It takes cultural understanding, contextual understanding, communication and collaboration to support a community, and IndianCare Inc is aiming to provide that with the recent launch of their Information and Support (I&S) Service. It is a free service to help people of Indian origin facing family or personal issues or needing support with life in Australia.
IndianCare was created in 2014 to cater to the welfare and development of the burgeoning population of people of Indian origin. Covering areas like alcohol and drug related issues, family violence, student support, housing, employment services, visa settlement etc., their aim is to seek better outcomes for people of Indian origin in welfare and community development areas.
The launch of the I&S Service was part of the ‘Voices of Shakti with That Girl’ – a collaboration between artists Mandie Singh and Dr Priya Srinivasan. The well-attended event was held at the Immigration museum with a unique presentation of song, dance and dialogue for the Prevention of Violence Against Women, drawing on Indian cultural themes of the Goddess Shakti.
According to a recent release, family violence takes up an enormous amount of police time, with officers attending a family violence incident every seven minutes across Victoria. Recently, Lisa Neville (the Minister for Police and Emergency Services) joined Rick Nugent (Deputy Commissioner) to announce an allocation of another 709 officers, which includes 207 family violence officers for 2019.
A Centre for Learning for Family Violence, an 11.5 million dollar purpose-built training facility has opened to ensure more police officers will be better trained to respond to family violence. The issue of Family Violence in the Indian Community is a complex problem with cultural factors, social stigma and under-reporting being some of the barriers to access services.
An alarming increase in family violence within the community requires building capacity to engage and respond with culturally sensitive practices, understanding of gender roles and traditions and collaboration with community, health, police, and legal and welfare sectors.
According to IndianCare, their current focus is on two main projects – prevention of family violence and alcohol and drug education. This launch, funded by the Victorian Government, is a crucial addition to the work of IndianCare. “With the number of Indian-born residents tripling over the past 20 years in Melbourne, this service is needed more than ever,” said IndianCare President Jaya Manchikanti.
IndianCare claims to have good links with a number of organisations including Good Shepherd, Australian Multicultural Community Services, Southern Migrant and Refugee Centre, Alcohol and Drug Foundation, Community Information Services Victoria, Victoria University and LaTrobe University.
At this point what the community really needs is an organisation that goes beyond conversation and walks the talk. Here’s hoping that this not-for-profit organisation will do the needful.