Sunday, February 27, 2011

Invitation of Human Rights Defenders

Dear Friends,

Greetings from PVCHR.

You are cordially invited to participate in the meeting on the situation of human rights defender of Uttar Pradesh hold by PVCHR (Peoples ‘Vigilance Committee on Human Rights) under EU project on reducing the police torture of Muslim Minority and Human Rights Defenders Alert. The purpose of the meeting is those human rights defenders associated with Minority, Dalit, Tribal, Women and Children of Uttar Pradesh are continuously getting threat. Now the question arises about the security of human rights defenders.

The National Human Rights Commission, India, 2010 has listed 25 cases related to Human Rights Defenders, out of which 12 cases are from Uttar Pradesh. The national and regional political parties have been expressing their concerns on growing number of attacks on the human rights defenders in the state.[i]

Mr. Ajeet, Ms Manju and Mr. Atul Sharma face extreme threat for their work against child trafficking. Both Sanjay and Anil Singh from Bundelkhand known for their work on water rights and empowerment of women lost their activist father last year. The accused, a sympathizer of ruling party absconded from the court premises and now threat to kill both brothers. Dalit activist, Mr. Harilal was killed by the mafias controlling employment generation programme for poor like MGNEREGA. Mr. Mangla who works on dalit rights was denied bail by the court on a bailable offence. Dr. Lenin Raghuvanshi, Shruti Nagvanshi with five colleagues’ were charged under IPC 505 B. Also Ms. Shruti faced attack by the Upper caste people. The state of Uttar Pradesh throws an interesting example of nexus among judiciary, police, political parties and non state actors against the human rights defenders.

Date: 16th March, 2011 Time: 10 am to 4 pm

Place: Paradkar Smriti Bhawan, Maidagin, Varanasi

Looking forward for your kind participation.

With regards,

Dr. Lenin

Executive Director/Secretary General -PVCHR/JMN




Communal attack against Muslim Minority in Moradabad in India

Communal attack against Muslim Minority

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

NHRC intervens in Case of Dalit Human Rights Defender Sudhir Dhawale

Please find the details of petition:

Details of NHRC intervention:

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Khwaja Assistant Registrar <>
Date: Tue, Feb 22, 2011 at 3:54 PM
Subject: NHRC Case No. 197/13/34/2011/NH


                                                                                                                      Tel No. :  011-23385368
                                                                                                                    Fax No.: 011-23386521                
Telegraphic Add.: HUMANRIGHTS"
                                                                                                 Home page :

Case No.  197/13/34/2011/NH
Dated 11-02-2011



Sub : Complaint from



            The complaint dated 26-01-2011, was placed before the Commission on 10-02-2011.  Upon perusing the complaint, the Commission directed as follows.

Let a copy of the complaint be transmitted to the DGP, Maharashtra to submit a factual report within four weeks.

2.         Accordingly, I am forwarding herewith a copy of the complaint for taking appropriate action in the matter as per the directions of the Commission.  It is requested that an Action Taken Report be sent to the Commission within 4 weeks from the date of receipt of this letter.

Yours Faithfully,


Encls: As Above

CC to:

The Additional Director General of Police


Jan Mitra Nyas: Balance sheet 2010:JMN/PVCHR

Jan Mitra Nyas: Balance sheet 2010:JMN/PVCHR

सरोकार » पुलिस की मार के कारण शरीर में दर्द होता है

सरोकार » पुलिस की मार के कारण शरीर में दर्द होता है

Monday, February 21, 2011

Invitation in the public hearing on Right to Education.

Dear Friend,

 I am pleased to invite you in the public hearing on Right to Education hold by PVCHR/JMN with the support from Sir Dorabji Tata trust at Paradkar Smriti Bhawan, Maidagin, Varanasi on 10th March, 2011 at 11 am.

The purpose of this hearing is Right to Education Act, 2010 is passed and now it is in the form of implementation. But still this act is not implemented in the Uttar Pradesh and most of the marginalized children are not getting entitlement under this act.

In this hearing most of the cases will be heard mainly from Varanasi, Ambedkar Nagar and Sonbhdra districts and also from other part of eastern Uttar Pradesh.

Therefore we are requesting you to kindly accept our invitation for making this program successful. Please confirm your esteem presence to If you need more information about this initiative please contact to Ms. Shruti Nagvanshi mobile no. 91-9935599330 email:


Thanking You

Sincerely Yours

Dr. Lenin
Executive Director-PVCHR/JMN

Monday, February 14, 2011

हिन्‍दु-मुस्लिम विवाद ने हमें अपाहिज बना दिया : अब्‍दुर रहमान


डॉ. लेनिन रघुवंशी पूर्वी उत्तरप्रदेश में ग़रीब और कमज़ोर लोगों के साथ होने वाले तरह-तरह के ज़ोर-जुल्‍म की कहानियां सरोकार को भेज रहे हैं. इस बार पेश है वाराणसी में हिन्‍दु-मुस्लिम समुदायों के बीच हुए विवाद में पुलिसिया गोली का‍ शिकार बने बुनकर अब्‍दुर रहमान की दास्‍तां उन्‍हीं की जुबानी :

मेरा नाम अब्‍दुर रहमान, उम्र 24 साल है। मैं एन 13/1202 लमही, सराय सूरजन, बजरडीहा, वाराणसी का निवासी हूँ। मेरे चार भाई, दो बहन हैं। पिता जी अलग रहते हैं, हमारी माँ की देहान्त हो जाने पर पिता जी ने दूसरी शादी कर ली थी। दूसरी माँ को दो बच्चे है।

मेरे साथ जो घटना घटी, वह दिन था 11 मार्च 2009, और समय था 11 बजकर 30 मिनट। मैं घर से अपने चाचा से मिलने के लिए निकला था। मेरे चाचा गौसिया मदरसा के बग़ल में रहते है। गौसिया मदरसा के पहले एक गली है। हम उस गली से जैसे ही दो क़दम आगे बढ़े, तभी पुलिस वालों ने फायरिंग शुरू कर दी। पुलिस की गोली हमारे दाहिने पैर और गुप्तांग के पास लगी। हम वहीं पर गिर गए। इसके बाद पुलिस वालों ने हमें घसीटते हुए अपने जीप में फेंक दिया और सरकारी अस्पताल, कबीर चौरा में भर्ती करा दिया। धीरे-धीरे हमारी आँखे बन्द होती जा रही थी। शरीर से बहुत ज्यादा खून निकल रहा था। कुछ समय बाद मैं बिल्कुल बेहोश हो गया। होश आया तो देखा, हमारे घर वाले और मोहल्ले वाले हमारे पास खड़े थे। उस समय हमें बहुत ही ज्यादा दर्द हो रहा था। हम जोर-जोर से चिल्ला रहे थे। हमने घर वालों से पूछा, ''हमको क्या हुआ है?'', हमारे घर के लोगों ने रोते हुए बताया, ''तुम्हे पुलिस वालों ने गोली मारी है।'' फिर हमने पूछा, ''हमने क्या किया कि हमें गोली मारी?'', तब मोहल्ले के लोगों ने बताया कि कोल्हुआ मस्जिद पर कुछ लोगों ने रंग फेंक दिया था, इसी बात पर हिन्दू और मुस्लिम समुदाय में विवाद हो गया और पुलिस वालों ने गोलियाँ चलानी शुरू दी जिसमें तुम्हें भी गोली लगी। अस्पताल में हम 13 दिन तक बेहोश पड़े रहे। उस समय हमारा इलाज चन्दे के पैसों से चल रहा था और आज भी चन्दे से ही चल रहा है। हम अपने समुदाय के लोगों का यह सहयोग कभी नहीं भूलेंगे। हिन्‍दु-मुस्लिम विवाद ने हमें अपाहिज बना दिया।

इस घटना से मेरी स्थिति ही बिगड़ गयी। इसके पहले हम बनारसी साड़ी की बुनाई का काम करते थे, लेकिन मेरा पैर गोली लगने से खराब हो गया। वैशाखी का सहारा लेकर चलना पड़ रहा है। पहले अपनी कमाई से घर में भी सहयोग करते थे और अपना खर्च भी चलाते थे। अब जिंदगी बहुत कठिन और भारी लग रही है। पहले की तरह दोस्तों के साथ घुमना-फिरना एक दम बंद हो गया।  अब सभी से दूर हो गये हैं। यह सब देखकर बहुत गुस्सा आता है। दिमाग विचलित हो जाता है। एक बात का बहुत अफसोस है कि पहले कमाकर खाते थे आज एक समय के भोजन के लिए मोहताज है। शादी-ब्याह हो जाती, अब यह भी एक सपना हो गया है।

एक साल होने जा रहा है, लेकिन दर्द लगातार रहता है। जिससे हम बहुत परेशान हो जाते हैं। किसी तरह मोहल्ले के लोग मेरा भरण-पोषण कर रहे हैं। पुलिस का यह अत्याचार हम कभी नहीं भूल सकते। सरकार ने अभी तक दोषियों को सजा नहीं दी और न ही हमें किसी प्रकार का आर्थिक मदद ही मिला सरकार की तरफ से। हमारे साथ कुल आठ लोग घायल हुए थे। दो की तो मृत्यु हो गयी। जब-जब यह घटना मेरे दिमाग़ में आती है, हम विचलित हो जाते हैं। हम अपनी लड़ाई कानून के सहारे लड़ना चाहते हैं, क्योंकि कानून सबको न्याय देता है। हमारे लिए न्याय तभी सफल होगा, जब दोषियों को सजा मिलेगी।

आज हम अपाहिज की तरह जिंदगी जी रहे हैं। कई जगह इलाज भी करवाये। 4 फरवरी 2010,  वृहस्पतिवार के दिन बी0एच0यू0 स्थित सर सुन्दर लाल अस्पताल गये। जहां डाँक्टर ने एक लाख रुपये इलाज के लिए कहा। हड्डी टूट गई है और खोखली भी हो गई है। इन्फेक्‍शन हमेशा रहता है, जिससे गोली का घाव नहीं भर पा रहा है। पाण्डेयपुर स्थित संस्था से सहयोग मिला, डॉ0 शकील (खजूरी) से इलाज करवा रहे हैं। जिससे अब थोड़ा चल-फिर रहे हैं और अपना काम जैसे – कपड़ा साफ करना, इत्यादि कर लेते हैं। लेकिन भोजन के लिए दूसरे पर आश्रित हैं। अपने घर से भोजन नहीं मिलता है। कभी-कभी कोई पड़ोसी या दोस्त भोजन करा देता है। बाकी दिन किसी से पैसा मांग कर बिस्कुट और पानी पीकर गुजारा कर रहे हैं।

जब बी0एच0यू0 में डॉक्टर साहब ने इलाज में एक लाख रुपये के खर्च की बात कही तो सुनकर बेचैनी और घबराहट महसूस होने लगी थी कि एक लाख रुपया कहाँ से आयेगा। इलाज नहीं होगा। हम इसी तरह कब तक रहेंगे। हम सोच रहे थे कि लोगों के सहयोग से कुछ पैसों का इन्तजाम हो जाए, हम ठीक हो जाएं तो फिर से काम-धंधा करके अच्छी जिंदगी जीयेगें। लेकिन अब जिन्दगी जीना दुश्‍वार लग रहा हैं। इलाज के लिए भी अकेले कहीं नहीं जा पाते। परिवार का कोई सदस्य मदद नहीं करता। किसी दोस्त या पड़ोसी के सहयोग से अस्पताल जाते हैं नही तो मजबूरन इलाज नहीं हो पाता।

आप लोग से इतना खुल कर अपने दर्द को बताया। इससे हमको बहुत राहत महसूस हो रही है। इसके पहले जो भी लोग मुझसे पुछते थे कि क्या हाल है अब्‍दुर रहमान? तब बहुत गुस्सा आ जाता था। आप लोगों ने मुझे 10 मिनट का ध्यान-योग करा कर मेरे थकावट और दर्द को और कम कर दिया। हम अब रोज यह योगा करेंगे। हम यह चाहते हैं कि इस कहानी को कोर्ट (कानून), अखबार, पत्रिका में प्रकाशित किया जाए। जिससे लोगों को पता चले कि किस तरह एक सीधा-साधा बुनकर अपाहिज हो गया। लोग जानें कि इसके पीछे कौन लोग हैं और फिर लोग उन्‍हें बददुआ दें।

रेखा और आनंद प्रकाश के साथ बातचीत पर आधारित

डॉ0 लेनिन रघुवंशी 'मानवाधिकार जन निगरानी समिति' के महासचिव हैं और वंचितों के अधिकारों पर इनके कामों के लिये इन्‍हें 'वाइमर ह्युमन राइट्स अवॉर्ड', जर्मनी एवं 'ग्वांजू ह्युमन राइट्स अवॉर्ड', दक्षिण कोरिया से नवाज़ा गया है. लेनिन सरोकार के लिए मानवाधिकार रिपोर्टिंग करेंगे, ऐसा उन्‍होंने वायदा किया है. उनसे पर संपर्क साधा जा सकता है.

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" हिन्‍दु-मुस्लिम विवाद ने हमें अपाहिज बना दिया : अब्‍दुर रहमान " को 1 प्रतिक्रिया

  1. is lekh ko padhkar bahut dukh hua,bahut takleef hui,lekin haqeeqat ye hai ki abdur rahman jaise saikdon logon ki aisi hi kahani hai jo ki saampradaayik hinsa ka shiakar hue,unhone kam-o-besh har dange me police ke inhi zulm-o-sitam ko saha hai.tareekh gawah hai is baat ki hindustan jab angrezon ke zer-e- iqtidaar mein tha,tab bhi shayad communalism ko lekar itne zulm–sitam nahi hue honge, [haalaanki is baat se bhi inkar nahi kar sakte ki ye beej bhi unhi ka boya hua hai]lekin azadi ke baad ab tak jitne bhi violence hue usmein ek khas community ko hi target kiya gaya.yahan par vistaar se batane ki zarurat nahi hai bahut saare udhaaran bhare pade hain.lekin media ne aur sarkar is sachchai ko aam logon se dur rakhne mein hamesha bahut ahm role ada kiya hai.kuchh scholors ko chhod kar is baat ki sachchai koi nahi samne laya.raha sawal qanoon aur insaaf ka jaise ki abdur rahman saahab ko is baat ki ummeed hai ki shayad sarkar kabhi un par nazr-e- karm kare,unko insaaf mile to shayad aisa kabhi mumkin nahi hoga kyonki abhi recently maalegaon bum dhamakon ke baare mein jo baat samne aayi hai,hamare prashaasan aur hamare qanoon ko use suchh manne mein zahmat ho rahi hai.begunahi saabit hone ke baawajood bhi unhe ab tak riha nahi kiya gaya hum is baat se samjh sakte hain ki ek maasoom insan ki yeh ummeed dil ko kitna hila dene wali hai.rahman sb.ko aam logon se imdad mil sakti hai,unki ye aawaaz jahan tak jayegi,log unka pura sahyog denge lekin sarkar se ye ummeed bekar hain. sarokar ne jis himmat jis saahas ke sath aise logon ko dhooda hai aur unhe apne lekhon mein jagah di hai,unke is saahas aur is jazbe ko bahut bahut badhai.mai manti hu ki is tarah ki sachchai ko log padhna chahte hain,wo media mein iske liye bhi jagah dekhna chahte hain.mai ummeed karti hu ki aise hi lekh aage bhi padne ko milte rahenge.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

गाड़ी की रौशनी देख कर हम छुप जाते थे : रामदयाल

डॉ. लेनिन रघुवंशी पूर्वी उत्तरप्रदेश में ग़रीब और कमज़ोर लोगों के साथ होने वाले तरह-तरह के ज़ोर-जुल्‍म की कहानियां सरोकार को भेज रहे हैं. पेश है उस श्रृंखला की चौथी किस्‍त. इस बार रामदयाल नामक एक बंधुआ मज़दूर की दास्‍तान उन्‍हीं की जुबानी  :

मेरा नाम रामदयाल, उम्र-27 वर्ष, पुत्र-स्व. लोचन है। मैं ग्राम-सराय, तहसील-पिण्डरा, थाना-फूलपुर, जिला-वाराणसी (उत्तर प्रदेश) का निवासी हूँ। गाँव में हमारे बिरादरी के लगभग 60 घर हैं।

हमारी शादी 11 मार्च, 1999 में सुनीता से हुई. मेरे तीन बच्चे : दो लड़के, पुजारी, उम्र 10 वर्ष (प्राथमिक विद्यालय-देवराई में कक्षा चार में पढ़ता है) तथा विफाई, उम्र 6 वर्ष (कक्षा दो) और एक लड़की रेशम 2 साल की है।

वर्तमान में राजा भट्टा, ग्राम-उंदी से बंधुआ मजूरी से छुड़ाये जाने के बाद खेत-मजदूरी करके परिवार का भरण-पोषण कर रहा हूँ। कभी-कभी ट्रैक्टर या मिट्टी काटने की मजदूरी भी कर लेता हूँ। एक दिन में 50  रुपये मजदूरी मिलती है। जिसमें सुबह 6 बजे से दोपहरर बजे तक काम करना होता है। कभी-कभी पूरा दिन का काम मिल जाता है तो 100 रुपये की मजदूरी हो जाती है। आये दिन बेकार बैठना भी पड़ता है. दो-चार दिन तक कोई काम नहीं मिलता। किसी प्रकार गुज़र-बसर हो रहा है। मैं दाएं पैर से विक्‍लांग हूँ. इसलिए मैं बोझा नहीं उठा सकता लेकिन अन्‍य बहुत तरह के काम कर सकता हूं। मैंने साड़ी बिनने का काम भी किया है, लेकिन बिनकारी की हालात गिरने के बाद खेत-मजदूर का काम करना पड़ा।

एक दिन मेरे रिश्‍तेदार आये और राजा भट्ठा पर काम करने को कहा। बोला कि वहां का मालिक अच्छा है, ईमानदारी से मजदूरी देगा। हम पांच जोड़ी यानि दस लोग अपने बच्चों के साथ वहां काम करने गये। वहां हम लोग विश्‍वास पर काम करने गये थे। तीन महीने तक सब ठीक-ठाक रहा। एक दिन अचानक भोला की लड़की संतरा (उम्र-5 वर्ष) की तबियत खराब हो गयी। भोला मालिक बब्लू सिंह से ईलाज के लिए पैसा मांगा। मालिक ने बोला, 'पैसा नहीं है, चल काम कर और उठ कर मारने लगा। जिससे अभी भी उसके कान से खून व मवाद आता है। उस समय भट्ठा मालिक शराब पिया हुआ था और दो-चार लोग उसके साथ बैठे थे।

भोला के साथ हुई घटना के बाद कुछ सोचकर हम मालिक के पास गये और बोले, ''मालिक तीन दिन से बच्ची को बुखार है, कुछ पैसा दे दीजिए।'' यह सुनकर हमें भी गाली-गलौज करके भगा दिया। हम डर से अपने निवास स्थान पर आ गये। उस समय हमें बहुत गुस्सा भी आ रहा था, लेकिन हम मजबूर थे। वहां से हम लोग भाग भी नहीं सकते थे, क्योंकि हम लोगों के लिए रखवार (निगरानी करने वाला) लगा रखा था। उन लोगों से बोला गया था कि ये लोग भागे नहीं, देखते रहना। सप्ताह भर की खुराकी मिलने के बाद लगभग 15 दिन तक हम लोगों ने वहां काम किया। इस बीच मालिक रोज़ आकर धमकाता था। कहता था, ''कहीं भागे तो भट्ठा में झोंक देंगे।'' औरतों को भद्दी-भद्दी गालियां देता था और उठाकर ले जाने की बात करता था। यह सब देख-सुनकर हमारी तकलीफ़ और ज्यादा बढ़ गयी थी। हम सोच रहे थे कि किसी तरह मौका का तलाश कर अपने गांव भाग जाए।

जब गाली-गलौच, मार-पीट का अत्याचार बहुत बढ़ गया, तब हम लोग एक दिन 3 बजे सुबह मिट्टी पाथने के बहाने साथ-साथ भाग गये। पहरेदार लोग निश्चिंत थे कि अब हम लोग नहीं भागेंगे। खेते-खेते पैदल चल कर भट्ठा से उत्तर दिशा लगभग 8 किलोमीटर दूर आयर बाजार के आगे सिंधौरा तक पत्नी व बच्चों के साथ आये। भागते समय डर भी लग रहा था कि कोई हम लोगों को पकड़ न ले। फिर भी हम लोग भगवान के सहारे भाग रहे थे। आज भी उस भट्ठे की याद आने पर शरीर के रोएं खड़े हो जाते हैं। हमारी बिरादरी में किसी के साथ ऐसा न हो।

पिण्डरा आने पर एक नदी (नंद नाला) के किनारे दो-चार पेड़ है, उसी की छांव में पूरी दोपहर हमलोग छिपे रहे। वह महीना इसी साल का अप्रैल था, तारीख याद नही आ रही है। जब शाम में अंधेरा छाने लगा तब हम लोग वहां से पूरब सरैयां गांव के बगल में रतनपुर गांव के पोखरा के पास आये। उस समय रात के लगभग 9 बजे का समय हो रहा था। गाड़ी की रोशनी देखते ही हम लोग भागने लगते थे, क्योंकि पूरे इलाके में हल्ला हो गया था कि मालिक भागने वाले मजदूरों को खोज रहा है। मालिक कपड़ा बदल-बदलकर तथा हेलमेट लगाकर हम लोगों के बारे में पूछताछ कर रहा था।

दो दिन-दो रात हम लोग पोखरा के किनारे बिताए। खेत में चलते-चलते बच्चों के पांव फुल गये थे। खाने के लिए कुछ नहीं था, केवल पानी पीकर या कुछ हल्का मिठा खाकर हमने गुजारा किया। पीने के लिए पोखरा का पानी ही था। वहीं ताल पर छुपे-छुपे एस ओ और एस डी एम साहब के फोन नम्बर की जानकारी लेकर फोन किया। लेकिन कोई सहायता के लिए नहीं आया। तब हमने 'मानवाधिकार जन निगरानी समिति' के मंगला भैया को फोन लगाया। उन्होंने हम लोगों को ढ़ाढस बंधाया और बोला कि आपलोग तहसील दिवस में यहां आ जाओ, उस दिन मंगलवार था। हम बोले, ''हम नही आ पायेंगे, डर है कि कहीं मालिक देख ले और पकड़कर ले जाए, मार-पीट करे।'' तब उन्होंने कहा-''वही रहो, हम आते हैं।'' वे आये और तहसील पर हम सारे लोगों ने साहब को आवेदन दिया।

आवेदन देते समय मालिक के रिश्‍तेदार (कनकपुर के लोग) तथा अन्य लोग हमें डराने-धमकाने लगे, लेकिन हम लोगों ने हिम्मत जुटाकर सभी जगह आवेदन दिया। फिर रोड से नहीं जाकर ताले-ताले पकड़कर घर गये। घर पहुँचने के बाद भी हम लोग डरे हुये थे और दो-तीन लोग पहरेदारी कर रहे थे कि कही से कोई आ न धमके।

उसके बाद भी महीना भर मलिक हमलोगों को खोजते रहा। जब वह बस्ती की ओर गाड़ी से आता था, हम लोग भाग जाते थे। उसके चले जाने के बाद ही फिर बस्ती में आते थे। हम लोगों में से दो आदमी यही देखने में लगे रहते थे कि मालिक का गाड़ी आ रही है कि नहीं। अगर कभी बात निकलती है या सोचने लगते हैं तब सर में दर्द होने लगता है और चक्कर भी आने लगता है। सुबह उठने के साथ ही पुरी बात दिमाग़ में घुमने लगता है। मालिक के द्वारा कही बातें या उसे देखते ही हमारा शरीर सुन्न हो जाता है। आज भी आपसे बात करते हुए वैसा ही लग रहा है।

उस एक महीने में जीवन गुजाराना बहुत तकलीफदेह था। काम करने के लिए दूर जाना पड़ता था और उसी मजदूरी से कई दिन गुजारा करना पड़ता था। हम लोगों की जिंदगी क्या ऐसी ही रहेगी, हम लोगों को सुनने वाला कोई नहीं है? हम लोग जिलाधिकारी (वाराणसी) के बंगले पर गये। आवेदन देने के बाद भी मालिक हम लोगों को ढ़ूंढ रहा था। उसके बाद एक दिन तहसील दिवस पर हम लोगों की औरतें जब जिलाधिकारी को आवेदन देने जा रही थी, तभी वही पर बैठा एस ओ रोककर पूछा, ''तुम लोग इतनी भीड़ में कहाँ जा रहे हो'' और आवेदन ले लिया। आवेदन लेने के बाद एक अलग कमरे में हम सभी को बुलाया और पूछताछ किया। पूरी मामला जानने और भट्ठा का पता लेने के बाद बोला कि तुम लोग घर जाओ, हम उसको पकड़ने जा रहे है। हम लोग भी घर चले आए। तब से मालिक हमलोगों को ढूढ़ना कम कर दिया। उस दौरान हमें रात में नींद नहीं आती थी, नींद आने पर सपना आता था कि मालिक हथियार लेकर दौड़ा रहा है हम भागने की कोशिश कर रहे हैं, लेकिन भाग नहीं पा रहे है। कई लोग को हदस के मारे बुखार आ गया था।

आवेदन देने के चार दिन बाद रात में लगभग 8 बजे एक मोटर साइकिल पर दो पुलिस वाले आये, उन लोगों ने औरतों से बात की और कहा, ''तुम लोगों ने गलत बयान दिया है, सुलह कर लो, नहीं तो तुम साले लोग फँस जाओगे और पिटाओगे सो अलग।'' हम लोग तो गाड़ी की रोशनी देख कर ही भाग गये थे। जब हम वापस बस्ती में आये तब महिलाओं ने सारी बात बतायी।

लेकिन यहां आने पर अभी पता चला कि संस्था के द्वारा लिखा-पढ़ी करने पर हम लोगों का मामला सुप्रीम कोर्ट में चला गया है। संस्‍था वालों ने हमें बताया है कि सुप्रीम कोर्ट के पीआइएल सेल की ओर से इस मसले पर जवाब तलब के लिए कोई नोटिस आयी है. अब हमें संतोष हुआ है और लग रहा है कि इंसाफ होगा। आज हमें भी बड़ा होने का एहसास हो रहा है। भट्ठा मालिक बोलता था कि जिलाधिकारी और बड़े-बड़े अफसर मेरे रिश्‍तेदार हैं, हमारा कोई कुछ नही बिगाड़ सकता है।

अब अच्छा लग रहा है। हम लोग भी उसको जवाब दे सकते हैं। उस पर मुकदमा दायर हो जाए तो और खुशी की बात होगी। जल्द से जल्द सुनवाई हो। हम लोग भी आजाद हो जाएं और कही काम-धंधा करें। कानूनी कार्यवाही तो चलते ही रहेगी। अपनी पूरी बात कहने पर अच्छा लग रहा है, एक बोझ हमारे ऊपर से हट गया। हम बहुत खुश हैं कि सुप्रीम कोर्ट में मामला चला गया है। हम भूखे पेट यहां आये थे और उसे भी लग रहा था, लेकिन अब अपनी खुशी संभाले नहीं संभल रही है। आपके द्वारा कहानी सुनने पर लगा था कि यह हमारी कहानी है, बहुत अच्छा लग रहा था। ध्यान योग करके बहुत आनन्द आया। अब हम लोग कही भी आ-जा सकते हैं।

उपेन्द्र कुमार के साथ बातचीत पर आधारित

डॉ0 लेनिन रघुवंशी 'मानवाधिकार जन निगरानी समिति' के महासचिव हैं और वंचितों के अधिकारों पर इनके कामों के लिये इन्‍हें 'वाइमर ह्युमन राइट्स अवॉर्ड', जर्मनी एवं 'ग्वांजू ह्युमन राइट्स अवॉर्ड', दक्षिण कोरिया से नवाज़ा गया है. लेनिन सरोकार के लिए मानवाधिकार रिपोर्टिंग करेंगे, ऐसा उन्‍होंने वायदा किया है. उनसे पर संपर्क साधा जा सकता है.

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" गाड़ी की रौशनी देख कर हम छुप जाते थे : रामदयाल " को 2 प्रतिक्रियाएँ

  1. anjule says:

    ये दर्द ,दर और हैवानियत की ये इन्तेहा है….इस यूग में भी बधुवा मजदूरी..किसने कहा की ये प्रजातंत्र है..

  2. Rajesh Kumar says:

    लोकतंत्र का एक घिनोना रूप…. न जाने रामदयाल जेसे कितने लोग इस तरह की दहसत भरी जिंदगी जी रहे होगे. कौन कहता है कि इंडिया में प्रजातंत्र है … मै तो कम से कम नहीं कह सकता …

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Imparting Elementary Education to Children at Full Time Centre of Baghwanala, Varanasi, supported by Sir Dorabji Tata Trust: An Evaluation Report

"Though hundreds of thousands had done their very best to disfigure the small piece of land on which they were crowded together, by paying the ground with stones, scraping away every vestige of vegetation, cutting down the trees, turning away birds and beasts, and filling the air with the smoke of naphtha and coal, still spring was spring, even in the town."

"The sun shone warm, the air was balmy; everywhere, where it did not get scraped away, the grass revived and sprang up between the paving-stones as well as on the narrow strips of lawn on the boulevards. The birches, the poplars, and the wild cherry unfolded their gummy and fragrant leaves, the limes were expanding their opening buds; crows, sparrows, and pigeons, filled with the joy of spring, were getting their nests ready; the flies were buzzing along the walls, warmed by the sunshine. All were glad, the plants, the birds, the insects, and the children. But men, grown-up men and women, did not leave off cheating and tormenting themselves and each other. It was not this spring morning men thought sacred and worthy of consideration not the beauty of God`s world, given for a joy to all creatures, this beauty which inclines the heart to peace, to harmony, and to love, but only their own devices for enslaving one another".

The above paragraph from the novel 'Resurrection' by Leo Tolstoy reminds me the grim situation faced by the ill-fated children of Baghwanala area. The Full Time Center at Baghwanala is situated on the bank of Varuna River. Varuna River has converted into sewage due to pollution and it goes down to river Ganges which is just few Kilometers away from the Center. Most of the families, whose children attend the Center, belong to the most disadvantaged dalit groups and these families are socially assigned to do the works that are considered ritually unclean and socially degrading.

So called modern development in India and in the city of Varanasi has not only done nothing to make the lives of these weaker sections of the society better but has further aggravated their sufferings by marginalizing them. This mode of modern development has given more opportunity for powerful people to make more money and the rush for making more and more money had done the misdeeds in terms of marginalization, deprivation, exploitation and abuse of essential rights like food, clothes, house and education of these communities and has paved the way their enslavement last longing.

These poor children like colorful flowers, with their lovely and innocent smiles seem to challenge our cunningness and to put to shame our very existence against all boastings of national development. These poor children, though ignorant of their cruel surroundings and devils deeds to enslave one another, are dreaming amidst all odds to become a teacher like their own teachers at the Centre or if they could get a respectable job for themselves, when they are grown up.


Jyoti, a girl child is a student of class 5 at the Centre. She has two sisters and two brothers. Jyoti belongs to a Scheduled caste family. Her mother Parvati works as maid servant in three houses. She washes pots, clothes, and work as a sweeper in those houses every day in the morning and evening. She earns Rs. 300 from each house for a month and thus she earns total Rs. 900 in a month. Jyoti's father is rickshaw puller and earns Rs 2000 for a month at an average. So for six persons in the family of Jyoti, total earning is almost Rs. 3000. So Jyotis's parents can spent less than Rs. 20 for each member of the family for a day. But Jyoti family is deprived of Below Poverty Line (BPL) ration card so that they could be able to get benefit PDS system and could buy food grains at subsidized rate. Her family holds a Yellow ration card that belongs to a family, who is considered to be Above Poverty Line (APL). Whenever any member of Jyoti's family get sick they visit a private doctor as there is no government facility regarding health care is available in her vicinity.

Even then Jyoti is an always smiling girl and has a peculiar shining in her eyes and has a dream to become a teacher, like her own teacher at the Centre. I asked Jyoti's mother Parvati if she had thought to continue her education. She replied that she would do her best to continue Jyoti's schooling. But she was not sure if she could support her daughter for her schooling up to the high school. Though, Jyoti had earlier told me that her parents asked her not to go to school, as they could see no purpose of sending her school. She also had told me that her parents wanted her to learn sewing. Jyoti is also eagar to learn sewing.

Jyoti class starts at 10 am. When I met with her at the Centre in her class and asked her if she had come to school after taking her breakfast at her home. She told that she had not taken her breakfast at home. Further she told that she would go to home at about 2 pm at the time of recess at the Centre and then she would take her lunch. She also told me that as her mother worked in other houses so she was solely responsible to cook food for her family everyday and to wash the cooking pots and to do other chores at home.

Sanno bano

Sanno bano is a student of class 5 at the Centre. She belong to Muslim community. She has 4 brothers and 6 sisters. Her father is literate and has studied up to eighth class. Her mother is not literate and can not read and write. Sanno's three younger brothers are also studying at the Centre. Sanno's father's name is Sirajuddin and her mother's name is Lalunnisha. Sanno's father works as a tailor at other's shop. Her two elder brothers also do the work of tailoring. Sanno's father and two elder brothers earn almost Rs. 4000 in a month.

Sanno's family lives in Baghwanala almost 500 meters away in the east from the Centre on the bank of Varuna River. I visited her home along with Sanno and her two other classmates at the Centre. There is regular path to go to her house. They go their home passing through a open land which is always full with human wastes and it is not easy for an outsider to pass through that open land without keeping his finger on his nose. The smell while passing through this open land is so stinky that it is virtually hard to bear the bad smell and one can not escape the feeling of vomiting without closing his nose.

But for Sanno and her other two classmates there was nothing unusual to pass through the open land with full of human wastes and with acutely stinky smell. After passing through the open land I reached to the Sanno's house and I found that more than a dozen of men were shouting and abusing to each other as they were gambling with playing cards few meters away from Sanno's house. I asked Sanno if those men were gambling regularly there. She told me that it was every day business of those men. She also told me that in the area one could find other places with other groups gambling in the area.

At Sanno's home I met with her father, mother and brothers and talked with them about their economic conditions and their interest in education of her children. Apparently I found that they were not opposed to educate their children but they also expressed concern about their poverty that is biggest obstruction to continue the study of their children. As one can see that there is family of 12 members is surviving on a monthly income of Rs. 4000. It means that Sanno's parents can not spent more than Rs. 20 on each member for a day. Sanno's weight is quite disproportionate in respect of her age and length. She is a tall and beautiful girl and wants to do M.A.

Her mother told me that she had a yellow ration card which is delivered for a family belonging to Above Poverty Line (APL). Though Sanno's parents have no land to cultivate or there are no other means to raise their living standard but even then they are deprived of the welfare schemes for the poor and it has been aggravating their miseries and depriving their children of their fundamental right of education. 





Jeba is student of class 5 at the Centre and she belongs to a Muslim family living in Baghwanala area. Her home lies 700 meters away in the west from the Centre. Her parents live in a rented room. Jeba has four brothers and a younger sister. Jeba's two elder brothers do not go to school and her two younger brothers are too young to go to school.

Jeba wants to study up to B.A. and want to become a teacher like her own madam who is teaching her at the Centre. I found her wearing dirty clothes as it was not washed for many weeks. But she always wears very beautiful and shining smiles on her face as seemly unknown to her parent's abject poverty. She is enthusiastic girl for her study. She was so eager to take me her house to meet to her parents.   

I visited her home in the afternoon. At her home I found her mother talking with a person about her case regarding tenancy. I came to know that Jeba's parents had been living in that one room house for last many years but the land owner wanted them to forcefully dispossess from the house and thus she was compelled to fight the case in the Court to retain her tenancy. She told me that her lawyer used to take money from her to deposit rent in the Court but after she two years she had received a notice from the Court that she should deposit her rent which was due for two years. There is no facility of electricity and water in the Jeba's rented house.

Her father and mother both prepare shoes and sandals for a manufacturer. They jointly earn almost Rs 3000 for a month and it hardly enough to meet the expenses for her family. Jeba's mother told me that she had a yellow ration card which is delivered for a family belonging to Above Poverty Line (APL) category. She requested me if I could do something to get for her a BPL ration cards so that she could be able to purchase food grains at subsidized rate.


Kanchan also belongs to a scheduled caste family and lives in Baghwanal area with their parents and she is student of class 4 at the Centre. Her father Mr. Rajesh Sonkar sells green vegetables on a trolley and could hardly earn Rs. 2000 for a whole month. Kanchan has two brothers and a sister. Her elder brother studies in class 5 at the Center and a younger sister also attend the Center. I visited the Center two times within a week but for both times Kanchan elder brother was absent. I asked her why her brother was not attending the school. She told me that he had gone to market to buy vegetables for sale.  Her elder brother does not go to the school regularly as he goes with his father to help them in his work. Kanchan's father and mother are illiterate but they want to educate their children but they have no idea how far they can help to educate them.

Kancha parents also hold yellow card which is for Above Poverty Line (APL) families. Though Kanchan's parents are very poor but they do not have BPL ration card so that they could buy food grains at cheap rate. Kanchan's parents are also deprived of health facilities. In case of health problem they are bound to visit private doctors, who spare no time to exploit them further.


Manish is student of class 5 at the Center. He is a relatively bright student in his class. Manish belongs to a backward class family. Manish has three brother and two sisters. His two elder brothers work at a shop as painters and earn a little money and they bear the responsibility to feed their other members of the family. Manish's father used to work as a skilled laborer in building construction but he fell from a height at about 5-6 years ago. He survived but has not able to work anymore. Her mother also died last year in the month of February after some minor illness. Due to lack of money she could have not received proper medical treatment within time.

I asked Manish if he was interested in his study. He replied " I want to study but there is a little chance that my brother would support me for further study". He feels disappointment that owing to poverty he could not continue his study after passing the exam of fifth class at the Center.

It is widely accepted by the international community that human rights are inalienable and interdependent.  In the case of these ill fated poor children of Baghwanal area, which are facing squarely deprivation and violation of their right to education is no exception of it. They live in unimaginable unhealthy and unhygienic conditions, they have no means of nutritious food even at its minimum standard and they have extremely hard and tough life to continue their study as to get even least favorable or supportive environment to develop their personality as a human being.

The much trumpeted welfare schemes for the poor have no more effect than the hollow slogans for these poor children and their families. The parents of these poor children are deprived of food grains at subsidized rate under the scheme of Public Distribution System, these families have no viable health facilities on the part of the state and in this area there is no government school so that these poor children could be provided with facilities of elementary education for free of cost. Almost all children attending the Centre have disproportionate weight of their body against their age.

Though most of the children attending the Centre want to attend their classes regularly, to play with their other classmates and to chat with them but it is not possible for them as they are required by their parents to help them in their work to earn bread for themselves. In different seasons these children are employed by their parents in different works. During my visit to the Centre, I learnt that 30 to 40 per cent children do not attend the school regularly because of their involvement in other works at home.

It is extremely relevant to mention that Sir Dorabji Tata Trust has contributed greatly to the children of the area by making it possible for them to access their right to education free of cost. It is also relevant to mention that the commitment of the local human rights organization like PVCHR has been successful to bring about a big difference in terms of awareness of community towards right to education of their children.  The teachers/activists working at the Center do hard work to inspire and convince the guardians and parents of these poor children to send them school regularly. These teachers go everyday in the area to take the children to the Center. These activists are not only fully aware of their duty but to the fact that right to education of poor children in the area is not an isolated issue. It is very much related to the other issues like poverty, social stigma, illiteracy, ignorance etc and they are trying hard to do whatever they can do in such limited resources.    








By:Shiv Prasad Singh(Adv.)LLM(Human Rights)

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

पुलिस ने हमें पेशाब पिलाया : रामजी गुप्‍ता


डॉ. लेनिन रघुवंशी पूर्वी उत्तरप्रदेश में ग़रीब और कमज़ोर लोगों पर पुलिसिया उत्‍पीड़न की कहानियां सरोकार को भेज रहे हैं. पेश है उस श्रृंखला की तीसरी कड़ी. इस बार पेश है एक वाहन चालक रामजी गुप्‍ता और उनके परिवार के साथ हुए भयानक पुलिस उत्‍पीड़न की दास्‍तान उन्‍हीं की जुबानी  :

मेरा नाम रामजी गुप्ता, उम्र-50 वर्ष है। पिता जी का नाम स्व. राम प्रसाद गुप्ता है और मैं सिपाह, मकान नं. 252, पोस्ट-सदर, थाना-कोतवाली, जिला-जौनपुर (उत्तर प्रदेश) का रहने वाला हूं। मेरे परिवार में आठ सदस्य हैं। मैं, मेरी पत्नी गायत्री देवी (46 वर्ष), चार बेटे विनोद कुमार (28 वर्ष), मनीष कुमार (26 वर्ष), चंदन कुमार (24 वर्ष), आशीष (21 वर्ष), बहू सीमा देवी (25 वर्ष) और एक पोता आदित्य कुमार (2 वर्ष) है।

मैं पेशे से ड्राइवर हूं, लेकिन अब शुगर की बीमारी के कारण कभी-कभी ही ड्राइवरी का कार्य करता हूं। मेरा बड़ा लड़का विनोद भी गाड़ी चलाता है। वह जौनपुर के ख्वाजा दोस्त के रहने वाले महेन्द्र सेठ का सेंट्रो कार चलाता था। 23 जनवरी को रात्रि 12.30 बजे पिण्डरा बाजार से लगभग 1 कि.मी. आगे एक गाड़ी ने ओवरटेक करके उसकी गाड़ी को रोका और चार बदमाश असलहा से लैस उतरे और सेठ के लड़के अजय सेठ व मेरे बेटे के साथ मार-पीट किये और लूट-पाट किये। मेरे लड़के को अपने साथ जबरन उठा भी ले गये। इस बात की सूचना मेरे मोबाइल नं0-9792731268 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              0-9792731268      end_of_the_skype_highlighting पर सुबह लगभग 4 बजे महेन्द्र सेठ के फोन के द्वारा मिला. यह सुनकर मैं डर गया और मन में डरावने विचार आने लगे कि कहीं मेरे बेटे को बदमाश मार कर फेंक न दें! इसी आशं से मैंने सेठ जी को फोन किया और अजय सेठ के बारे में पूछा कि, ''वो कहां हैं?'' सेठ जी ने कहा, 'हम लोग थाने पर हैं और तुम्हारे बेटे की तलाश की जा रही है, अगर वह घर पहुंचे तो मुझे सूचना देना।' यह सुनकर पूरा परिवार चिंतित हो गया. बहू और मेरी पत्नी लगातार रो रही थी, जिसे देखकर मेरा पोता भी जोर-जोर से रोने लगा।

किसी तरह हम लोग सुबह होने का इंतजार करने लगे। इसी बीच करीब 5:30 बजे सुबह कोई दरवाजा खटखटाया। मेरा दूसरा लड़का जाकर पूछा और दरवाजा खोला. विनोद बाहर खड़ा था। वह जैसे ही घर पहुंचा, कुछ ही देर बाद फुलपुर थाना की पुलिस आ धमकी और यह कहकर उसे ले गयी कि पूछताछ करनी है। उसी दिन से उसे तरह-तरह की यातना दी गयी। उसकी दशा देखकर पूरा परिवार विक्षिप्त-सा हो गया है। पुलिस द्वारा उठा ले जाने के बाद मैं दौड़े-दौड़े थाने गया. वहां विनोद दिखाई नही दिया था.  हमने पुलिस वालों से पूछा भी, लेकिन उन लोगों ने डांटकर भगा दिया। यह सब देख- सोच कर दिमाग़ पागल-सा हो रहा था कि आखिर मेरे बेटे को वे लोग कहां ले गये. कहीं मार तो नहीं देंगे, किसी मुकदमे में फंसाकर पूरी जिंदगी बर्बाद न कर दें!

फिर मैंने राष्ट्रीय मानवाधिकार आयोग, नई दिल्ली को फैक्स किया, स्थानीय पुलिस अधिकारियों को तार, इत्यादि भी किया. कई बार मैं थाने पर गया, लेकिन मुझे मेरे लड़के से मिलने नहीं दिया गया। मुझे हर बार वे डांटकर थाने से बाहर भगा देते थे। इसी तरह दौड़-धूप करते-करते मेरा शरीर थक-हार कर टूट गया। दिनांक 29 जनवरी, 2010 को शाम करीब 4 बजे फूलपुर (वाराणसी) एस.एच.ओ. का फोन आया, उन्होंने कहा ''आकर अपने लड़के को ले जाओ।'' वहां हम दोनों से हस्ताक्षर करवाया गया। उन्होंने किसी उच्चाधिकारी से बात की और बोला, 'अभी दो दिन विनोद को और रखेंगे, तीन मुजरिम पकड़े गये हैं, उनकी शिनाख्त करवानी है।' लेकिन किसी भी मुजरिम का शिनाख्त नहीं करवायी गयी। इस बीच उसे कठोर यातना दी गयी. और 1 फरवरी को नौ दिन बाद छोड़ा गया. पुलिस वाले बोले, ''बुलाने पर आना होगा।''

जब मेरे लड़के को मेरे हवाले किया तो उसकी हालत देखकर मैं रो पड़ा। घर लाकर इलाज शुरू करवाया. उसे कुछ राहत मिली और हमें थोड़ी शांति महसूस हुई। इसके बाद फिर 12 फरवरी की रात 12 बजे एस.ओ.जी. की पुलिस हमारे घर आयी और जोर-जोर से दरवाजा पीटना शुरू किया। मेरा छोटा लड़का (मनीष) दरवाजे के पास जाकर पूछा कि कौन है। उन लोगो ने गाली देते हुए कहा, ''खोल दरवाजा, हम पुलिस वाले हैं।'' पूरा परिवार जग गया। हम सोचने लगे कि फिर से कुछ न कुछ करेंगे। मनीष ने दरवाजा खोला, करीब आधा दर्जन लोग घुस कर मारना-पीटना करने लगे। मेरी पत्नी बेहोश होकर गिर गयी। उस समय मुझे लगा कि मेरा हार्ट फेल हो जायेगा। मेरी पत्नी जब होश में आयी, तब उसको पुलिस वालों ने बूट से मारा और उसकी इज्जत पर हाथ डालना चाहा. लेकिन कुछ पुलिस वालों ने ऐसा करने से उन्हें मना किया। लेकिन वे लगातार मुंह से अश्लील बातें बक रहे थे। मेरी बहू को रखैल बनाकर नंगा नचवाने की बात तक कही. यह सब देख-सुन कर मुझे बहुत क्रोध आ रहा था कि इन सबके साथ क्या कर बैठूं. लेकिन मजबूर था. मेरे हाथ बार-बार कांप रहे थे, लग रहा कि हाथ छोड़ दें. लेकिन विवश होकर केवल हम गिड़गिड़ा रहे थे। घर का सारा सामान तितर-बितर कर दिया और पूरे परिवार सहित उठा ले गये। सिपाह पुलिस चैकी पर ले जाकर दुबारा सभी को मारना-पीटना शुरू कर दिया। जब ये लोग अपने साथ ले जा रहे थे, उस समय लगा कि पैंट में ही शौच हो जायेगा। मैं डरते-डरते उन लोगो से बोला भी. लेकिन उन्होंने कहा, ''चल साले, मैं तुझे कराता हूं।'' सिपाह पुलिस चैकी पर हाथ-डंडा से मारना शुरू किया. औरतों को जूता से मारा व साड़ी तक खींचा. उसके बाद तीनो मोबाइलें जब्त कर ली, जिनका नं0 9792731261 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              0 9792731261      end_of_the_skype_highlighting (मेरा), 9305754951 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              9305754951      end_of_the_skype_highlighting (मनीष) तथा 9336280429 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              9336280429      end_of_the_skype_highlighting (चंदन) है।

मेरी पत्नी एवं तीन मासूम बच्चों को थाना कोतवाली (जौनपुर) में एक रात और एक दिन रखा. दूसरे दिन पत्नी को छोड़ दिया. लेकिन मेरे तीन मासूम बच्चों को मारते-पीटते पुलिस फूलपुर थाने ले गयी. जहां हमें और विनोद को लेकर आये थे। वहां बच्चों को दो दिन रखा गया, और जब इन दोनों का स्वास्थ्य बुरी तरह खराब होने लगा, तब छोड़ दिया गया। फिर मुझे व विनोद को अलग-अलग थाने में रखा गया था। हमें दो दिन चोलापुर में अकेले रखा गया। वहां हम विनोद के बारे में सोच रहे थे कि उसके साथ लोग क्या करे होंगे? हमें अलग क्यों रखा गया? यह सब सोचकर बेचैनी हो रही थी। दो दिन बाद विनोद और हमें सिंधौरा पुलिस चैकी तथा दो दिन फूलपुर थाने में रखा गया।

इतने दिनों में मेरी शारीरिक पीड़ा इतनी ज्यादा बढ़ गयी थी कि मन में आया आत्महत्या कर लूं, लेकिन यह सोचकर रुक गया कि मेरे बाद मेरे परिवार का क्या होगा? मेरे और मेरे परिवार के साथ जो अश्लील हरकतें पुलिस वालों ने की तथा जो यातना दीं, वह असहनीय रहा। दिनांक 13 फरवरी को पुलिस लाइन (वाराणसी) में मारा-पीटा गया. यहां तक कि जबरदस्ती मेरे मुंह में पेशाब पिलाया गया और मेरे लड़के विनोद को भी पेशाब पिलाया गया तथा कान में पेट्रोल डाला गया। जिसकी घृणास्पद पीड़ा बर्दाश्त नहीं हो पा रही थी।

अभी भी सोचकर घृणा से मन उल्टी जैसा होने लगता है, रोगटें खड़े हो जाते हैं। उसको याद करना नहीं चाहते हैं। यह सब सोचकर पागल हो जाता हूं कि जब इस बारे में लोग जानेंगे, तब लोग क्या सोचेंगे! 18 फरवरी तक वे लोग इधर-उधर नचाते रहे और इसी दिन रात में 8 बजे छोड़ा तथा कहा कि बाहर जाकर कोई कदम मत उठाना, नहीं तो किसी और मुकदमे में फंसा देंगे। वहां पर मैंने उनके हां में हां मिलाया, ''मैं कुछ भी नही करूंगा सर।'' लेकिन मुझे अपनी लड़ाई लड़नी है। मैने बाहर आकर अपनी लड़ाई लड़नी शुरू कर दी। मुझे न्याय व सुरक्षा चाहिए। परिवार सही सलामत रहे। मेरी रोजी-रोटी में कोई रुकावट पैदा न हो। इसके लिए मैं सरकार से गुहार लगाना चाहता हूं। छोड़ने के तीन-चार दिन बाद एस.ओ. फूलपुर का मेरे मोबाइल पर 11:30 बजे दिन में फोन आया.  बोले, ''विनोद को लेकर बाबतपुर चैराहे पर आ जाओ।'' जब हम फोन पर एस.ओ. साहब से बात कर रहे थे तब घर की महिलाएं बेचैन होकर रोने लगीं और बोली, ''फिर क्या हो गया, कहीं दुबारा बंद न कर दे!'' हम दोनों लगभग साढे चार बजे बाबतपुर पहुंचे. उन्होंने हमें जीप में बैठने को बोला और दोनो को लंका थाना (वाराणसी) लेकर आये। वहां पर सी.ओ. और एस.ओ.जी. वाले विनोद को गाली देते हुए कड़ी पूछताछ करने लगे। यह देखकर मैं घबरा गया कि कहीं फिर अंदर करके मारना-पीटना शुरू न कर दें। शरीर में सिहरन हो रही थी। अभी भी याद करके रोंगटे खड़े हो जाते हैं।

पूछताछ के बाद लंका से फूलपुर थाने लाये और ट्रक पकड़ा दिया। छोड़ने से पहले बोला, 'तुम दोनों घर छोड़कर कहीं मत जाना।' हमलोग कहीं कुछ कर नहीं रहे हैं. घर पर ही पड़े रहते हैं, जिससे रोजी-रोटी पर मुसीबत आ पड़ी है। जब हमलोग घर पहुंचे तब परिवार वालो में खुशी की लहर दौड़ गई और उन्‍होंने भगवान को शुक्रिया किया।

सबसे ज्यादा आंतरिक पीड़ा 24 जनवरी को हुई, जब सेठ एफ.आई.आर. कराकर बिना कुछ कहे मेरे बेटे को थाना में छोड़कर चले गये और 12 फरवरी को औरतों व बच्चों के साथ मार-पीट किया गया। उसके बाद 13 फरवरी को मुझे पेशाब पिलाया गया, वह घटना सर्वाधिक तनाव उत्पन्न करती है। जीवन से घृणा-सी होने लगी है। आज भी नींद आधी रात के बाद आती है, अगर बीच में टूट गयी को तो फिर दुबारा नहीं आती. सारी रात एकटक छत को घूरता रहता हूं। दिमाग़ में वही सब बातें आने लगती हैं. नींद नहीं आती। चिंता व डर अभी भी रहता है कि रात में फिर से कहीं कोई न आ जाये और उठा ले जाये।

दूसरी तरफ सेठ जी लोग धमकाते हैं, यहां तक कि एस.पी. के सामने डाक बंग्ला में जान से मारने की धमकी व उठा लेने की बात कहते हैं। जिससे डरता हूं कि कुछ अनहोनी न हो जाए। हमारे विचार में यह है कि मुझे जिस प्रकार से प्रताड़ित किया गया है, उसके एवज़ में मुआवजा मिले और मान-सम्मान पहले की तरह बनी रहे। सच्चाई सभी के सामने आये और दोषियों पर न्यायोचित कार्यवाही हो। मैं खुद चाहता हूं कि मामले की न्यायिक जांच सीबीसीआईडी एवं सीबीआई से करायी जाए।

आपके द्वारा कहानी सुनाते हुए पल-पल की याद आ रही थी और वही बेचैनी व घबराहट हो रही थी। लेकिन ध्यान-योग करने के बाद शरीर में हल्कापन और दिमाग़ में तनाव कम हुआ है। सब कुछ ताजा-ताजा नजर आ रहा है. लग रहा है कि अभी नींद से जागे हैं, सुबह जैसा लग रहा है. इस दस मिनट के योग से बहुत परिवर्तन महसूस कर रहा हूं मन शांत है। मुझे परिवार पर हुए अत्याचार के खिलाफ लड़ाई लड़नी है. मुझे न्याय मिले।

उपेन्द्र कुमार के साथ बातचीत पर आधारित.

विशेष सहयोग: बिपिनचन्‍द्र चतुर्वेदी

डॉ0 लेनिन रघुवंशी 'मानवाधिकार जन निगरानी समिति' के महासचिव हैं और वंचितों के अधिकारों पर इनके कामों के लिये इन्‍हें 'वाइमर ह्युमन राइट्स अवॉर्ड', जर्मनी एवं 'ग्वांजू ह्युमन राइट्स अवॉर्ड', दक्षिण कोरिया से नवाज़ा गया है. लेनिन सरोकार के लिए मानवाधिकार रिपोर्टिंग करेंगे, ऐसा उन्‍होंने वायदा किया है. उनसे पर संपर्क साधा जा सकता है.

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Monday, February 07, 2011

Fwd: Threat and abusing call

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: DIG Police ComplaintCell Lucknow <>
Date: Mon, Feb 7, 2011 at 4:30 PM
Subject: Fwd: Threat and abusing call
To:, DIG Varanasi <>,, IG Zone Police Varanasi <>,


          D.I.G./S.S.P. Varanasi

          The complaint Shruti Nagvanshi, PVCHR/JMN, Mobile:+91-9935599330,, E-mail To:, is being forwarded for enquiry and necessary action. If there is no legal hassle regarding this matter then kindly send brief reply to the complainant regarding action taken.


Addl.S.P. (P/G),

D.G.P. Hqrs, U.P. 


----- Original Message -----
From: UP Police Computer Cetre Lucknow <>
Date: Wednesday, February 2, 2011 10:17 am
Subject: Fwd: Threat and abusing call
To: DIG Police ComplaintCell Lucknow <>

> Sir
> The complaint from above email is being forwarded to your kind attention and response.

> ----- Original Message -----
> From: PVCHR ED <>
> Date: Wednesday, February 2, 2011 10:17 am
> Subject: Threat and abusing call
> Cc:,,

> Sir/Madam,


> Greeting from Varanasi.


> My name is Shruti Nagvanshi and residence of SA 4/2 A, Daulatpur, Varanasi,India.


> I am working for rights of marginalized on grass root and managing trustee of Peoples' Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR).


> I received the call from +91-7499245228 to my mobile number Number +91-9935599330 nearly at 7.01 PM.I was at Narendra computers, Ghausabad,Varanasi. 


> He offered the friendship first. I just avoided. He immediately started to abuse in very nasty manner. All his abuses are against the dignity of a woman. Then he cut the call. Again I called on his number and asked to him for reason of abuse. But he gain abused in very bad way. He knows my name also.


> I am suffering with psychological stress. Please do needful for rule of law.


> With regards,

> Shruti Nagvanshi


> Mobile:+91-9935599330
> Hatred does not cease by hatred, but only by love; this is the eternal rule.
> --The Buddha
> "We are what we think. With our thoughts we make our world." - Buddha
> This message contains information which may be confidential and privileged. Unless you are the addressee or authorised to receive for the addressee, you may not use, copy or disclose to anyone the message or any information contained in the message. If you have received the message in error, please advise the sender by reply e-mail to and delete the message. Thank you.

Sunday, February 06, 2011


Dr. Archana Kaushik, Assistant Professor, Department of Social Work, University of Delhi.
Ms. Shruti Nagvanshi, Managing trustee, PVCHR (Peoples' Vigilance Committee on Human Rights)
The present paper looks into the situational analysis of weavers of Banarasi saree, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. The life of weavers is characterized by abject poverty, chronic malnutrition, varied health hazards and even hunger deaths and suicides. In-put cost is unbearable for many and profit is taken by middlemen. Globalization has severely affected economically vulnerable small weavers pushing them below poverty line. State machinery is apathetic and whatever schemes and programmes exist, fail to do any good to weavers who are battling hard to keep this one of the finest legacies of Indian culture alive. Situation of women and children is worse. Women are engaged in mundane work of thread-cutting, zari-filling and the like and are paid merely Rs.10-15 per day for 12-16 hours of work. Children are denied schooling to speed up saree-production. Suggestive interventions are highlighted in the paper.
 Saree – a six yard long piece of cloth – signifies the elegance, charm, grace and beauty of Indian woman. And, Banarasi Saree, with almost eight hundred years old tradition, has an important niche in the cultural contours of India. However, the life of weavers (or creators) of these wonderful banarasi saris is not as beautiful as the creation. Majority of small artisans and their families, though mostly on the brink of survival, are dependent on this traditional crafts for a living. In this era of globalization, the exquisite traditional art of hand woven banarasi saree is under serious threat and is passing through a time of crisis.
During the medieval period, along with Moguls, skilled Muslim weavers from the West Asian countries came to India. These weavers found Varanasi complementing to their art of intricate pattern of weaving and settled there under the patronage of the then Muslim rulers. The fusion of Hindu design pattern with Muslim ones had put Varanasi at the helm of silk weaving activities.
Socio-demographic profile of weavers
There is scarcity of reliable data on the magnitude of weavers and their socio-demographic details. According to a survey conducted by the Uttar Pradesh Handloom Corporation in 1995-96, there are 75,313 handlooms and 1,24,832 handloom weavers and 1758 power-looms and 2645 power-looms workers. However, since then, numbers of looms and weavers has increased significantly. According to an unofficial estimate, there are around 5,00,000 weavers in the district. Further, the weavers are predominantly Muslim. There are two significant marginalized groups of weavers - poor Muslims and dalits. Majority of them are with little or no education.
 There are three types of weavers - Individual weavers, Master Weavers and Weaver of the Cooperative Society. Individual weavers, the most marginalized lot, use their own material, loom, design and colour. However, generally, they are dependent on Gaddidars or middlemen or traders for marketing of their sarees. Gaddidars often control production and marketing of sarees and have considerable influence upon the life-situations of weaving community.
The sari industry is a household industry spread over the entire Varanasi district. As family business, skills in weaving are handed down over generations. In fact, there are no factories that manufacture banarasi saree. Around eighty percent of looms are manual and it takes about a week to fortnight to complete one saree.
Creating banarasi sarees
Since the beginning, banarasi sarees were woven on 'pit-type' handlooms, where a weaver sits with his legs in the pit. The looms are installed within the houses but separated from the living areas and are being run mostly by family members and partly by hired labour. In recent times, power-looms are also inducted. Sarees produced on handlooms are different from those created on power-looms in terms of designs and even production processes. Both types of saris have their separate market niche.  
 Production of a saree on handloom undergoes many stages - the silk yarn called Katan is reeled, bleached and dyed. The dyed yarn is prepared for Tana (warp) and Bana (weft). The length of yarn reeled on a five feet long warp cylinder is sufficient for six lengths of a saree (33 meters). Yarn for the weft is reeled on a small (few centimetres long) cylindrical object and the process is called Nari Bharna. Many such reels are needed to complete a saree. It is used in shuttle (Dhirri) and used to bring out designs (Buti) on sarees. Once set-up, six sarees are produced in a row till the warp yarn is exhausted.
Many interactional and power dynamics are observed in the production and sale of sarees. Generally, a master weaver supplies material, design, colours and ideas. He engages wage earners, oversees entire weaving process and markets finished products. On the contrary, individual weavers themselves arrange for raw materials and design sarees in their own way. Sky-rocking prices of silk are out of the reach of many poor weavers who, then, resort to cheap artificial fibres. Using relatively poor quality of raw material fetches weavers lesser piece-rate earning. They do not have control over the marketing of sarees and have to depend on Gaddidars or master weavers. Individual weavers have poor connections in raw material market as well as retail market of silk fabrics. They often overwork hastily to earn more. Traders too exploit weavers in myriad of ways – they point out many defects viz. stains, defective design or pattern, motifs, etc., and only after considerable haggling, the final deal is struck. A weaver, in immediate need of cash, is forced to accept a cheap rate. He is often given a post-dated cheque of a faraway bank, which an agent encashes only after taking 2-3 percent commission. Weavers, cut off from the market, are not able to actively participate in price negotiation of their produce and are at loss. Contrarily, traders enjoy twin advantages — market information and mercantile capital. Interestingly, nearly three hundred traders, mostly Hindus, dominate and control weaving community, who are mostly Muslims.  
Sale of saree
Generally, piece-rate of silk saree made on handloom varies from 300 to 1000 rupees, depending on the complexity of design. Independent loom-owners do not have the holding capacity and immediate dire need of money forces them to compromise with lower piece-rate. Also, traders often find excuses on grounds of flaws in the quality of weaving to make deductions from even the agreed price. Consequently, when the product is taken as substandard or there is low demand in the market, weavers have to sell it at a price that may not even cover the labour cost. In the weaving industry, imitation is not valued. As soon as the design is copied, the product gets devalued and weavers have to bear the loss.
Globalization Impact
The Varanasi weaving industry has experienced significant decline since the early 1990s.  Policies to promote free trade have harmed the industry. Cheaper textile imports have gained prominence with the advancement of the Negotiations on Non-Agricultural Market Access (NAMA) by the World Trade Organization (WTO), which have lead to freezing or declining of import tariffs including on textiles such as sarees. In 2001, India removed its quantitative restrictions on silk imports. This opened unrestricted import of Chinese plain crepe fabrics – a direct substitute for hand-woven silk sarees, having a crippling effect on Banarasi sarees.
 Further, there is decline in demand of Banarasi sarees due to the global economic slowdown. Often perceived as a luxury wedding dress, Banarasi sarees are not in priority list of an average consumer hard-pressed of money. Due to its high maintenance and high cost, people hardly prefer this spectacular attire.  And weavers too are neither getting sufficient means to meet both ends nor the social status, through it.
With population growth among weavers, there is more supply of skilled labour and much less matching demand. It leads to unjust price/wages to weavers. Since 1990s labour wages have declined to about half of what they were earlier. Further, fluctuating silk price and artificial shortages created by the suppliers have put weavers in a precarious situation. Also, the power looms are snatching the work from handloom weavers. Middlemen and Gaddidars are living like parasites on their earnings.
Fashion market is denoted by fast changing fads and styles. Today's fashion is marked by convenience and low cost of production. Time-phase when uniqueness of the creation was appreciated and patronised at a great cost has perhaps lapsed. Now, in this changed scenario, large volumes of sarees with low quality are produced that are available at cheaper rates.
In addition, weaving industry is facing crisis due to problems in availability of raw silk. This scarcity is often created by traders. For small weavers buying one bundle (5-6 kilogram of raw silk) is economically strained. Not having enough business reduces their purchasing power. Prior to 1990, silk was available for Rs.100/- per Kg and now it is over Rs.1500/-. Ironically, scarcity of raw material exists despite the free-trade policies.
 Imported Chinese silk is cheaper and is available at Rs.1100/- per kg, and hence it has become the choice of most artisans. While multinational players are being given a free hand to operate, potentially weaver friendly institutions such as cooperatives are being allowed to decay, at the cost of the marginalised weaver.
Further, Surat produces artificial silk thread, available at much lower cost. Duplicate Banarasi sarees are being produced using artificial material. This has severely hurt the Varanasi weaving sector, putting pressure to reduce the cost of original Banarasi saree in the market. As the middlemen and shopkeepers do not forsake their profits, the weakest link - a weaver has to bear the brunt, in terms of reduced wages.
Production woes
Power-looms also have their own set of problem - electricity connection is not easily available. Moreover, chronic power shortage cripples the saree production. Lack of natural light and inadequate power supply hampers the work of weavers. Nearly ninety percent of weavers have not been able to pay their electricity bills, which may amount to two lakh rupees. Many families have sold their houses for payment of electricity bills and have gone to the other localities. Ironically, ten percent of weavers having power-looms do not have enough money to get a connection - they are thus stealing electricity.
Economic Vulnerability
According to District Sample Survey (2008), there are 40 percent of weavers living below poverty line. Unofficial estimate by PVCHR brings out that almost double the numbers of weavers are financially strained. As discussed earlier, their economic vulnerability is characterized by shrinkage of demand of hand-woven sarees due to availability of cheap, imported alternatives and inadequate interventions by the government, civil society organisations and others. Consequently, they are left on the brink of survival, to face hunger, unemployment, gross underemployment, poor living and working conditions, consequent poor health and exploitation. Lack of workers organisations in some areas and ineffective ones in other areas further accentuate the problem.
In the cases, when designs are given to the weavers for production their own creativity is lost and their contribution is reduced to merely a skilled labour. As they are cut off from the market, traders dictate their designs claiming to keep pace with changing fashion trends. These issues have a major economic implication for the weavers.
Further, there is no system of written contract for wage determination. Weavers go and buy raw silk from market or from Gaddidars. If it is the latter, then it is an advance by Gaddidars to weavers. Till the time the saree is sold in the market, weavers do not get anything. In order to meet bare survival needs, in the intervening period, weavers may have to borrow money or take advance from Gaddidars, and that is the beginning of a form of bondage with the creditor. Many times, weavers are forced to involve their children to repay the loan.
It is unfortunate that even after two-three generations of weaving occupation, many families fail to own a loom. In many cases, looms are on contract and are owned by Gaddidars. There has been virtually no increase in the wages for the past five years. Most of the weavers' families are virtually living in abject poverty. And to survive, all able-bodied family members including children are drawn into labour market.
Another manifestation of economic vulnerability is seen as many skilled artisans have left weaving and resort to pulling rickshaws, making incense sticks, peeling and selling green chanas (seasonal work), and women are into domestic labour serving middle class families in their neighbourhood. As a survival strategy, many weavers are migrating to Surat.
Women in saree-production
Few Indian bridal trousseaus are complete without the inclusion of an exquisite Banarasi saree. However, the women behind the creation of spectacular yards of fabric are hardly given their due. They are involved in the entire creative process—from weaving to adding embellishments to giving the final touch. Although women are rarely seen working directly on the looms, without them it would be impossible to make a Banarasi saree. Most women work to supplement their family incomes, particularly if family is not in a position to hire workers. Some even work as contract labour, though rarely.
"We have to continuously work for long hours, weaving designs into the sarees, but in the end, it is the men who are known as weavers and we are just referred to as hired labourers," complains Lalti Devi, 48 years, Lohata, Varanasi. The role played by women in Banarasi Saree weaving process is crucial, but they are neither given due recognition nor remuneration.  
Banarasi sarees are characterised by their intricate weave and heavy gold and silver brocade work. Women are responsible for filling zari into the design, ensuring that the embroidery is taut, and also snipping off extra threads (called saree katran) from finished product—all seemingly menial but critical, strenuous, unstimulating and repetitive chores. They continuously sit for 6-7 hours.
Gender disparity is also seen in terms of wages — generally, weavers earn anywhere between 500 to 1,500 rupees a month, their female counterparts receive a paltry — 200 to 400 rupees a month. The plight of women is such that even if they earn Rs.10/- a day they do not have the right to spend it as per their will.
Children in saree production
Children of the weaving community are perhaps the worst affected lot. They lose out their childhood as their mothers work for long hours, there are no crèche or day-care facility and they loiter unattended. They are denied their right to health, education and other opportunities for development.  When uncared, many children are drawn towards drugs, criminal elements and indulge in other undesirable / anti-social activities.
Further, children are made to sit on looms so as to speed up their saree-production. They help in creating design pattern (Buti) and operating the shuttle (Dharki phekna). Children are sold and bought for meagre amount or loan extended to their parents. A bonded person however can move from one owner to another provided the new owner pays off the outstanding debt to the first owner.
Health vulnerability
Weavers and their families suffer from a range of health problems. Many develop respiratory ailments related to breathing in fibres and dust from the fabrics they work with. Exposure to silk and cotton fibres put them at high risk of tuberculosis, particularly Multi Drug Resistance Tuberculosis (MDTRB).
Added to this, malnutrition (both acute and chronic) and exhaustion are common especially among women and children. Also, many weaver-families depend on government-subsided food distribution, which is often delayed. Reportedly, hunger deaths are not rare. In the outskirts of Varanasi, twelve children have died in 2008 from malnutrition (Ahmed, 2008).  
Weavers, more often than not, are denied their Right to Health and despite a wide web of primary healthcare system, remain out of the coverage. Indeed, some health coverage is guaranteed to holders of Antodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) cards, which are increasingly distributed to the weaver community. However, in Varanasi, few weavers or other laborers receive proper benefits, which are often only guaranteed if they have political contacts or are willing to give bribes to gain access to government hospitals.
Ironically, since the women in weaving sector as 'workers' are not recognised in the sector, they are even deprived of healthcare benefits. They suffer from backache and poor eyesight as they work in dark dingy places sitting continuously for seven to eight hours. When ailing, women have to shell out money for treatment as they do not fall under any health-schemes. By not providing adequate healthcare and welfare infrastructure for women workers the Government is culpable of making women suffer silently and live considerably reduced life span. Added to this, socialization characterized by patriarchy make women learn to avoid and postpone health service utilization.
Likewise, weavers sit on hand loom machines to weave the sarees. As most of the looms are situated at the residence where there is no adequate ventilation and provision of light, it results in weavers being afflicted by weak eyesight and serious respiratory ailments including byssinosis (An occupational respiratory disease characterised by shortness of breath, cough and wheezing due to allergic reaction to dust and fungi in cotton, flax and hemp fibres. Prolonged exposure may result in chronic airway obstruction, bronchitis, and emphysema with fibrosis, leading to respiratory failure), and is often inadequately diagnosed as Tuberculosis. Also, the loom is partially embedded into the ground, and one needs to make a pit for weaver to be able to keep his legs. In the pit the temperature is different resulting in numbness of lower portion of the body. The health hazards are well put in the words of Arjun, a weaver, "Handlooms today are the graves of living people."
Further, reduction of labour wages has a direct, negative impact on their nutritional status. They fall sick easily, and diseases like tuberculosis, Pneumoconiosis, swelling of limbs, stomach ailments, backache, anaemia, weakness and debility, etc., are common among weavers.
When meeting survival needs is in question, giving priority to health does not exist. Food, housing, transport, loan repayment and other expenses have greater priority in the lives of weavers. Women do not go to seek medical advice unless they are bedridden. Even then, using precarious family finances on themselves put women into guilt.
Over the past decade, situation of most weavers has deteriorated into a pitiful state, as they face increased poverty, hunger, health issues and inability to provide for their families. As a consequence, since 2002, 175 weavers have committed suicide (PVCHR, 2005).
Role of State
The government responded to the plight of weavers by establishing co-operative institutions. The objective was to develop forward (marketing of sarees) and backward (providing raw silk) linkages to ameliorate conditions of weavers. Micro-credit facility forms an important component.
However, being plagued with mismanagement and corruption, cooperatives have failed in fulfilling their objectives. Benefits have not reached to poor weavers. A few resourceful persons among weaver-community have floated fictitious cooperatives and pocketed benefits. These handfuls of beneficiaries within the Muslim weavers emerged as another set of traders calling themselves as Master Weavers. They get workers cards issued from the silk cooperatives, and obtain silk raw material from the cooperatives as workers. In cooperatives, members have thrift fund and insurance facilities. Master weavers, with dummy membership, try to seize the benefits. Apparently, whole structure of cooperatives facilitates bigger weavers to take advantage of the subsidy offered.
Seemingly, instead of ameliorating the plight of weavers, cooperative institutions of the government have created further misery for them, by helping create another set of exploiters – the master weavers. The cooperative intervention has made a very conspicuous difference in their lives. It has created islands of affluence in an otherwise poor locality of weavers.
The silk price range generally is Rs. 1100-1600 per kilogram. However, reportedly, at times, the price in government cooperatives is higher than the price in open market. During periods of shortages of silk supply some weavers who are in the good books of committee members do get some raw material.
Further, a bank loan of nearly ten thousand is available for setting up handlooms, but is allegedly used by functionaries of cooperatives. Despite high awareness levels, there is apparent apathy to avail services and schemes of the government among weavers.
Suggestive intervention
Viewing the vulnerable conditions of weaving community, multi-stakeholder, multipronged and sustained effort is required so as to improve the situation. Some suggestive actions are placed:
•Establishment or revival of trade unions, cooperatives and other workers' organisations is must for sustainable development. One Bunkar Dastkaar Adhikaar Manch (BDAM, meaning Forum for Rights of Weavers and Artisans) with strength of 500 weavers is formed by PVCHR in 2003 for ensuring rightful share of weaving community. It focuses on - right to health, right to food and revival of the handloom industry.  
•An online portal on weaving could go a long way in spreading awareness and promoting sales. It would enhance direct market access to weavers, nationally and internationally.
•Other mechanisms of direct market access can be 'artisan haats' in the line of 'Dilli Haat' and exhibitions at local and national levels. Besides this, up-gradation/integration of weavers' expositions into the traditional melas of Varanasi would be beneficial.
•A local museum to document the various practices in the saree-weaving sectors is required. It would help artisans appreciate their past heritage, instil pride and ownership and understand practices in different sectors and regions. It would also aid in making general public aware of the sector, and appreciate the nuances of production, which is taken for granted.
•Crèches and day care centres and educational/nutritional facilities for children of working mothers are required.
•Preventive and promotive health programmes are required. Since occupational diseases such as byssinosis, numbness in the limbs, deterioration of eyesight, etc., need special attention, which is not available in general hospitals, at least one dedicated hospital is needed for weaver community.
•Sensitisation of government offices especially enforcement wings of labour commissioners offices would ensure better linkage with societal and state resource system. Reforms and transparency in the work of state is needed for schemes and programmes to work.
·         Exposure visits for weavers to states like Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, etc., to learn about best practices in these states on exchange basis would help in quality and innovation in saree weaving.
·         Illiteracy leads to ignorance and vulnerability. Establishment of night schools to spread literacy among weavers is needed.
•Further studies to understand the sector better, and map best practices for learning, even from other states are needed. For example, the framework of the Bharat Bunkar Kendra, established by the Govt. during the 1960s needs to be revitalised. Similarly silk licensing mechanism needs to be understood, as politics of licensing is of critical relevance to the upliftment single weavers. Occupational health issues should be researched.
•For increasing market access among weavers, professionally managed cooperatives should be established. This would minimize or eliminate role of middlemen in saree-sale.
•Setting up of cooperative bank/Thrift and Credit Society for weavers would make capital accessible to weavers at low interest rates, thus freeing them from clutches of moneylenders and middlemen.  
•Creation of special enabling mechanisms to meet differential needs of women weavers to facilitate their role in the industry is needed. These could include designing special looms, self, help groups and special fund for women weavers to help them become economically independent.
•A special cell is needed in the office of the handicrafts commissioner to address grievances and complaints. Information regarding this cell and its functions should be disseminated widely.
•Study of other weaving systems used in the North – Eastern states and in other countries needs to be undertaken to improve loom design, especially with reference to women's needs.
•Special shops selling the products 'directly from weavers' need to be established, to ensure better prices to weavers.
•'Silk depots' for easy availability of raw material should be established.
•Better electricity supply would enhance saree-production.
Banarasi saree forms an integral part of Indian epitome of cultural contours. Through this article a small attempt has been made to urge to all the readers to revive, preserve and promote this exquisite traditional art form by doing their bit. And this may, hopefully, provide worth, dignity, creative fulfilment and a rightful place in society to weavers of this astonishing attire.      
Ahmed, Farzand (2008). The Land of Dying Kids. Retrieved on January 2010 from
District Commissioner (2008). District Sample Survey, District Administration of Varanasi. Government of Uttar Pradesh.
Raghuvanshi, Lenin and Nagvanshi, Shruti (2005). Banarasi Saree Weaving Sector of Varanasi: A study of the working conditions of the unorganised workers of these sectors. Unpublished monograph, Peoples' Vigilance Committee on Human Rights, Varanasi.