Thursday 9 May 2019 2:36 AM UTC
LONDON May 9: An Indian-origin woman, whose daughter committed suicide after suffering physical and emotional abuse at the hands of an ex-boyfriend, is working on a book to chronicle the tragedy and raise awareness around the issue of domestic abuse among Britain’s South Asian communities.
Daksha Dalal, who has been campaigning ever since her daughter Meera was found dead at their family home in Syston, Leicestershire, in February 2016, has now teamed up with the UK-based author and domestic abuse campaigner Saurav Dutt to work on ‘Fall In Light: A Mother’s Story’, set for release next month.
“A loss of a child is an intense grief that you will never, ever be able to overcome,” Dalal said. “Sometimes I go to sleep and I don’t want to wake up. But I have to raise awareness of this kind of abuse, especially in the South Asian community, so that not one more single person feels so defeated and weakened that they have to take their own life,” she said.
Meera Dalal, a 25-year-old professional employed with the UK’s National Health Service (NHS), had sought help from doctors and referred to occasional suicidal thoughts before she died.
An inquest into her death in May last year heard that she took her own life as a result of domestic violence. A 27-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of assisting suicide on the day Meera Dalal died but was released with no further action.
Daksha Dalal has pursued a “Justice for Meera” campaign ever since her daughter took her own life, pushing for greater awareness around police procedural methods on domestic violence awareness.
She runs a Facebook tribute site that aims to connect survivors of domestic abuse and vulnerable people with charities and outfits that can help.
She said: “If I could help one girl, one child or somebody’s daughter, that would make me happy. I know that there is help out there, but you have to be brave enough to take it.
“I have to turn this unbearable pain into something positive to help those out there who are being abused and who want to move away from that dark place and move ahead with their lives.”
With the new book, which will be released in June to mark what would have been Meera’s 30th birthday, Dalald has ear-marked sale proceeds for charities such as the Samaritans.
Saurav Dutt, whose debut novel ‘The Butterfly Room’ chronicled the accounts of over 200 domestic abuse survivors, is collaborating on the project to highlight that Britain’s South Asian community has a particular challenge of overcoming taboos associated with the subject of domestic abuse.
“We wanted to understand why a vibrant, happy, 25-year-old young lady would be driven to a point where she decided she did not want to remain in this world any longer,” said Dutt.
“How does domestic violence change one’s mind set and approach to life? What can young people do to spot the signs and seek help? Can they move past these dark, often ugly, chapters in their life-and if they can’t, what are the reasons?
We hope this book helps us answer some of these questions as well as to speak to every parent who has lost a child to such an ugly crime and to provide them with a means to understand the incredible pain of loss,” he said.
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