Washington: Eminent Indian-American lawyer
Anu Peshawaria has been felicitated by the US state of
California with the "Award of Excellence" for upholding
immigration rights, in particular those of women, and
spreading social awareness.
Peshawaria, who is the younger sister of Kiran Bedi, was
felicitated yesterday at an awards ceremony, where Anna M
Caballero, California`s Secretary of State and Consumer
Affairs, said the state was "honoured" to have her live and
work in it.
"Our diverse state welcomes immigrants from countries all
over the world who bring with them their customs and
traditions," said Caballero.
Peshawaria, as a legal adviser has studied, talked to and
represented women from India who have immigrated to the United
States with their husbands, Caballero said.
"Through her work she has documented their isolation,
dependence and mental and physical abuse so far from home,
family and support systems," the California Secretary of State
said, referring to the book authored by Peshawaria `Lives on
the Brink: Bridging the Chasm between two great nations, India
and United States`.
The book, she said, is a revelation and a call to action.
"One we must heed if we truly want to be the land of
equal opportunity for all," Caballero said.
The book was released by N Parthasarathi, Consul
General of India, San Francisco Consulate.
"She (Peshawaria) is a legal expert in Immigration and
Women`s issues and after seeing the plight of those affected
by physical and emotional abuse decided to stay back in United
States to dedicate her life to their service," the Consul
In her remarks, Peshawaria, Attorney at law in
California, said that domestic violence in South Asian
community is seriously under reported.
"We Indian women are inculcated to keep such matters
to ourselves. It is extremely difficult to overcome this
tendency, especially when you find yourself in a strange land
with unfamiliar people. It is extremely crucial for both India
and US to look into `International Laws` on this subject and
wake up to this call before it`s too late," Peshawaria said.
According to a recent survey in the Boston area, 40.8 per
cent of South Asian women reported having been physically or
sexually abused by a male partner in their lifetime.
A rate of over two out of five South Asian women report
being victims of domestic violence, Peshawaria said.
The book offers preventative measures a bride-to-be
should take and what immigrant women should expect when they
come to the US.
"Difficulties encountered by immigrant women who marry US
citizens -- foreign or US born, without knowledge of their
spouse`s criminal or fraudulent behaviour can be
overwhelming," she said.