Indu started Kintsugi support group to help women find their voices and stand up for themselves

"I am Indu Gopalakrishnan from Chennai, India, and I work as an HR Professional. I started project 'Kintsugi' in the year 2019 to support women going through the process of divorce, mental and physical abuse, and much more. Fundamentally, Project Kintsugi is about providing a safe space for women to speak up and share their experiences and thoughts and seek support/help.

Image: Indu Gopalakrishnan
Image: Indu Gopalakrishnan

I come from a conservative south-Indian household. When I got married to my friend at the age of 23, I always ensured that everyone liked me. I was doing day to day activities keeping in mind only my husband and his family and their feelings. However, they always made me feel that all this was not enough. I was physically and mentally abused in the marriage, and I ended up feeling that I must have done something wrong that provoked him. Gradually, this reached a point where I forgot self-love and self-care. My family did not know about the abuse I was going through, and honestly speaking, even I did not have the confidence to speak up and share my worries with them.

My husband (now my ex-husband) decided to end our marriage over a petty fight and that followed a two-year-long legal battle. During this phase, I realized that it is high time that I stand up for myself and fight for my rights. Finally, in 2018 I was granted the divorce. The process of divorce is mentally and physically challenging. From my personal experience, I understood that there was an urgent need to create a support group for women who are going through a divorce or are in abusive relationships, probably all alone. 

'Kintsugi' is a Japanese word that means repairing and mending the cracks in pottery. The name resonated well with the ideology and vision of the support group.

In the month of February 2019, I started with an online poll and organized a meetup. Now we run various meetups for different groups, such as young girls going through mental health issues and women living in an abusive relationship. In July 2019, I felt it was time for me to open about my experience and share my story with the world. I posted online and got an overwhelming response. A lot of people sent sympathy messages or uplifted and boosted my confidence with their kind words, but there were so many women who opened up to me with their stories. There are many girls who suffer in silence because they are unable to find support, someone who could empower them to speak up and take a stand. That is why Kintsugi and the small community are in action. 

Image: Human Library in India
Image: Human Library in India

I have recently started a telegram support group which consists of 30 women. This aims to answer all the procedural questions of women who are going through the legal proceedings. I have also compiled a list of necessary contacts of doctors, psychiatrists, lawyers, suicide helplines, therapeutic dog parties, and other emergency numbers for anyone to access them easily. My support and activities have a ripple effect, wherein women who get support initially go out and support other women in similar situations. 

Now when I look back, I feel that we all have the ability to impact the world. Instead of preaching a girl child to be flexible and adjusting all the time, we must teach them self-worth and the power to be able to say NO. Our dignity and self-respect are highly important and we need to learn to step out of that space if it ever gets compromised. Today, I tell everyone to stand up for themselves."

You Humanity pays respect and gratitude to Indu Gopalakrishnan for going above and beyond to contribute towards Humanity.

If you know someone who is going above and beyond for others, please share the story

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