BRINDA JA­COB, is a dance ther­a­pist

Cosmopolitan (India) - - REAL- LIFE READ -

Brinda was like any other 9- to- 5 work­ing girl, but that was be­fore she dis­cov­ered dance by ac­ci­dent. Then it trans­formed her life in such a way that she de­cided all she would like to do is help those who are suf­fer­ing the rav­ages of time and ill­ness. Brinda to­day, through the medium of her dance stu­dio, is in Ben­galuru, help­ing HIV pa­tients, breast can­cer vic­tims and chil­dren of sex work­ers with a new con­cept— move­ment ther­apy.

“I feel the mind and body are con­nected and dance is ther­a­peu­tic,” says Brinda, who launched her stu­dio in 2001, af­ter she re­turned from a dance fel­low­ship in the UK. “My ses­sion is usu­ally an hour and 45 min­utes long. It en­tails an hour of move­ment and the rest is de­voted to coun­selling,”

The mother of twins be­lieves that This quiet but re­solved ac­tivist has been work­ing with Sahi­yar Stree San­gathan in Bar­oda, where she helps slum women take up lead­er­ship roles. Her jour­ney in so­cial work be­gan in 2005, when she re­alised help­ing peo­ple of a “lesser God” was im­por­tant to her. “I also worked with Nyaya­grah and han­dled cases of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence,” she says. “A lot of most prob­lems orig­i­nate from the mind, which then stresses the mind and leads to prob­lems and ill­nesses. “Through dance, we get ac­cess to the sub­con­scious and this helps sort out many trau­mas,” says Brinda, who jug­gles moth­er­hood with the mo­ti­va­tion to help those in dis­tress. women from the mi­nor­ity com­mu­nity ap­proached us for help, since we were al­ready work­ing with riot vic­tims.” Lo­hanna has also con­ducted stud­ies, where she in­ter­viewed women on how, in a post- con­flict sit­u­a­tion, they were ne­go­ti­at­ing their ci­ti­zen­ship. “I in­ter­viewed young Mus­lim girls and they told me how ea­ger they were to at­tain ed­u­ca­tion. I also helped start a small stitch­ing unit for women whose hus­bands were booked un­der POTA so that they could earn a liveli­hood,” she says. Jo­hanna has been hop­ing to help quiet suf­fer­ers of sex­ual vi­o­lence dur­ing the ri­ots. “Cur­rently, I work with the Cen­ter for So­cial Jus­tice, Ahmed­abad, where we fo­cus largely on ad­vo­cacy work and are hop­ing to build a law based on the hu­man rights per­spec­tive. But my field of in­ter­est still re­mains work­ing with women who are marginalised in so­ci­ety,” she says.

“What has moved me the most about women who have suf­fered in con­flict, is their enor­mous strug­gle and their un­wa­ver­ing con­fi­dence as they bat­tle all odds, with grace.”

Jo­hanna has been work­ing for women from mi­nor­ity com­mu­ni­ties

Brinda uses mo­tion as a way to heal HIV

pa­tients

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