Sunday, August 14, 2011

Ashoka fellow on peace

Lenin Raghuvanshi

Year Elected:

Lenin sees that unless Indian society deals with the injustices of the caste system head-on, it will not attack social conflict at its root. Translating these convictions into action, Lenin has built local, national, and regional institutions that challenge caste. His People's Vigilance Committee for Human Rights (PVCHR) is a large membership organization that draws in people from different walks of life. Among its fifty thousand members in five northern states, three thousand are former torture victims whom the Committee has helped. Their solidarity demonstrates how Lenin is creatively building an inclusive social movement. Lenin takes the "policy to practice" approach in villages, where caste discrimination is acute. Thus, he focuses on implementing policies laid down by law. The Committee campaigns on various issues concerning the Dalit community including schooling for children, fair wages, land titles, and basic rights. On the other hand, in his work with non-profits, activists, academics, and general supporters, Lenin believes in the "from practice to policy" approach. His focus at this level is pushing society to acknowledge caste discrimination as a fundamental human rights issue.

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