Durban medical practitioner Dr Jay Mannie told the gathering of women attending a Women’s Day seminar at the 111-year old Durban temple, the Shri Sithevinayaga Siva Saathana Thava Saiva Sangam, in Overport, that “happiness is a choice”.
“To enjoy a happy life, develop your self-esteem and believe in yourself. Control your emotions; live a life of integrity because honesty is important; communicate and seek help if you have problems, and be a good role model for children. Live responsibly, laugh voraciously and love unconditionally,” said Dr Mannie.
Indira Vythilingam of the Advice Desk for the Abused urged women, and even men, who are victims of abuse, to seek help.
“We are a self-funded organisation, founded in 1986, that deals with domestic violence. To date, we have handled in excess of 300 000 reported cases of domestic violence.
"We provide crisis intervention, support services, and empowerment not only to the victims but also to the perpetrators of violence. As women are the main victims of human rights violations, violence, and discrimination, empowerment of women is a priority for us,” she said.
Krishnie Reddy told how she progressed from being weak to becoming strong when she related her life story as a survivor who graduated from being a victim of domestic abuse.
Tina Balakisten said that after experiencing the tragic death of her husband and sister-in-law within a short space of time, she was devastated and had to find a way to move forward.
She did a life coaching course that turned her life on a path that developed her strengths and resilience.
She has since found her life’s purpose and now practises as a life coach - supporting people who have experienced similar challenges and need assistance to move forward in their lives.
“Listen actively and be present in the moment, using the loving kindness meditation technique that’s easy to practise and can make you feel happier in minutes. The basic point of loving kindness meditation is to focus benevolent and loving energy toward oneself and toward others,” she said.
Saras Moodley, chairperson of the temple’s 60-year old women’s group, the Mathar Sangam, said it was important that women were provided with the correct tools to face life’s challenges.
“Therefore, it was decided to commemorate Women’s Day by letting women know that they are not alone when faced with adversity. The temple is an extension of the home and must deliver right living lessons,” she said.