Saturday, April 29, 2006


The whole world is enough for everyone’s need but not for everyone’s greed –

-Mahatma Gandhi

Agriculture has consistently and for long been recognized as basic to India’s economic stability. Our economy has always been dependant on agriculture and our farmers have acted as its backbone. India’s self-reliance is owed to the hard work put up by its farmers.

Much has changed from the days of Green Revolution. There has been a clear shift in the Government policies towards agriculture. The paradigm has shifted from need based farming to greed based farming.

It is known that the condition of farmers barring Punjab and Haryana is not so pleasing. They are the group who faces almost all the risks of economic policies. 61% of GDP is obtained from agriculture; enough debate has been done in this direction. But the question arises is there any initiative being taken from which marginalized farmers can also take some benefit.

The present study takes an overall view of the agricultural policies in India with special emphasis on the effects of these policies on the marginalized farmers.

New seed Bill (2004)

Based on changes that have taken place in the sector since 1996, the existing seeds Act, 1996 is proposed to be replaced by a suitable legislation. Over the years, the following deficiencies have ben noted in the existing seeds Act:

• Registration of seed variety not compulsory.
• Non-notified varieties are not covered.
• Commercial crops and plantation crops are not covered.
• Certification only through State Seed Certification Agencies.
• No provision for regulation of transgenic materials.
• Penalties for infringement are very mild.
• conduct agronomic trials.
• Accreditation of Organizations for certification.
• Maintenance of National Register of Varieties.
• To regulate the export and import of seeds.
• Exemption for farmers to save, use, exchange, share or sell their seed without registration.
• Accreditation of private seed testing laboratories.
• Enhancement of penalty for major and minor infringement.
• Inclusion of provisions to regulate GM crops and ban on terminator seed.

The revision of existing seeds Act is proposed to (i) overcome its present deficiencies, (ii) create facilitative climate for growth of seed industry, (ii) enhance seed replacement rates for various crops and (iv) boost the export of seeds and encourage import of useful germplasm, (v) create conducive atmosphere for application of frontier sciences in varietal development and for enhanced investment in research and development.
The seed Bill.2004 is under consideration. The highlights of the proposed seeds Act are as under:

1. Compulsory registration of varieties based on agronomic performance data.
2. Accreditation of ICAR centers, State Agriculture Universities and Private Organizations to conduct agronomic trials.
3. Accreditation of Organizations for certification.
4. Maintenance of National Register of Varieties.
5. To regulate the export and import of seeds.
6. Exemption for farmers to save, use, exchange, share or sell their seed without registration.
7. Accreditation of private seed testing laboratories.
8. Enhancement of penalty for major and minor infringement.
9. Inclusion of provisions to regulate GM crops and ban on terminator seed.

Trade Liberalization and related reforms on India’s Agricultural Sector and Food Security:

Indian agriculture has undergone significant changes and transformation during the last fifty years. The underlying factors for these changes were different periods. During 1950s and 1960s institutional reforms like land reforms and development of irrigation and other infrastructure played a major role in out growth. Technological breakthrough has been the prime mover during 1970s and spread of technological changes to wider areas and crops has been the main factor during 1980s. the decades of 1960s and 1970s also witnessed high growth in public investments in agriculture which improved infrastructural base for growth of agricultural output in the country in the following decades.

Since the 1980s, there has been a declining trend in public investments in agriculture and a sharp rise in the level of input subsidies. Both these trends continued in the 1990s. Measures have been taken to promote integration of the domestic economy with the global economy. The process of reforms, particularly trade reforms, further intensified since 1995 following implementation of the WTO agreement on agriculture. There remains a lot of concern about the impact of trade and other reforms on the growth rate of agricultural output, food security, nutrition, regional equity, price stability, farm income, welfare of consumers and producers as affected by changes in prices brought about by reforms.

Impact on production

Agricultural production over time is affected by intersecting influences of technological, infrastructural and policy factor. After mid 1960s, Indian Government started interveining in agriculture sector to create favourable environment for exploitation of technological potential. This was done by creating enabling infrastructure through public investments and by policy changes affecting agricultural marketing, production, processing and trade. During the decade of 1980s public investments in agriculture started falling. Despite this decline, output of agriculture sector showed higher groth rate compared to the previous three decades. This could be made possible by spread of modern technologies to wider areas, increase in crop intensity, crop diversification, increased use of technology enhancing inputs driven by market forces and policy support . the decade also witnessed some improvement in terms of trade in favour of agriculture. However terms of trade (TOT) were made highly favourable to agriculture sector during 1990s by hiking level of cereal prices through Govt. support, trade liberalization, exchange rate devaluation, and disprotection to industry.

When reform period is divided in two sub periods viz. 1990-91 to 1995-96 and 1996-97 to 2001-02, which represents sub periods of reform before and after WTO, the growth rates present different picture. It is relevant to divide post reform period in these two sub periods because reforms of first and second sub periods provided different type of economic environment. In the first sub period following 1991, terms of trade became highly favourable to agriculture sector. This happened because of three factors.

(i) Government gave substantial raise to minimum support prices of main cereals (rice and wheat) to bring in some parity between domestic and international prices.
(ii) Agricultural exports were liberalized.
(iii) International price situation was favourable.

After 1995, under its commitments to WTO, India had to remove quantity restrictions (QRs) and liberalize imports. As after 1997 international prices started falling, that started putting downward pressure on domestic prices of most of agricultural commodities. Thus the second sub period during reforms did not remain favourable to agriculture unlike the first phase during 1991 to 1996. this caused adverse impact on growth rate of agricultural output.

Trade and food security:

Since many of the rural poor are subsistence farmers or altogether landless with little or no surplus crop to sell, the higher prices resulting from tariffs become ineffective when times are good and render them completely dependent on food aid during shortfalls. (Food aid often depresses domestic prices, so that even those local farmers that can manage during the bad times benefit less than they should from protectionist domestic policies.)

Food secure countries import more than food insecure countries

Lower barriers – to both developed and developing country markets – can also help countries diversify their agricultural base. Countries with more diverse agricultural sectors tend to be more food secure. Those countries that depend on a single agricultural export face low food consumption (2300 calories per capita/day), high prevalence of undernourishment (36 percent) and a relatively high probability of a consumption shortfall (Table 3). Where agricultural sectors are more diversified, there is a lower probability of such variation. As beneficial as preferential access schemes extended by some OECD countries may seem, they have contributed to narrowing the scope of agricultural production for many developing countries. Though such agreements have offered better market access to certain poor countries for specific products, they have done so at the cost of diversified agriculture. Preferential treatment can also mislead producers into growing crops for which they might not be competitive otherwise, at the expense of other crops. Dependency on a single commodity such as sugar or coffee is a particular challenge for several countries in Latin and South America.

Commodity dependent countries face higher rates of malnutrition.
Per capita food consumption Incidence of undernourishment Probability of consumption shortfall
Single Commodity Dependent Exporters 2314 36% 22%
Non-commodity dependent countries 2285 22% 15%

China 2972 9% 1%

India 2493% 24% 8%
All low income, food deficit countries 2317 19% 16%
Source: Pingali & Stringer, 2003

All policies create winners and losers, including the existing policy environment in developed and developing countries.The losers from the current policy framework—with agricultural trade badly distorted by rich countries subsidies, markets closed by rich and poor country barriers and insufficient attention to the rural poor in developing countries—are the hungry and the poor. The evidence is consistent and overwhelming that reducing distortions in agriculture, increasing
market access, and at the same time creating a domestic policy environment that supports agricultural and rural areas will increase economic growth and alleviate poverty.

The Millennium Development Goals and the Doha Development Round commit countries to reforming their trade and domestic policies in agriculture. This commitment has been made by OECD countries, which maintain high levels of agricultural subsidies and protection against commodities that are vital to the economic well-being of developing countries. The OECD countries must reduce their trade barriers, reduce and reform their domestic subsidies, but if developing countries are to derive benefits from trade reform, they must reform their trade and domestic policies as well. With the long implementation periods foreseen in the Doha Development Round, developing countries have at least 15 years to make those reforms and investments to enable them to take advantage of trade opportunities and to ease the transition. Open trade is one of the strongest forces for economic development and growth. Developing countries and civil society groups who oppose these trade reforms in order to “protect” subsistence farmers are doing these farmers a disservice. But, developing countries and civil society are correct that markets cannot solve every problem, and that there is a vital role for government, for public policies and financial aid. As the Doha negotiators move toward the discussion of modalities, the energies of the international community, developing countries, and civil society would be better used to ensure that developing countries begin to prepare for a more open trade regime by enacting policies that promote overall economic growth and that promote agricultural development. Their energies would be better spent convincing the population (taxpayers and consumers) in developed countries of the need for agricultural trade reform, and in convincing the multilateral aid agencies to help developing countries invest in public goods and public policies to ensure that trade policy reforms are pro-poor.

Trade reform, by it self, does not exacerbate poverty in developing countries. Rather, the failure to alleviate poverty lies in the underlying economic structures, adverse domestic policies, and the lack of strong flanking measures in developing countries. To ensure that trade reform is pro-poor, the key is not to seek additional exemptions from trade disciplines for developing countries, but to ensure that the WTO agreement is strong and effective in disciplining subsidies and reducing barriers to trade by all countries.

Open trade is a key determinant of economic growth, and economic growth is the only path to poverty alleviation. This is equally true in agriculture as in other sectors of the economy. In most cases, trade reforms in agriculture will benefit the poor in developing countries. In cases where the impact of trade reforms is ambiguous or negative, the answer is not to postpone trade reform. Rather, trade reforms must be accompanied by flanking policies that make needed investments or that provide needed compensation, so that trade-led growth can benefit the poor.


• Interview of various stake holders: Farmers / Distributors / whole sellers etc.
• Media Reports.
• Official sources.

The Survey at a glance:

Following villages were surveyed in the Varanasi district:
• Belwa
• Barhi Nevada
• Kaithi

Various stakeholders ranging from the marginalized farmers, seed distributor, Gram Pradhan, dealers of food grains in mandis were interviewed.

Types of Farming:

1. Bataigiri: This is the most prevalent type of farming in U.P. In bataigiri, farmers who have agricultural land and are not willing to work on their land, give their land for cultivation to others on contract. The contract contains stipulation as to the bearing of expenses on cultivation and sharing of the produce. Usually big farmers give their lands to marginalized farmers for cultivation under this method.
In U.P. there are about 25 lakhs bataigiri workers but unlike Bihar, which has legislation on bataigiri, U.P. does not have any Act to regulate bataigiri. Instead the State Government has introduced corporate farming in which the cultivable land will be leased for a period of 30 years to a company. The company will pay rent for the land leased. Environmentalists and NGO’s have expressed grave concern on this issue. Contract farming will have serious implications in the long run. The corporates will use huge
amounts of chemical fertilisers, which in turn will make the land infertile, and will also adversely affect the already endangered bio diversity.

Bataigiri can further be sub-divided into:
(a) Adhiya: As the name suggests, in adhiya, the owner and the cultivator equally share all the expenses on cultivation. They also share the agricultural produce equally.
(b) Kut: In this type of farming the cultivator has to give a fixed quantity of the agricultural produce to the owner of the land irrespective of the actual produce.
Generally the quantity is fixed as 25% of the expected produce.

Types of Farmers:

1. Big Farmers: Big farmers are those who have large fields for cultivation. They employ labourers, tractors and other facilities for cultivation.

2. Marginalised Farmers: They are those farmers who have small piece of cultivable land. They cultivate on their land with the help of their family.They do not employ labourers on their field. Many of them are doing two works together. i.e, rickshaw pulling, weaving, contract labour, etc.

3. Landless Agricultural Labourers: These are those individuals who do not own any land of their own and for earning their livelihood they work on other farmer’s fields. It is a hard reality that more than 90% of the landless agricultural labourers are Dalits. Another fact that came to our notice during our survey is that out of the total number of landless agricultural labourers two-third are women but due to the patriarchal nature of the society the males are only considered as farmers. Many landless farmers are doing contract labour, pulling rickshaw, etc.

Major Crops:
The major crops of Varanasi are
• Paddy
• Wheat
• Pulses
• Vegetables
• Flowers (Marigold)

Market location of selling crops:

generally marginal farmers sell their crops to ‘sahukar’ as they don’t produce so much that mills would take their crops. Only big framers sell their crops to mills. The farmers of Barhi and Belwa sell their crops to sehkari samiti (Badagaon) it’s a godown.

Market price of crops: (Rs.)
Crops Last year Current year
Govt. Private Govt. Private
Wheat 6:00/kg 6:50/kg 790-820 /quintal 8:00/kg
Rice - 5:50/kg 750-900 /quintal 8:50/kg
Paddy 5:60/kg - - -

Price fluctuates according to season, if there is surplus of production price goes down and if production is low price goes up.

Major Risks that Marginalized farmers are facing because of new economic policies:

A Threat on Food Security!!!

1. Use of Multinational Company Seeds:

The various multinational companies have launched their different high yielding seed variety in the market and with the support of distributors and dealers they are misguiding poor farmers to buy these hybrid seeds. It’s threatening the food security of India seriously. These MNC seeds are turning the life of farmers measurable. The gene of these seeds are changed in such a way that it changes the nature of the soil and after using such seeds farmer has to buy the same seeds again from the company as natural seed doesn’t grow after that in the same field because of changed soil nature. MNC’s seeds also require much chemical fertilizers that makes field impotent and farmers automatically comes in the trap of these Multinational Companies. As it doesn’t leave any option for farmers after using these seeds and it becomes compulsion for these farmers to buy MNC seeds as they have very small lands if they don’t use the seeds nothing will grow in that field and their family will die hunger.

To understand and analyze the situation in a better way, various stakeholders were interviewed. A distributor of Pantnagar seeds, Mr. Ashutosh informed that the quality of these MNC seeds is not better than our ‘Sabji Anusandhan Kendra’ but farmers get more attracted towards Multinational Companies because they do good advertisement of their products and distributes free samples in starting before launching there product in the market. So farmers think it’s more beneficial because it gives high yield than the natural seeds and once they use the MNC seeds they come in the trap easily.
A very astonishing information was obtained from him that these MNCs itself buy seeds from ‘Sabji Anusandhan Kendra’ they launch a sample pack of these seeds in the market if they keep 80 seed packets of there company, they mix 20 packets of seeds of ‘SAK’ and distribute to the farmers. ‘SAK’ seeds are made according to the climate of India so it gives better result than the MNC seeds. So the farmers who gets the SAK seeds from sample pack gets good result and those who gets MNC seeds doesn’t get satisfactory result but company spread this massage among the farmer that it must be their fault that’s why it doesn’t give good result and farmers have to believe this when they see other farmers who got high yield using the same seed of same company. So next time they again buy seeds from the company thinking that this year they will get good result. The price of these MNC seeds are also very high than the natural seeds, these MNCs buy seeds from SAK and other local companies at low cost and pack them with their names at high cost. So this is what we called CORPORATE ABUSE.

2. Privatization of Electricity:

Privatization of electricity is directly affecting the situation of marginalized farmers. As in villages electricity doesn’t come properly so farmers have to use generator and it costs them 50 times more. Thus privatization of electricity is also threatening the food security of these small and marginalized farmers.

3. Removing subsidy from diesel:

by the process of globalization subsidies from various items are being reduced or removed. Diesel also comes under these items, and it’s again making the condition of farmers all the more miserable. In the whole process of marketing and the hierarchy from producer to whole seller, farmer is the one who is baring all the risks alone.

4. Bureaucrat’s bias towards corporate:

This year in Varanasi FCI delayed 15 days to buy the grains from mills and in this duration ITC Company bought all the grains from mills at Government rate and selling them at their own price. Sources say this is a nexus between Government officials and the company. So this way these bureaucrats are taking bribe and creating a threat to whole economy of India.

5. Using fertile lands for brick kilns:

In Varanasi, in 20km periphery more than 260 brick kilns are running in fertile fields. The main reason behind this is, the big farmers who are staying somewhere outside the village gives there land to other small farmers on ‘bataigiri’ basis but recently when the President of Bahujan Samaj Party, Mayawati announced that if any farmer is producing grains on a land for more than 1 year will be the owner of that land. “Jo jamin ko jotega boyega wahi jamin ka malik hoyega”. So this made the big farmers insecure of loosing land and they started setting up brick kilns on their fertile land. These brick kilns make lands infertile after sometime and nothing can be grown on that land. So this way many fertile lands have lost their fertility of producing grains and if this could not be stopped right now in long term it’s going to create a threat on food security of India. Many marginalized farmers have also lost their livelihood because of these brick kilns and they have to migrate to different places.

6. Marginalized farmers cannot sell their crops to mills:

The another tragedy with marginalized farmers is mills don’t buy their grains, they prefer big farmers as big farmers sell them a good amount of grains which mills don’t get from small farmers so in such situation small farmers have to go for ‘sahukar’ and sell their crops at unreasonable low rate and after sometime when they again go to buy grains from these ‘sahukar’, they sell them the same grain at high price.

7. Problem of Irrigation:

farmers are facing a great problem of irrigation. As most of them have small scattered lands so it becomes difficult to irrigate them at one time because electricity is not available all the time and very few of them have their own pump set. They have to buy water from others, they pay Rs. 10-15/-per hour for the water and if they use generator in the absence of electricity they have to pay Rs.60/- per hour so for small farmers it becomes a pathetic condition. Still many of them are dependent on rain.

Other problems of farmers:

8. Unawareness:
The one of the major problem with the farmers is their unawareness. They are not aware of the facilities that Government is providing them. In Belwa it was found that only 2-3% farmers are using credit card and many of them use this credit for fulfilling their other household needs. So after 6 months when they cannot return the amount they again come in the trap of indebtedness.
Many Indian seed companies are selling their non-certified seeds using the name of Pantnagar seeds Distributors are selling these non-certified single tag seeds in the market and taking good commission from these companies for selling their products in the market. Farmers are being cheated because of lack of information and awareness.

9. Indebtedness:

Almost all the marginalized farmers are in debt. Whatever they grow that is not sufficient for them to manage one whole year with that meager amount of grains and it’s not possible for them to store vegetables for long time and if there is excess production of potato or any other vegetable they have to sell them at low cost and when again after sometime they go to buy the same thing they have to purchase that at double or triple price. The input they give to produce grains or vegetables costs much more than the output they get. So in such situation they have to take loans from the ‘sahukar’ for the preparation of next crop.

10. Migration:

Many of these marginalized farmers and landless have migrated to other states or cities in search of livelihood.
*** Contract Farming: In this type of farming the corporate buy the lands from farmers and bear all the expenses of farming to have the crops produced by these farmers. They give chemical fertilizers and use multinational company seeds in their fields to get a high production from the field. After completing contract they leave the infertile field back with the farmers. The present U.P Government is planning to introduce contract farming without assessing its overall impact on the land and farmers.

11.Cash crop farming: facts!!

Some farmers have realized that cultivation of wheat and paddy is no more yielding profits, they have shifted to cash crops like medicinal and aromatic plants many of them are also doing Horticulture. Traditional farmers are bearing all the risks of Government policies.Government policies have given no respite to even those farmers who have shifted to horticulture. When we spoke to one such farmer (Vallabh) in Kaithi he expressed his annoyance with the Government policies.
Farmers like Mr. Vallabh are shifting to cash crops as they have understood that cultivation of wheat and paddy is no more profitable. Mr. Vallabh first tried his hand in growing husks, which is used by companies in ‘isabgol’ – an ayurvedic medicine for constipation, but he realized that his produce was getting much lower price then what the market price was.
Then he started growing medicinal and aromatic plants like citronella and lemon grass. Soon he realized that the there was no help coming from the Government in this area also. For medicinal and aromatic plants Government has set up a Central Institute for Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (CIMAP) in Faizabad for testing the quality of the oil extracted from the produce but like all other Government departments the attitude of the authorities is uncooperative. While the private companies like Perfumers India Private Limited takes few minutes in testing a sample, CIMAP takes around 2 months to test a sample. Private companies make payments immediately whereas payment on sale to Government agencies may take months.
The leaves of citronella plants give citronella oil on distillation. This oil can further be fractionally distilled to break it into 16 compounds, one of them being six hexanol oil.
In 1 litre of citronella 13-14ml of six hexonal is found. which is sold at Rs 3000/litre in international market. It is found in very small quantity so generally companies don’t give that part to the farmers. But there are a lot of farmers who bring citronella leaves for fractional distillation so this way a good quantity they store with themselves and sell at high price.

The fractional distillation process requires a distillation plant, which costs around Rs 20 thousand. The small farmers cannot afford such huge expenditure and there is no Government agency to distillate this oil and give them their rightful due. As a result the farmers are forced to sell citronella oil to private companies at a price of around Rs 275 per litre.
Some farmers have shifted to horticulture growing flowers and vegetables but the problem with cultivating flowers is that there is no assistance from the Government in this regard and the demand for flowers fluctuating. Moreover if the flowers are not sold immediately they wilt and the farmer has to incur losses.

Reasons for Shifting to Cash Crops:

• Increase in price of diesel.
• Seed monopoly of multinational companies.

Traditional Farming: “Shifting towards compost”

Farmers have now realized the after effects of using hybrid and terminator seeds, how it changes the soil nature and makes it impotent. So they are again getting inclined towards compost ( green fertilizer) for saving their lands. They have understood that using natural seeds is a good and only option for them now because these MNC seeds require a lot of chemical fertilizers which gradually reduces the field potency. And after using these seeds in the field a natural seed doesn’t grow in that field again and every year the quantity of chemical fertilizers have to increase to produce something in that field because each time soil reduces its potency.

Impact of Green Revolution:

The use of high yielding variety seeds and shift to cash crops destroyed traditional farming.
The disastrous effect of these measures was felt in the long run and it includes the following:
• Crop yields decreased.
• Soil fertility declined.
• Dependence on chemical fertilizers increased.
• Ecosystem severely damaged.

Effect of Globalization and Liberalization:

The NDA Government had removed the quantitative restriction on the import of agricultural products. Subsequently the western countries had increased subsidy on the agricultural produce in their country. As a result of this imported fruits and vegetables have flooded Indian markets and there has been decrease in price of Indian produce.

Effect of Privatization:

• Fertilizers: Public sector companies produced one-third of the fertilizers used in Indian agriculture. Due to privatization and reduction in subsidies the prices of fertilizers have increased considerably.
• Price rise in pesticides.
• Electricity charges have also increased.
• Water/Irrigation: The most important thing for a marginalized farmer is availability of water for agriculture. With privatization irrigation equipments have become dearer.
• Multinational dairy farms

Plant Variety Protection and Farmers Rights Act:

India adopted Plant Variety Protection and Farmers Rights Act. It provides for registration of new plant varieties instead of allowing plant patents. It also secures the right of the farmers to save and reuse or exchange the seeds of the protected varieties as well as the breeders right to use them for development of new varieties. However the controversial Seed Bill is likely to undo some of the farmer friendly provisions.

Idea of Futures Trading - A mockery of the marginalized farmer:

In the present era of economic liberalization, the Union Ministry of Agriculture is asking farmers to take on futures trading in commodities so as to get higher prices for their produce. At a time when more than 16,000 farmers have committed suicide in the last few years throughout the country, the government's intention to introduce futures trading in rice, wheat and other commodities shows the complete bankruptcy in finding alternatives.
In India, the average land holding size is 1.47 hectares, and only five to ten per cent of the farming population has land holdings exceeding 4 hectares. To expect these farmers, who continue to survive against all odds year after year, to go online and trade seems to be a wild imagination of a stockbroker that has been accepted by apathetic official machinery.

Government Policies and Negligence:

• The Government has introduced whole lot of national laws and policies on agriculture to make India WTO compliant but it has failed to adequately protect the interest of our farmers.

• Irrigation policies are being implemented according to the whims and fancies of the irrigation department.
• Maintenance of canals is poor because of which a lot of water is wasted due to percolation from the canals.
• Tube wells have not been bored deep so they are running dry.
• Erratic electricity supply has also affected the running of the tube wells.
• Increased use of machines has also affected the availability of fodder for farm animals.


• Government should take proper action to stop the marketing of non- certified seeds.

• Subsidy should be given on agriculture-concerned items.

• Using fertile lands for brick klin should be stopped immediately.

• Such type of technology should be promoted that can help small farmers. i.e, small tractors so that it can be used in small fields.

• Natural local seeds should be preserved.

• Seed policy should be pro farmer.

• The provision in the proposed Seed Bill relating to the use of GM (genetically modified) seeds should be done away with.


Marginal farmers account for 90% of the total agricultural sector. In the past few years it is estimated that the Indian farmers have lost Rs 1.16 crores per year due to the fall in the prices. Incidents of farmers committing suicides are on the rise and the situation is alarming. Farmers' suicides will end only when we are willing to confront the real villain - the misplaced faith in industrial farming.

Blindly aping the World Bank model of agriculture, Karnataka and Andhra had pumped in huge finances to push an industry-driven agriculture that has not only exacerbated the crisis leading to an environmental catastrophe but also destroyed millions of rural livelihoods.

No one has the political courage to point a finger at the real villain - the industrial farming model that shifts the focus on cash crops and thereby plays havoc with sustainable livelihoods.

The ground realities are far removed from the rhetoric and the statistics that have bred immunity against compassion. We are all part of a global food system, which perpetuates poverty and deprivation. The food industry makes tall claims of churning out nutritious diets, and millions are dying of obesity and related problems. The claims of improved technology for agriculture ignore the stark realities - increasing indebtedness, growing poverty, resulting in human suffering and hunger. Our 'solutions' are really the causes for the problems in the first place; and behaving like an ostrich is not going to eclipse hunger and death from the politico-economic radar screens.
Policy makers, agricultural scientists, academicians and even the civil society groups must first accept the fundamental flaw that forces farmers to their deaths - the misplaced idea that industrial farming can be successful in a nation where the majority of the population makes its livelihood off the land under conditions of extreme inequity. Economic gimmicks like announcing free electricity and enhancing bank credit are like the proverbial Emperor's clothes.
The time is ripe that the Government of India starts appreciating the immense potential inherent in organic agriculture and abstains from opening the Pandora’s box of genetic engineering on the pretext of triggering a second green revolution in the country.


Marginal Farmers under debt

Name Village Debt
Halla Barhi 40,000/-
Durgawati ,, 4,000
Ramkhelawan ,, 2,000
Santraj ,, 2,000

For Marginalized farmers

Cost of cultivation of paddy on 1 Bigha land:
Item Amount (in Rs.)
Seeds 350
Fertilizers 500
Irrigation 300
Pesticide 200
Total 1350

Approx. produce =9 quintals
Government rate =Rs. 550 per quintal
Profit on selling =550*9= Rs. 4950
In case of marginalized farmer ploughing, harvesting etc. is done by himself.
In reality the produce is not sufficient to meet his own need or cover the cost of his labour, which is not included here.

For big farmers
Total expenditure: (Crop: paddy, Land: 1 bigha)

Preparing field for nursury Rs. 200/-
Ship keeping (Rs. 1/- for one ship) Rs.100/-
Compost Rs.100/-
Ploughing field Rs.100/-
Irrigation Rs. 60/-
Again ploughing field Rs. 100/-
Fertilizer Rs.100/-
Hybrid seeds Rs. 1060/-
Irrigation Rs. 100/-
Field preparation Rs. 500/-
Irrigation Rs. 150/-
Labour (20) Rs.1200
Fertilizer Rs.1000/-
Weediside Rs.2000/-
Harvesting Rs.1200/-
Threshing Rs.1200/-
About 12 quintal paddy will produce
from 1 bigha land

Rs. 9070/- (approx)

Govt. rate of paddy is Rs.560/- per quintal
12*560= Rs. 6720/- income
Thus, selling price doesn’t cover the production cost.

Stages of Seed Production
Nucleus Seed

Breeder Seed

Foundation Seed

Certified Seed
Breeder Seed to Foundation Seed
1. Obtaining allotment of Breeder seed from G.O.I., ICAR and G.O.U.P.
2. Lifting Breeder seed from allotted institutes.
3. Quality Testing to ensure full quality control before releasing to farmers.
4. Distribution to identified growers for producing foundation seed.
5. Field inspection of foundation seed growers by the expert monitoring team.
6. Arranging rouging, plant protection measures etc.
7. Arranging field inspection by Certification Agency.
8. Collection of field samples from the inspected & approved fields for quality testing.
9. Processing raw seed of duly inspected & approved fields.
10. After processing, sampling by Certification agency.
11. Packing and storage.

Foundation Seed to Certified Seed
1. Production of own foundation seed through Breeder seed obtain.
2. Lifting foundation seed from the allocated/producing institutes.
3. Quality Testing before releasing to farmers.
4. Distribution to identified growers for producing Certified seed.
5. Field inspection/monitoring of Certified seed growers.
6. Ensuring rouging, plant protection measures, cultural practices etc.
7. Arranging field inspection by Certification agency.
8. Collection field samples from the inspected fields. Intake of inspected field samples at Processing plant for quality testing.
9. Processing raw seed of inspected & approved fields.
10. After processing, sampling by Seed Certification agency.
11. Packing and storage.

1. G.O.I Notified Seed Testing Laboratory equipped with all the modern seed testing equipment.
2. 20000 seed sample testing capacity in a year.
3. Adequately qualified staff.
4. Sampling done.
(a) At Breeder seed procurement.
(b) At field level of Foundation seed, Certified seed plots.
(c) At processing plant before actual processing.
(d) At packing level.
(e) Random sampling at all levels for ensuring compliance.
(f) Random sample inspected by Central Seed Laboratory G.O.I for Quality Assurance.
5. Vigorous field inspection and monitoring by the Expert team.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

An appeal to civil society,people's organisation,UN and heads of state

Greetings from People’s vigilance committee on Human Rights (PVCHR).We wanted to draw your kind attention to the problems faced by Ghasia Tribe of Sonbhadra of UP, India. It should be noted that People of Ghasia tribe are great
performer of Karma dance which is one of the famous folk and tribal dances of Indian society. But it is regrettable that Ghasia tribe has reached on the verge of extinction due to negligent and indifferent attitudes of Indian Government and policy makers.They have no means of their livelihood. They have been living under acute poverty since 1999. H.E.RAMON DEL FIERRO MAGSAYSAY, 3rd President of the Republic of the Philippines once stated “ I believe that the little man is fundamentally entitled to a little bit more food in his stomach, a little more cloth in his back and a little more roof over his head.” But here in India malpractices with Ghasia tribe goes against the spirit of H. E. Ramon Magsaysay. WE are not losing
only lives of Ghasia people, but most importantly we are losing our indigenous culture, wisdom and knowledge.
PVCHR organized a KARMA Festival in Varanasi, cultural capital city of India to draw the attention of people to the pitiable condition of Ghasia tribe on the occasion of international day against violence on women, 25th Nov., 2005.PVCHR has been working hard for last three years with the
support of Misereor, Germany for the betterment of Ghasia tribe. Detailed report of Ghasia tribe and of Karma festival is enclosed with this letter.

Now we humbly request you to take the matter of Ghasia tribe before Indian Government to save the pluralistic culture of Indian society as well as Indigenous
culture of world.
Waiting for your kind response.

With warm regards,

Dr. Lenin

Vikash Maharaj
Sarod player

Karma Festival:
Primitive men living in forests go for hunting and after the day-long toil they hold a feast at night.
All the men and women sing and dance, rejoicing their successful hunting. And, after the celebrations, they go to sleep. While they are sleeping, some aliens come
and take away a girl. In the meantime, an old man, who is the head of the group, comes and tries to rescue the girl, but he fails to protect her. Meanwhile, an
energetic youth comes to he rescue and he fights with them vigorously, and finally becomes victorious.
Impressed with his bravery, the old man makes him the head of the group, and the girl is married off to him.
The men and women of the group celebrate the occasion with their traditional ‘Domkack’ dance.
This traditional folk performance staged at Rajendra Prasad Ghat on Friday evening by the people of Ghasia tribe had a pleasant end. But, real life has not been
so kind to them. In fact, through this traditional folk perform once at the Karma Festival they tried to tell the people about a similar nightmare they had
experienced a couple of years back when, they failed to provide tribal girls to some constables of Sonebhadra police.
“About four years ago, some policemen asked me to arrange two ‘maal’ (girls) to satiate their carnal desires. When I showed my inability to fulfill their
desire, they thrashed me so hard that my bones broke,”recalled Phool Chand, a member of Ghasia tribe living at Nai Basti near the district headquarters of Sonebhadra in Roberstgang. The people of Ghasia tribe had migrated from village Markudi of Robertsganj tehsil in search of livelihood about four years ago.
Markudi, Chiroj and several other villages of Nagwa block are the most backward villages of this district.
Despite making all kind of efforts like working as agricultural workers, rickshaw pullers and mine workers away from their homes, they were unable to
manage two square meals a day.
Phool Chand along with another 75 members of his tribe was in the city on Friday to take part in Karma Festival organized by the People’ Vigilance Committee
on Human Rights Commission in memory of the late Rahul Kumar, a social activist working for the welfare of tribal people.
Not only Phool Chand, but the entire group of over 55 families had to face the ire of police. He told TOI that all the men and women were beaten mercilessly by
the people in Khaki. Hansu, another youth of the group, showing his deformed leg, said he has now become dependent on others for the rest of his life.
“We could not afford to get costly medical treatment” he said adding that a number of people were living with deformed limbs due to police atrocities.
“The worst impact of the police action was the death of 18 children in a short period due to starvation,”said Ram subhag, an elderly person of the group, who
also lost his three-year-old son, Punnu after that incident. “After the police atrocities, no person of that group was in a position to do any work for a
livelihood, and the children, who died one by one in want of food, were the first victims,” he lamented.
However, the district administration became active after the matter came to the notice of National Human Rights Commission. Ram Subhag said food grains were
given to them by the district administration. They were also given the below poverty line red card. “But,we are still landless and our names are not in the
voters’ last”. He said.
Though these people were yet to overcome the grief of the untimely demise of their children, they were seemingly trying to convert this agony into their strength by struggle for a better life. Sticking with their traditional folk art, most of them are artists of various forms of folk dances like Karma, Domkach,Jhoomar, Chhattishgarhi and Kharvari Karma. These forms of dances, which are the characteristic of these Adivasis, depict the entire cultural history and their
relation ship with nature. They also performed at various places of the country on the invitation from cultural organizations. “But, like us, our art is yet
to get recognition.” Said Katwaru, the leader of a dance group.
Karma festival published in all local newspapers and came on Star news,ETV etc.
Activists Spotlight Hunger Deaths of Indian Children
OneWorld South Asia
Fri., Nov. 7, 2003

NEW DELHI, Nov 7 (OneWorld) - The death of 18 children between July and September, allegedly due to lack of food, has sparked concerns about growing starvation in
a landless indigenous community in a remote village in northern India.

As the Indian government belatedly wakes up to the long festering issue, with a decision to distribute free food packets, human rights activists working in
the Sonebhadra district of the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, stress that the food aid is insufficient to keep starvation at bay.

"The death of these 18 children highlights only the tip of the iceberg," says the People's Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR), a rights body based
in the Uttar Pradesh city of Varanasi.

The activists fear that if the government does not give land for cultivation to the people - belonging to the Ghasia tribe - they will continue to starve. "The
situation is still extremely bleak," says PVCHR convener Lenin Raghuvanshi.

The children of the Ghasia tribe - all aged between three and seven - died between July and September this year in Naibasta hamlet in Sonebhadra district in
eastern Uttar Pradesh. PVCHR says that though local newspapers reported the deaths, the district administration chose to ignore the issue.

"They died of the disease of hunger, what else,"Somaro, a village elder, told a PVCHR team that recently visited the area to probe the starvation

"As soon as the team entered the village, all children, women and the old gathered to see who had come. We found that most of the children were mere skeletons, as if their body and flesh had been sapped away. It was obvious that they were being dragged into the cruel clutches of death," the team said in a report to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC)- a New Delhi-based government-instituted body.

On the basis of the complaint, the NHRC Tuesday asked the Uttar Pradesh administration to examine the allegations. The state authorities have to present
their report to the NHRC within six weeks.

"At a recent meeting, the full commission noted that if the allegations were true, the matter required urgent attention by the authorities, as precious human
rights of the tribals were alleged to have been violated," NHRC says in a statement.

The Ghasia tribe has been living in a settlement declared a forest area by the government. Decades ago,the tribe made the forest their home, after fleeing
their ancestral villages to escape the tyranny of the region's feudal landlords.

PVCHR says they cleared a part of the forest and cultivated coarse grains for food. Dependent on forest produce, they supported themselves by making and selling brooms out of grass, combs and clay drums.

But forest officials drove them out of the woods, and the villagers were forced to settle in an area just near a district town.

Here, officials of the government-run Forest Department reportedly did not allow them to forage for food in the forests.

According to Lenin, as a consequence, the families are surviving on poisonous grass and wild mushrooms for the last four years.

"The adults somehow managed to survive the ill effects of the poisonous intake, but the little children were unable to tolerate the poison and succumbed to death,"
PVCHR says.

After the NHRC's intervention, food was distributed to the affected families on Wednesday. Lenin stresses though, that the Ghasia people need land for survival.

Only land distribution and agrarian reform can stave off deaths, he says.

Lenin states that 40 nongovernmental organizations in eastern Uttar Pradesh have launched a movement to press the demand for land for the Ghasia people.

The organizations plan to hold demonstrations and launch a signature campaign for this.
“The death of 18 children due to the disease
of Hunger

“ They died of the disease of hunger and what else………..” when we asked old man somaro, the reason for recurrent deaths of children one after the other,
this harsh reality was revealed to us, when our team representing People’s vigilance committee on Human Rights (PVCHR) visited this village to investigate
the hunger deaths. This truth was confirmed as we observed the pathetic and malnourished condition of another 17-18 kids of Naibasti, Rope village, Tehsil
Robertsganj, District Sonbhadra. As soon as the team entered the village all kids, women and old gathered to see who had come, we found that most of the
children were mere skeletons, as if their body and flesh had been sapped away. It was obvious that they were being dragged into the cruel clutches of death.

These hunger deaths happened nowhere else but right under the nose of the District Administrative Officials residential complex. The deaths were reported by the local Hindi newspaper ‘Amar Ujala” on August 5, 2003. The entire Administration was on
their toes after this sensational news was reported in the newspaper, the Deputy CMO and other senior doctors rushed to the village and conducted an “on the spot
investigation” and submitted their report to the DM.
This report candidly stated that the reason for these hunger deaths that have taken place over the last 2 years is none other than the country’s prevalent yet
least acknowledged disease of “Hunger”. It is crucial to note here that most of these deaths have taken place over the last 11 months. The team of doctors
identified 18 other children who due to poverty and malnourishment are gradually going into the jaws of death. It is not that the Administration is not aware
of the impoverishment and marginalization of dalits and tribals prevalent in this district, but they have conveniently chosen to avoid looking into the problem.
Once these deaths were reported in the newspaper the entire Administration machinery swung into action with all its best effort to sweep the issue under the
carpet. The insensitivity of the District Officials was unveiled, when an old women went inside and brought the ration supplied by the SDM the same day i.e one kg of potato, 250 gms of dal and 2kgs of wheat flour. The quantum of ration made us wonder how unrealistic and callous the Government Officials could be, where they do not want to visualize the basic food requirement of a human being. Even if one were to
overlook the qualitative content of this ration and focus on the prescribed quantitative parameters of the poverty line i.e 2400 calories, it is nowhere near the
mark. There is no denying the fact that the shadows of the feudal mindset loom large over the bureaucracy as well. It would be interesting to note that this dole
from the Government is not even a patch on what the agricultural workers get as a wage from the landlords.
Today in many places the workers have managed to get 7-12 kgs of grains as their wage and for this they fought long and tough battle.
Ghasia Tribe
Nai Basti a settlement of almost 50 households of Ghasis adivasis is located on the Highway about 8 km from the District Headquarters’. These settlements are
right next to the residence and offices of the top District Officials and Police Lines. About 4 years ago these adivasis had migrated from village Markudi,
Block Nagwa, Tehsil Robertsganj, in search of livelihood. Markudi, Chiroi and several other villages of Block Nagwa are the most backward villages of this
district. These villages numbering almost a hundred are located in a plateau (where the famous Vijay Garh fort is also located). These villages are still very
remote, for there are still no roads connecting them. Even today they are accessible only through the forest, and to reach the Block Office they have to
cover a distance of at least 15 km on foot. Despite making all kind of efforts like working as agricultural workers, rickshaw pullers, mine workers away from their homes, these families were unable to manage two square meals a day.

Seventy years old Somari Devi says that the area where their ancestors had settled was also a rocky and mountainous terrain. In order to escape the bondage
and atrocities of the rulers they settled in the deep forests. They cleared the forest and cultivated coarse grains like Sava, Kodo, banking entirely on the
monsoons for irrigation. Their livelihood was dependent on forest produce through making and selling products like brooms made from Baghai grass, combs and
drums called “ Mander” (made of mud) used in Karma dance. Once there was restriction and access to the forest and the forest produce this crucial economic support was also taken away from them hence they were forced to migrate from their village. Most of this tribe settled near the district headquarters in the hope of better employment opportunities by virtue of being closer to the town. But the reality is that money flow from the earnings from the town simply caters to their secondary needs, but the primary food grain supply is still ensured from the agricultural

For the last 4 years the families have to survive on the wild and poisonous grasses like “Chakwar”(botanical name not known), wild mushrooms and extremely poor quality of rice. The adults some how manage to survive the ill effects of the poisonous
intake but the little children are unable to tolerate the poison and succumb to death within couple of years.

When asked why they don’t migrate somewhere else, they simply said that they have no other place to go and they could only improve if they were allotted land by
the Government. “ It was only in the search of livelihood that we have left ancestral village and settled here ” they mused.

Ghasia tribe is one of the indigenous tribes of this area, had their tribal kingdom around 12th century (around Singrauli) Numbers of these adivasis are spread out in the Singrauli area bordering Bihar and Jharkhand. Karma dance, which is characteristic of these adivasis, depict the entire cultural history and
their relationship with the nature. Even during the rule of the Princely State when they worked in bondage, they did not have enough to eat, and the
families starved. After the abolition of the Zamindari System and enactment of Labour Reform Act in 1950, the Princely State had to relinquish their claim on the
entire land and the Government for relinquishing their claim on land heavily compensated them. The courtier of the Raja the priestly class, who had come in this
region with the King once upon the time, emerged as new class of Zamindars in the post independent era. In spite of Abolition of Landlordism and Land Reform Act,
the control over the land and village commons got concentrated in the hands of this small section of landlord, as a consequence the benefits of all development schemes like irrigation, leveling of land,boundary construction of agricultural fields were
reaped by this new class of Zamindars. The dalit and adivasis who had toiled to clear the forest to make it cultivable and even tilled it, were denied any
ownership and in fact driven away.

Land Alienation Fundamental Problem Leading To Food Insecurity

The basic reason for these hunger deaths is that the hands that toil do not have any land of their own.
Hunger deaths have often taken place in this area but have failed to come into light. Really speaking the death of these 18 children also highlights only the
tip of the iceberg. If the Administration were to really take these deaths seriously (of which there is no indication as yet) they would realize that it is
high time that land redistribution is the only solution, to this problem. It has to be acknowledged that such radical agrarian reforms can only pave the
way for ensuring food security so that people can lead decent and dignified lives.

The land in which these families are presently settled also belongs to the Forest Department (FD). And every now and than the staff harasses them to vacate this
land. Just around the huts they have sown some 20-30 plants of maize and the forest staffers often abuse them and threaten to destroy these alleging that they
cannot cultivate the forestland. It would be interesting to know that in this patch of land not even a single tree exists, what to mention of forests.
Despite the reported deaths from this community, the FD has been pressuring them to cut these small maize plants. They are so insensitive that they failed to
accept that these plants are basically grown for eating roasted corn fruit (bhuta), and such plantation is insufficient for any food grain production.

The irony is that even these tragic deaths have not shaken the authorities so far, the Administration has failed to either allot land, provide ration cards.
Even after Central Government has made it mandatory to provide mid-day meal to all school going children in the age group of 0-5, they had only promised a mid-day
meal after a month. It is surprising that the extremely malnourished children went completely unnoticed by District Health department, which has been implementing Polio immunization programmes for children of this community every year. None of the
medical teams bothered to take stalk of the real health status of the children, and it really raises questions about the efficacy and outreach of the
health programme.

We have all heard of Kalahandi but similar images are not very rare in Sonbhadra and neighboring districts.
This is not the first incident of the hunger deaths in the area, but complete erosion of sources of livelihood has caused many deaths in most of the villages.

Some Historical Facts

Sonbhadra district is rich in minerals and other natural resources that contribute the maximum revenue for the State Treasury every year. The land is extremely fertile, with extremely good crop yield,infact the name “Sonbhadra” has been derived from this “ gold yielding” character of land and forest. In the folk songs there is widespread mention of ‘Sonchirai’,‘Sonpehri’, ‘Sonmachli’, ‘Sonphadi’, ‘Sonnadi’, which highlights the rich heritage of the area. But the people enjoyed this rich heritage only till the resources were under the control of the community and
not under the State control. Once the forest was nationalized the plight of forest dependent communities and forest dwellers has steadily deteriorated. Today the FD is the biggest “Landlord”and controls more than 40% of land in the District. It
is understood that because of tough terrain, dense forest and fear of the wild animals, the revenue records of this particular area were not prepared
during the British rule, as had been undertaken for rest of the country. Subsequently the British made land settlement procedures only with rulers rather
than the peasants, in fact whatever land records were prepared were done on the basis of visual measurement.

The main objective of ZA (Zamindari Abolition) act was to grant land to the tiller and remove all intermediaries. But in the case of Sonbhadra district the entire process was postponed for 18 years, all big landlords appropriated the land, drove away all those poor who were tilling the land, and registered the land titles in their names and even those of their cattle. Therefore in Sonbhadra, Chandauli and Mirzapur Districts the land was looted rather than redistributed which was diametrically opposite to the intention of the ZA act. Due to feudal repression and
lack of any alternative support structure the dalit and tribals tiller were forced to clear the land in and around the forest, to fend for their livelihood.

Unfortunately the Government has gone on declaring all forests either reserved, or protected which has further marginalized people. Today where Ghasia tribe
are settled land has been declared as forestland under Indian Forest Act, 1927 (IFA). According to the section 4 of this act before declaring any forest area
as Reserved the people have to be served a Notice by the Government, so that the people can file their claims. And only after proper investigation of their
claims the land can be declared reserved under section 20 of IFA, and there are provisions for settling the claims between sec. 4 and sec. 20 of the act.

However in this area once again the law of the land has not been implemented - without settling any of these claims the land was declared as forestland, and
even today 500 villages are part of this dispute.
Since 1997 the FD has been trying to chase away these people, using all kinds of unscrupulous methods to evict them. The story of south of Kaimur, Singrauli of
this district is even more startling. It is now known as the “energy capital of India”, for its highest power generation capacity. One could recall that in
1964 it was with the construction of the “Rihand Dam”,symbol of so-called development that this entire process of displacement and alienation of the adivasis
was triggered off. As a result the most fertile land was submerged under water, and lacs of people lost their homes and livelihood. Infact there are no
records that tell us the destiny of at least 20 thousand people who were forced to leave. It is tragic that no viable rehabilitation plan was choked out for
these displaced people. They were only doled out plots of 40x60 yards for residential purposes and for the last 20 years they are awaiting fair compensation for the agricultural land that had been taken away from them. The question of a sustained livelihood for these displaced people still remains unanswered. Who
benefited from the construction of the Rihand Dam? Was it for irrigation or for power generation? Even today U.P Government has no answer to this question. On the
contrary, it has become a dumping ground for the coalmines, powerhouses, industries, and their townships. The fly ash released by the 6 Powerhouseslocated on the periphery of the dam is converting this reservoir into a poisonous well. The people who live around the reservoir are forced to consume the highly radioactive water and tolerate the toxic atmosphere so created.

Whenever these displaced people have tried to fight for their rights they have been brutally crushed by the administration and entangled in false criminal
cases to the extent of being declared as “Naxalites”.

The Struggle

At the time of various land settlement and particularly at the time of the Kaimur Survey Settlement (1982), the land conflict was further aggravated. This happened due to the connivance of the survey officials and revenue machinery. This
continuous robbing away of their resources has caused a deep set of resentment amongst the adivasis,particularly the youth and women. Over the last few years the political sensitization of these people has led them to question why only their ancestral land has been taken away? Why there is no justice forthcoming from the administration? The callous administration has no answer to this question except the ‘bullet’.
The fact that there is no scope for protest only goes to prove that the State is trying to completely shrink all democratic space. In order to avoid resolving the
issue of land restoration to the adivasis, the administration has resorted to creating an atmosphere of terror in the area.

The bottom line is that the hunger deaths are a result of a lack of political will to implement the agrarian reform in its true spirits. Even today there is
reluctance on the part of the State to admit that the tiller of the land has to own the land. The argument and campaign by some leading economists that revamping
and privatization the Public Distribution System can solve the problem of hunger, and prevent the hunger deaths, is very difficult to pallet. The issue of food
security is directly related to the equitable distribution of land and it seems difficult to locate a solution for this else where.

It is true that the adivasis were completely unfamiliar with the money economy but their deep understanding of life sciences is evident from the fact that they know that ownership and control of the basic resources of land is the solution to the problem of livelihood of all agrarian people. Urban intellectuals and economists fail to look at the problem in the eye, when they avoid the issue of implementing agrarian reforms. The life experience of the common people have led them to believe that no dose from Government or other agencies will ever solve the problem of hunger, it is they themselves who have to organize themselves and fight to recapture their lost land. In keeping with this understanding they are organizing themselves, so that their tomorrow is not marred by hunger deaths. There are fresh instances
where land being captured in the leadership of women in Tehsil Robertsganj and Ghorawal, where they have also fought to get the wage hike from 5 to 7-12 kg of
food grain.

Names of the Children who died in past few months:

1. Punnu s/o Ramsubak

2. Roshan s/o Shivkumar


3. Bijmal s/o Shivkumar

4. Lalmohan s/o Puneshwar

5. Printa d/o Puneshwar
6. Jiuat s/o Ramvriksh

7. Dhiman s/o Mangru
8. Phool sings s/o Kalinger
9. Deepak s/o Sukhan

10. Somaro s/o Asha

4 ”
11. Jeeravati s/o Suneshwaf

7 ”
12. Kairi s/o Tarku

5 ”
13. Saransh s/o Katwaru
3 ”
14. Bimli s/o Katwaru
5 ”
15. Ramkaran s/o Sukalu
5 ”
16. Ramgovind s/o Sukalu
4 ”
17. Kavita s/o Sudama
5 ”
18. Kuwara s/o Santosh

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Thursday, April 20, 2006

Voice of voiceless

I believe that he who has less in life should have more in law.
-RAMON DEL FIERRO MAGSAYSAY -third president of the Republic of the Philippines

Kalwati, aged 30, of Raup Village in Sonbhadra district told how she is struggling to feed her five young children since becoming a widow:

"The six of us live in a desperate situation and hunger is a primary concern. We only eat once a day, and the meal normally consists of some rice or roti (flatbread) and salt, nothing more. I even have a red ration card allowing me access to food assistance by the Public Distribution System (PDS). The PDS shop is located eight kilometers away and provides 20kg of rice and 15kg of wheat for 90 rupees. However, the 35kg of wheat and rice that we receive is not sufficient for even 10 days. By the end of every month, we are starving. Every time we receive more wheat, my children are so hungry they will eat just plain flour. This is what my daughter just did this afternoon.

"My husband was the sole income earner in our family, but he was murdered by the local mafia two-and-a-half years ago. Since his death, I have been the sole breadwinner in the family, as my children are too young to work. I weave brooms and straw mats. I earn approximately 2.50 rupees for each broom or mat I sell, and I normally make between five and ten a day, but I have to travel almost eight kilometers everyday just in order to sell my products. The money is not enough to buy anything, maybe a few vegetables at most.

"I have five children who depend on me to eat. The eldest, Durgavati, is 12 years old. She does not go to school because she needs to stay at home and care for the house and my other children while I am away trying to sell my brooms and mats. My boys, Sadesh, aged 10, and eight-year-old Rajesh both go to school. The two youngest, son Siri Ram and daughter Rinki are too young to attend school and thus also stay at home. In general, most Raup villagers are involved in the broom making industry. As a result, most of the young girls must stay home and take care of the younger children while their parents are away. I never went to school and my daughters will not either. I am not the only person in this situation, the entire village suffers on a daily basis the same way I do. I ask, why is there no ICDS (government run childcare center) here for our children?

"I used to have the ability to work quickly; however, the nerves in my hand were injured some years ago so now one hand is paralyzed. But it is not possible to get medical attention for my health problems. There is no healthcare or medical facilities for the Raup villagers. In 2004, after the newspapers reported our situation, one doctor did come on a single occasion. He gave us some medicines but we never saw him or any
other doctor again. The district hospital is seven kilometers away in Robertsganj so we can only go if we have enough money to cover the expenses or enough energy to walk. Also, the government hospitals do not have any medicine to give us so even if we do go there, we still cannot afford to buy medicines from the shops.

"My fellow villagers and I are not asking for much. As a tribal community, all we are asking is for some land that we can cultivate and live on, land that we have a right to. The upper-caste villagers in Raup are a very prosperous community and they are doing very well. However they are threatening us to leave as they are laying claim to this land. Where are we going to go then and how will we be able to live? All I want is for my children to be taken care of so that they can live life with dignity."

Chotalal, aged 42, son of Mithailal of Oraw village in Pindra Block under Phoolpur Police Station, Varanasi district, explained how the Musahar community struggle to survive under the control of other groups:
"We have no land of our own. We work in the fields of Dakurs and Brahmins. They are the upper caste people. This work is seasonal, for about two months per year. For a full day's work we are paid 5kg of wheat for a male and 3kg of wheat for a female. We work from 7am to 4pm. Sometimes we get 20-30 rupees per day for men and 5 rupees for women. We have never even hoped for the minimum wage and equal remuneration. If we demanded the minimum wage, the landlords would kill us. If we have any complaints, we must keep quiet. You can't go to the police: the police mean money here. They all work for the landlords.

"For the rest of the year, we work as manual labourers and also make plates out of leaves, which people buy for serving food at marriages and other ceremonies. We earn about 20-30 rupees for making 200 plates.

"The Gramasabah (village council) here has about 90 bigahs (45 acres) of land. This land was taken by the upper castes. We were told that this land was intended to be given to us but the fact is that we do not have this land. I was told that some of the property which is currently held by the landlords stands in our names, but we are not able to use it as our own property. However, we still have to work on it as labourers since the property has been taken by them. We are scared to put any claim on our property.

"We are not even allowed to go to the place where the upper caste people live. Even the backward people do not allow us to come to their houses. This is because we are untouchables. But if there is any work in their households, we are expected to go and do the work. If we are found in the upper caste area without being asked to come there for work, we will be beaten. If there is any crime in the locality, we are by default blamed for it. In the past, there was a murder: 13 of our family members were arrested and put in jail. No one ever dared to complain because it would not make a difference.

"Nearly all our children go to school. But their schooling is over after Grade 4. All our children are dropouts from the school. There are no schools that will educate our children for free and we have no money to pay school fees. The government schools are far away. Even though the fees at government schools are nominal, we do not have enough money to pay. We would like to see our children educated and well-employed but this is not a realistic dream.

"We do not have any medical care or hospitals near by. Nobody from the government would ever come here. Some of us have ration cards but we do not have money to buy rations. In the past, we would have to pay at least 100 rupees to buy our rations, because the public distribution shops were so corrupt. Now, the price is normal, at 10 rupees, but we still cannot afford this."

Bhothu Musahar, aged 55, son of Sukhdev Musahar, residing at Belwa Musahar village, Varanasi district, said that starvation is treated as normal in his

"We have stayed here for about six generations. For eight months we work at a brick kiln. The kiln is about 10 kilometers from here. But we have no option. There is a kiln which is in the neighboring property. It is run by Rajendar Thiwari, the most powerful man in Belwa village. The property is on Panchayat land. The place from which the clay is
collected for this kiln is from the village property. We were told that this property was earmarked for our community to cultivate and build our huts. But we cannot question this since the person who questions Thiwari would not live to see the next dawn.

"For about ten years we worked for Thiwari. He never paid us any money. He used to abuse us for everything. If someone failed to turn up for work he would beat that person when he came to work next time. If anyone fell sick and failed to turn up for work, then also he would beat the person. Women faced the same treatment. Thiwari's son used to do the same. His son, Guddu Thiwari, was very young when he used beat us. I was beaten by him when Guddu was only 20. The kiln manager beat us too.

"Thiwari would give us some vegetables for our work, once a week, and that was the only payment. This was not enough for us. It would be over in a day and the rest would be easily damaged, since what he gave us was already rotten. Once in a while we would get dead animals. These were Thiwari's animals. However, we were not allowed to take any dead animal. Only when Thiwari allowed us we could take them. We never cared how the animal died; we only cared how fast we could cook it. Sometimes we would dig up buried animals a day after without anyone knowing. We did not have any time to fetch food for ourselves since we were not allowed to leave the kiln. We could not earn anything else from other work since no one would employ us. This was because we are untouchables and even if anyone was willing to employ us Thiwari would intervene and prevent it.

"Many people died from starvation and a few from injuries suffered at work and also from beatings. We never dared to complain to anyone. Where could we complain? We had seen police officers staying at Thiwari's house and having dinner with him. Thiwari also used to threaten us that if we ever dared to complain to anyone about this he would get the police to arrest us. He threatened us that instead of the men, he would get the women arrested. So we had no other option. Men, women and children worked for Thiwari. Every child was to work for him. The only concern was whether one could work or not. Young or old, all had to work. Rain or drought everyday we had to work. Even if somebody died and the body was still at home, you still had to go to work or else they would beat us. We were fed up with this situation and the punishments were intolerable.

"It was Dr Lenin who came to our rescue. It was his organisation [PVCHR] which helped us from this mess. He advised us to lodge complaints at the sub divisional magistrates court. But there was no action. Soon there was an opportunity for us to speak at a [tribunal]. After that we came to know that it had asked the magistrate to take action upon our complaint. The magistrate came here. We also came to
know that Dr Lenin also had filed a separate complaint on our behalf to the same officer. One day we were all free. However, we were never paid any compensation. We were informed that the magistrate had ordered 20,000 rupees to be paid to us. But when we inquired at the magistrate's office we were told that since the magistrate is a Brahmin, he would never execute the order, and we were asked to be satisfied with our freedom, and that nothing more is to be expected.

"We have only five ration cards altogether. The ration shop dealer never opens his shop regularly. It is open only one or two days in a week and that too during evening hours. We work in a kiln about 10 kilometers away. By the time we finish our work and return, the shop is closed. The food grains that are to be supplied for a very low price are also sold at a higher price. We are not able to afford such high prices. We know it is illegal. But we cannot complain. The ones who dare to complain will never live to see the result of the complaints. The police, health officer and district administration officers are all teamed against us. Who cares for us?

"Hunger is accepted in our village. It is hard to manage the children. By night they start crying and refuse to sleep [due to hunger]. We have no option. We beat them hard so that they cry for a while and are soon tired and that is how we put our children to sleep.

"Many have died of starvation here. Bahru Musahar's family is one example. His wife and two children died within four weeks of one another. His daughter Reena died when she was five-years-old. Then his wife Kismati Devi died, and soon his other daughter Hasna, who was nine-months-old: all within about four weeks of this year. Bharu has lost his senses now. This is not strange for us. Every year in July, August, September and October a few children die here due to malnutrition and acute starvation. No one cares for us."

Mr. Mulayam Singh Yadav
Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh
Chief Minister's Secretariat
Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
Fax: + 91-522-2230002/2239234


1. Justice A. S. Anand
National Human Rights Commission
Sardar Patel Bhaven, Sansad Marg,
New Delhi - 110 001
Tel: + 91 11 23346244
Fax: + 91 11 23366537
E-mail: or

2. Justice A P Mishra
Uttar Pradesh Human Rights Commission
6-A Kalidass Marg
Lucknow Uttar Pradesh

3. Mr. Jean Ziegler
UNCHR, Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food
c/o Mr. Carlos Villan Duran
Room 4-066
Palais Wilson,
Rue des Paquis 52,
Fax: +41 22 917 9010

4. Mr. Anthony Banbury
Regional Director
World Food Programme
Unit No. 2, 7th Floor
Wave Place Building
55 Wireless Road
Lumpini, Patumwan
Bangkok 10330
Tel: +66-2-6554115
Fax: +66-2-6554413
Email: or

5. Mr. Gian Pietro Bordignon
Country Director
World Food Programme
2 Poorvi Marg, Vasant Vihar,
New Delhi 110057
Tel: +91-11-26150000
Fax: +91-11-26150019

6. Dr. N.C. Saxena and Mr. S.R. Sankaran
Supreme Court of India
SAMYA, R-38A, 2nd floor
South Extention - part 2
New Delhi - 49
Fax: +91-11-5164 2147

Campiagn against death penalty

Supreme Court Criminal Appeal Nos:821 of 2000 & No:160 of 2001.
Appeal for mercy for Mr. Suresh Chauhan & Mr.Ramji Chauhan convicted & sentenced to death by hanging under section 302IPC, 307 IPC & 449 IPC.
Mr.Suresh Chauhan and his wife’s brother , Ramji chauhan have been accused of murdering his(Suresh) own brother Mr.Ramesh Chauhan (Younger brother of Suresh) and four members of Ramesh ‘s family (Wife and three children ) over a dispute over property belonging to their father Late Mr.Panalal. The Accused Mr.Suresh however says that his conviction was based on the false evidence of witness (PW1) Mr.Lalji (paternal uncle of Accused Suresh) who had repented later and told the family members of Accused Ramji that he (Lalji) would reveal the truth at appeal hearing in the Allahabad High Court .However four days before the appeal hearing he was mysteriously burnt to death in his own room. His body was quickly creamated without any police report or post mortem . Both the Accused insist that they were taken from their homes and not arrested near Railway station.The weapons claimed by the police to have been recovered from the house of Suresh did not match the wounds of the murdered victims described in the Medicolegal report . Besides the manner of recovery claimed by the police was rejected by the High Court. There are also discrepancies in the FIR , the Inquest report etc .
The only person benefiting from the whole incident is Ram Naresh who is the elder brother of Accused Suresh and Deceased Ramesh . In Childhood Ram Naresh had been adopted by paternal uncle , Lalji (PW1) who was issueless. Prior to his death , the father ,Late Panalal divided his property between Accused Suresh and Deceased Ramesh only .He did not include the elder son Ram Naresh ( adopted by Lalji ) since he is the sole inheritor of his adopted father , Lalji ‘s property . However after the death of the father ,Mr.Panalal , the elder brother Ram Naresh demanded share from his two brothers (accused Suresh and deceased Ramesh ) which they refused unless Ram Naresh agreed to share with them the property of his adopted father , Mr.Lalji(PW1). Now with Suresh convicted to death sentence , Ramesh dead , and adopted father Mr.Lalji(PW1) mysteriously burnt to death , Ram Naresh is the sole claimant/owner of the property of late Mr.Lalji and Late Panalal.
The police cannot be trusted as it is widely known and documented that they can be bought and the discrepancies in the FIR & INQUEST point to a possibility of coverup
and miscarriage of justice.
Of the accused Mr.Suresh Chauhan is father of 7 children , the youngest being 5 years old with two daughters of marrigable age. He is the bread winner of the family . The future of the children is at stake . There is no one to look after them and if the accused allegation is true than they face possible harassment from their uncle ,Mr.Ram Naresh. Similarly Mr.Ramji Chauhan is from a very poor family doing business in balloons. In fighting the case they have sold their belongings ,are living in rented homes and struggling to make ends meet. Ramji Chauhan wife face premature widowhood at such a prime age . The whole family has been reduced to brink of ruin .
Prominent citizens and peoples’ representatives have extended their support after seeing the plight of the dependents of the two convicted .They include Shri Shankar Prasad Jaiswaal,MP-Parliament ; Shri Ajay Singh, Chairperson –National Bal Bhawan ; Shri Amarnath Yadav , Nagar Pramukh ; Shri Shiv Nath Yadav – MLC; Shri Shamdev Roy Chaudhuri—MLA ; Shri Ajay Ray- MLA; Shri Abdul Kalam , MLA ; Shri Ajay Kumar Singh , Sabhasad ; Smt .Dhanno Devi, Sabasad;and Shri Ambrish Keshari, Sabhasad etc.


Our organization has been in the field of Human Rights for the past
one decade for which it has been widely acclaimed by several Indian and
International Human Rights Bodies.
Based in the Varanasi District of the State of Uttar Pradesh , India, PVCHR , is working in 40 villages of Varanasi District and in 80 districts of Five states of Madhya Pradesh, Bihar , Jharkhand and Uttaranchal with a membership exceeding Fifty Thousand . In the past one decade PVCHR has been responsible for the detection , identification and rescue of almost 800 trafficked bonded child labourers belonging to the Dalit and other marginalized castes of India. Also have successfully
obtained for Dalit victims of Human Rights abuses compensation worth Rupees
.Forty Three Hundred Thousand. Apart from this PVCHR has helping Dalits
fight legal cases for their rights.
Presently for the past two years , PVCHR is engaged in organising the Dalit Community by forming special villages called JAN MITRA GANV OR PEOPLE’S FRIENDLY VILLAGE in forty villages of Varanasi district where through special formed Community Based Organizations based on Age and Gender , the Dalit and other marginalized community are being guided to demand for their rights and challenge violation of those rights guranteed to them by the Indian Constitution and by International Convention to which the Indian Government is a Signatory . Recognising Education and Basic Health as two essential Rights PVCHR have successfully been
pressuring the Government to establish Schools where there are none and improving the quality of those that exists . In the meantime with the help of International Aid Agencies it is running five centers for eduation .
It was in recognition of these , that the ASHOKA : Innovators for Public has given the award of ASHOKA FELLOW 2001 . Similarly Dr.Zakaria Mohammed Yacoob , Sitting Judge of the Constitutional of South Africa and Chancellor of the University of Durban-Westville had agreed to be our Parton . Also several prominent retired Judges of both the Supreme Court , High Court and National Human Rights Commission are on our International Advisory Board. Apart from these several prominent individuals ,
Historians ,Professionals, Artists , etc have been involved in our foundation and continue to lend their support and participation .
" India's independence from the fetters of British Colonialism has
only freed the nation politically but socially and culturally it is still under feudal bondage.Democratization of the society needs to be done,as the scociety hasn't been freed from the clutches of caste system, communalism , conservative ideas and customs. The Hindu Fundamentalism occasionally raises its fangs in this
scenerio, the dalits and advasis need to be organised and the anti people policies affecting them the most has to be challenged through movements. It is important and timely as the marginalised section has to be brought in a platform where PVCHR can not only struggle against the government 's plicies but also give a unified face to their resistence against the Globalisation and Liberalisation.
This has given rise to a very intresting situation where in every village the settlement of the marginalised (Dalits etc) are located in the South.Similarly at the Global level the Northern Developed countries exploit the Southern world .
PVCHR thus feels that it is important to counter all forms of
marginalisation in all areas ,at every level ,at every step and in various ways. Only such concerted drive will ensure Human Rights .For this it is necessary to challenge the Caste System,patriarchy and Saffronisataion while at the same time empower the marginalised at the micro level and at the macro level the margilisation by economic Globalisation.Thus we make a voice for the South from the Village level to the Global level.
The city of Varanasi located on the banks of Ganga is claimed by the Brahmanical Forces as their cultural capital although it is also the work place of Gautam Buddha , Kabeer , Premchand who all fought against upper caste violence and discrimination .
The law giver of Brahmanical forces called Manu who wrote the Brahmanical law book called Manusmriti had written that the lower caste Dalits , backwards , women are not entitled to receive any education . As a result over the yerars and spanning several generations , these marginalised communities have remained
The children of these communities have been denied the right to be educated and have ended up as bonded labourers , bonded child labourers in Carpet , Silk and Sarees industries where they do not receive the minimum wages subjected to physical violence by their employers and compelled to work in extremely bad enviroment detrimental to their health .80% of this community is subjected to police atrocities and violence such as custodial deaths and rape and false encounters.Their woemen and girls are treated to all kinds of sexual abuses and humiliation .
In the Block of Badeganv , in the village of Belwa located on the south of the block the whole Dalit & backwards Ghetto had been denied voting rights for the past twenty five years by the village headman or Pradhan . They were not registered in the voting list , nor given photo identification cards or ration cards all required
to qualify a citizen to vote. Denied this they are turned back from the voting booth by the electoral officer .Uneducated and poor they cannot and do not know how to challenge this violence.
Their children are not allowed to educate themselves because the Pradhan has not allowed any government school from coming up in that area while the private schools are too costly for them to afford.Consequently the children of the Dalits remains illeterate and end up as bonded labourers. Even in those Dalit Ghettos where
there are government schools they have poor facilities , lack qualified and adequate teachers or frequent absentism.
Further the Girls are engaged in caring for the infants of the family hence are unable to attend in schools .In most of these villages the upper caste children attend "Saraswati Shishu Mandirs" of the Brahmanical forces where they are taught to look down upon the dalit children thus developing caste bias from an early age. It is these who end up as administrators who then continue their caste biased administration against Dalits and other backwards.The Brahmanical forces capture the village adminsitrative bodies through physical violence and adminstrative corruption and deny the Dalits access to village common property and government schemes which are cornered bythe Brahaminical forces for their own benefits.
“Trafficking is the transporting of a person from one place to another by means of deception , kidnapping ,actual threatened or implied violence aided by person in position of authority eg.immigration Officers, Police Officers etc.”
PVCHR & its founder Dr.Lenin, Member of District Vigilance Committee on Bonded Labor has been fighting for more than a decade, the meance of bonded labor in which Trafficking plays a dominant role. He has been responsible for the release of more than 800 bonded laborers. In the first six months of 2002 alone, PVCHR has released 38 trafficked laborers from Brick Kiln and Carpet Industry. PVCHR has documented the existence of child labor in the Silk Weaving Industry and also a recent study on Trafficking. It has been networking with other NGOs and Government Agencies in fighting this menace.
The insight gained from this experience is that majority of the trafficked are f rom the Dalit and other marginalized caste and almost none from the Upper caste households though poverty exists among them also. Why is this so? . Brahmanism for centuries and generations had kept the Dalit and other marginalized castes segregated and deprived of their basic human rights. Even after Independence, inspite of a Constitution that proclaims equal rights, this particular section of the Indian population are not empowered in their home villages. Through deception, Gangsterism, Bending of rules and misuse of Official machinery the Dalits have been kept out of local self Governing bodies like Panchayats and denied access to development schemes. When the Dalits challenge these violations or demand their constitutional rights, a repressive Police Force is unleashed on the whole Dalit community, repressive laws like Gangster Acts and Arms Acts are falsely charged on them and then they are indiscriminately and inhumanely murdered in false encounters.
Trafficking in India can be controlled and eliminated only when the social and economic conditions of the Dalits and Marginalized are improved by giving them greater empowerment by giving them greater representation in local governing elected bodies and are given greater and equal access to educations, development schemes and when they have control over common property resources.
The area or purva of Badepurv is located within the Village of Belwa in Badagaon block under Police Station Phulpur. The Village of Belwa has a majority of the upper Castes and a small percentage of minorites (Muslims ) But the purva of Badepur is almost totally populated by Dalits and other bavckward castes and is administered by the Belwa Gram Panchayat headed by a Lady Pradhan Mrs. Radhika Tripati whose husband Mr.Tiwari had been the Pradhan for the past twentyfive years.
Not having equal having membership in the Panchyat, the Dalits do not have effective voice and power within it due to upper Caste suppression. For almost fifty years they had been unable to execise their voting power because the then Pradhan, Mr. Rajendra Tiwari (husband of current Pradhan Mrs. Radhika Tiwari) had effectively prevented them from exercising their voting rights by denying them Ration Cards, Photo Identity card & Registration of their names in the Voters list. Similary he prevented the opening of any Government Primary School while succesfully running his own private private School within the Village’s Primary Health Centre. As a result many of Dalit Children had no access to education. The Community then began runing its own community school which had no rooms and roofs. Mr. Tiwari also owned Brick kilns in which he used the Adults and Children of the Dalit community as bonded laboures.During State, Central & Panchyat election time he used his men to prevent the Dalits from reaching the Booth for voting. The administration took his side ignoring the welfare and rights of Dalits. He placed his wife as pradhan and misused panchyat powers and cornered goverment development shcemes for his and upper castes benefits.When the local Administration agreed to the opening of two “Anganbadis” Mr.Tiwari attempted to have them located near his house.
In the year 2000 PVCHR began intervention by opening a Non formal education centre ( NFE) and began mobilising the Dalits and several members of the community came forward and became good activist . PVCHR filed several pettions and brought to the notice of the local administration, the illegal and Anti Dalit activities of Mr. Rajendra Tiwari violating the rights of Dalits. A Tribunal was held and the Indian Peoples Tribunal published and circulated widely how the Dalits of Belwa were being denied their Constiutional rights. In November 2001, the Dalits mobilised for the NAFRE rally in Delhi to bring about positive changes in the Educational policy the goverment. Mr. Tiwari sensed the rousing of the Dalit community and openely threatened to desroy the homes of those who attended the Rally. His muscle men disrupted meeting in Belwa being addressed by the Convenor of PVCHR, Physically attacked and abused PVCHR activist and threatened to kill them. PVCHR informed NHRC which alerted the local police & authorities Raid were conducted on his kiln and the bonded labourers were released. All of these were given wide publicity in the local media.
The result was visible in the February 2002 state election when for the first time, the Dalit men and women openely challenged Mr. Tiwari. Many of the Women had come armed with chllie powder and the Men with Sickles. Although they could not vote due to not having the proper documents (again because Mr.Tiwari had prevented their Ration Cards from being ready in time nor the inclusion of their names in the Voters List ) the wide media publicity help check his abusive behaviour. The BSA/ ABSA also visited Badepur and confirment the need for a school. The final blow was the visit of an NHRC team and the transfer of the village secretary from Belwa to Lakhimpur.
The people Badepur had become more confident .With financial Help from PVCHR and their own contribution of labour and material the Community school was improved upon with better roofing and rooms.The student population soon exceeded 200 children. PVCHR is now evolving it as model centre. On May 2002, Justice Dr. Z.M. Yacoob the Sitting Judge of the Constitutional court of South Africa & the Chancellor of the University of Durban visited Badepur and participated in a communit Lunch with the Dalits. All of this has brought positive changes within the Dalit community whose confidence has increased.