and forever.” - Harish Iyer, adult survivor of child sexual abuse

Most often children tend to 'accommodate' the abuse over a period of time. They feel helpless and don't know who to turn to. Only when it gets unbearable does the child become assertive. 

Quite often, a loud and clear ‘NO’ can stop the abuse. 

ARPAN teaches children to be assertive and say ‘NO’, ‘DON’T’, ‘STOP IT’, scream or shout, do whatever it takes to stop the abuser and get away from the situation. ARPAN has taught over 1000 children, skills to protect themselves from sexual abuse and need your support to reach out to thousands more.

Harish is running for ARPAN in the Mumbai Marathon on 17th January, 2010 to support Arpan's work on preventing child sexual abuse and healing it’s ill effects.
Help him raise funds for ARPAN. Funds collected will be used for teaching children skills to protect themselves from sexual abuse and help child and adult victims heal through counseling and therapy.

Funds collected so far – Rs. 92,200/-      Target amount – Rs. 1,01,000/-
Only Rs. 8800/- needed to reach target amount! Quick, Donate now!!!!
Last date to receive cheques - 7th January 2010

Last date to receive online donations - 9th January 2010

To pay via cheque, please send cheque in the name of ‘United Way of Mumbai’ to
Unit 24, 2nd flr, 105, Apollo Street, Mumbai Samachar Marg, Mumbai – 23.
To know more about ARPAN visit www.arpan.org.in

Please forward this email to all your contacts and help spread the word around. Thank you.

Watch out for updates on
www.Hope-Runs.blogspot.com and www.twitter.com/hoperuns. Join Arpan's facebook group. - facebook/arpan www.facebook.com/hoperun

United Way of Mumbai is the Charity Partner for Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon 2010 and will be sending the receipt and 80 G certificate to you for donations made. Donors outside India can donate but wont get any tax rebate. After the marathon, United Way will give the funds collected to ARPAN. To know more about United Way of Mumbai and the Marathon visit www.unitedwaymumbai.org