Memorial honors slain student Tarishi Jain

Students, faculty and staff paused Wednesday to honor Tarishi Jain, an 18-year-old UC Berkeley undergraduate who was among 22 people killed July 1 during a terror attack on a busy cafe in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Sarwang Parikh led a healing meditation at the Institute for South Asia Studies for slain student Tarishi Jain. Institute supporter Sakti Das looks on. (Photo by Hulda Nelson.)

Sarwang Parikh led a healing meditation at the Institute for South Asia Studies for slain student Tarishi Jain. Institute supporter Sakti Das looks on. (UC Berkeley photo by Hulda Nelson)

An incoming sophomore at UC Berkeley, Jain was studying the growth of e-commerce as an intern at Eastern Bank Limited as part of a summer program of the Institute for South Asia Studies’ Subir and Malini Chowdhury Center for Bangladesh Studies.

The Wednesday memorial was led by Sanchita Saxena, executive director of ISAS, along with community mental health care specialist Sarwang Parikh, who initiated a guided meditation that began as the Campanile’s bells sounded at 5 p.m.

The ritual to reflect on Jain’s life and spirit, as well as the grief surrounding her death, was incorporated into the institute’s annual fall reception at Stephens Hall.

“Here at the ISAS and the Chowdhury Center, we realize that it is even more urgent that we continue to do the work that we do — to continue with our programs, fellowships, research and exchanges, all intended to further understand conditions, responsibility, accountability and responses,”said Saxena. “We mourn Tarishi and all of those who have lost their lives in senseless acts of violence throughout the world, and we dedicate our programs to them.”

Saxena commended Sridevi Prasad and Waheed Baksh, two other Chowdhury Center summer interns in Bangladesh last summer, for their support “for Tarishi’s family, for the Berkeley community and for one another during what had to be some of the most horrific moments of their lives.”

After Jain’s death, Alexander von Rospatt, a UC Berkeley professor of Buddhist and South Asian Studies, remembered the young woman as “full of enthusiasm and energy and the aspiration to make a difference in the world.” On campus, Jain worked with students leading an “EthiCal” clothing line to make clothes with the UC Berkeley insignia, with proceeds to support microlending projects.

ISAS Director Lawrence Cohen, a professor of anthropology, noted in July that Jain was an Indian citizen who claimed much of the world as her home, including Hong Kong, Bangladesh and Berkeley.

“One might claim her for a world in which people struggle for value and different conditions of mobility and belonging,” he said.