Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Satyamev Jayate - Season 3 | Episode 4 | We Recommend | Sickness looms

Gulam Sarvar belongs to a community of weavers in Benaras who are renowned for weaving Benarasi saris through generations. But nowadays, the community is receiving attention for another reason: TB.
“Initially I was not feeling hungry, then I started coughing and having fever,”says Sarvar. “Then I became really weak and was bed-ridden and could not work anymore.” Gulam was infected with TB.

This is not just the story of Gulam Sarvar. There are thousands of such weavers who are becoming a victim of this disease. Around 30% of the population is infected with TB. It is easy for the weavers to get infected because of the dingy spaces they work out of. There is not much light or fresh air in the rooms where the looms are and the conditions are perfect for the TB bacteria to come into full form. The dust, the smoke and the fibre also add to the hazardous mix which brings down their immunity – priming them for an attack.

Malnutrition is another reason why the weavers'immunity is low. What worsens the state of the patients is the lack of proper medical attention and facility. On one hand the government officials are
negligent and the other is the problem of patients going to quacks instead of trained health professionals. This is aggravated by the poverty of the weavers.
“We take the medication for as long as we can afford it,” says Badarunisha. But can we afford to leave these weavers to their fate?

Few link of PVCHR initiative on TB:

Monday, October 27, 2014

Humanitarian Appeal for Flood Victims of J&K

Dear all,

Please read follows appeal and support the survivors of Kashmir.

With regards,

Lenin Raghuvanshi

Respected Mr Lenin Raghuvanshi,

I on behalf of Islamic Relief & Research Trust (IRRT) request your goodself to help us with the relief process that we are undertaking in Kashmir for the flood victims.

Yours Thankfully

Mushtaq Ul Haq Ahmad Sikander
Srinagar, Kashmir

Opposite L.D Hospital, Lal Mandi Road, Srinagar, Kashmir, 190001, India.
Humanitarian Appeal for Flood Victims of Jammu & Kashmir State
Islamic Relief and Research Trust (IRRT), Kashmir is an initiative for just and compassionate society and is a social/charitable enterprise for equitable and sustainable change. IRRT was established in the year 2000 under the law of the land. It is a non profit, non political, nongovernmental philanthropic organization based in Srinagar, Kashmir, India. It provides humanitarian assistance to poor, needy, destitute, orphans, widows, and in general to victims of conflict and natural calamities regardless of caste, creed, religion, region and gender.
IRRT is registered under law of the state and is also registered with Home Ministry of India under FCRA no. 152640002 and is also registered with Income Tax department under 12 A of I.T Act.  

Since last more than two decades the state of J&K is witnessing a devastating violent conflict that has brutalized the inhabitants of the State resulting in thousands of killings rendering numerous children as orphans and spouses as widows. To add insult to injury natural calamities and disasters time and again create havoc adding to the miseries of the unfortunate masses. The September, 2014 flood has affected more than 60% of the population of J&K state i.e. six million people, particularly of the Kashmir Valley. The devastating flood waters have left most of the people without shelter, medicine and food. At present we are passing through the rescue phase of the disaster management that is simultaneously complimented by relief phase. After these two phases we need to go for the rehabilitation phase that is the long drawn and permanent one. At present we are in dire need of the following items in terms of immediate relief for the victims.
Food Items
1. Rice
2. Flour (AATA)
3. Dry Milk (Nestle or Everyday)
4. Baby Milk (Lactogen or Cerelac)
5. Biscuits
6. Sugar
7. Spices
8. Tea
9. Cereals
10. Pulses
11. Cooking Oil
12. Chlorine tablets for drinking water
13. Mineral Water Bottles
14. Fresh Dates
Other Items
1. Towels
2. Sanitary pads for girls and women
3. Pampers for children
4. Toothpaste
5. Soaps
6. Mugs
7. Buckets
1. Insulin (Human Mixtard)
2. Thyronorm (25 and 50 mcg)
3. Anti-Biotics
4. Medicine for Hypertension
Besides these we want 

Warm Clothing for Winters

Wollen Sweaters and Jackets

Peat and Kangris (Fire Pot)

Wollen Caps and Muflers

Pherans (Long traditional cloak)
Presently in coordination with other activists and volunteers the IRRT has established several base camps for the rescued flood victims wherein food and medical facilities are provided by utilizing our own resources. But our resources are meager and will run out soon due to the severity and magnitude of the relief operations.
So on Humanitarian grounds we appeal to all donor agencies/grant giving institutions and other generous individuals to come forward with possible relief in kind and financial assistance in cash for permanent rehabilitation of more than six million people.
We are maintaining our Bank accounts with J&K Bank Ltd. With its branch office at Chadoora India.
FCRA Bank Account No. is 0008040100023713
Our Local Account No. is 0008040100051713
IFSC code : JAKA0Chadur
Waiting for your immediate positive response.
Yours Sincerely
A.R. Hanjura
Founder, IRRT

Prof. Hamid Naseem Rafiabadi
Director, IRRT
Mushtaq Ul Haq Ahmad Sikander
Media Secretary, IRRT

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Satymev Jayate,TB,weaver and Shruti

#Weaver issue linked with #TB and #hunger highlighted by #PVCHR and interview of #Shruti Nagvanshi telecasted in #Satyamev Jayate:

Few link of PVCHR initiative on TB:











Thursday, October 23, 2014

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Lynching of boy underlines how the curse of caste still blights India

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: PVCHR ED <pvchr.india@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, Oct 21, 2014 at 1:10 PM
Subject: Lynching of boy underlines how the curse of caste still blights India
To: jrlawnhrc <jrlawnhrc@hub.nic.in>, jrlawnhrc <jrlawnhrc@nic.in>, US-C <covdnhrc@nic.in>
Cc: "A.K. Parashar" <akpnhrc@yahoo.com>, NHRC <director-nhrc@nic.in>, registrar-nhrc@nic.in, sgnhrc@nic.in

To, Chairperson,
National Human Rights Commission,
New Delhi.

Dear Sir,
Greetings from PVCHR.

Please finds follows story of atrocities of schedule caste in Bihar. 


In another time, another place, Sai Ram might have escaped serious harm. But he died in great pain last week, a casualty of a bitter, barely reported conflict that still claims many lives every year.
Ram, 15, was a goatherd in a village in the poor eastern Indian state of Bihar. He was a Dalit, from the lowest rung of the caste hierarchy that still defines the lives, and sometimes the deaths, of millions of people in the emerging economic power.
His alleged killer, currently being held by local police, is from a higher landowning caste. He took offence when one of the teenager’s goats strayed on to his paddy field and grazed on his crops. Ram was overpowered by the landowner and a group of other men. He was badly beaten.
Then petrol was poured over him and lit, Ram’s father, Jiut Ram, said. “He was crying for help, then went silent,” the 50-year-old daily wage labourer told the Guardian.
The incident took place at Mohanpur village, about 125 miles (200km) south-west of Bihar’s capital, Patna, in an area known for caste tensions. It was the latest in a series of violent incidents that have once again highlighted the problems and discrimination linked to caste, particularly in lawless and impoverished rural areas.
Earlier this month, five Dalit women were allegedly gang-raped by upper-caste men in central Bihar’s Bhojpur district. In September, hundreds of Dalit families were forced from their homes in two other districts of Bihar after a man from the community tried to contest a local election against higher caste candidates.
Several political, social and economic factors usually lie behind such upsurges in caste-related violence. One reason for Bihar’s recent incidents may be the appointment in May of Jitan Ram Manjhi, a Dalit, as the chief minister of the state.
Since taking power Manjhi has announced measures to help other Dalits in Bihar, one of India’s poorest states, and is reported to have urged the community to have more children to become a more powerful political force.
Dalits account for some 15% of Bihar’s population of 103.8 million.
The chief minister’s call was not well received by members of other castes, local observers said.
Sachindra Narayan, a prominent Patna-based social scientist with the National Human Rights Commission in Delhi, said: “The prime reason [for the violence] is that [Dalits] feel empowered after seeing someone from their community at the head of the state and have begun to assert their rights. This is purely a retaliation from the dominant social groups.”
Manjhi claims a temple in northern Bihar was ritually cleaned and idols washed with holy water after his visit to the shrine. Such ceremonies are still performed by upper castes to eradicate “pollution” left by lower-caste visitors.
“A deep-rooted bias prevails against … those from the downtrodden sections of society … I have myself been a victim of caste bias,” the 70-year-old said.
Opponents claim Manjhi was stoking caste tensions for political advantage.
In the vast neighbouring state of Uttar Pradesh, caste is also a major political issue, with power contested by two parties that broadly represent two different caste communities. That of Mayawati explicity campaigns for Dalits, while the ruling Samajwadi party is seen by many as representing the Yadavcommunity, once pastoralists.
Caste became a factor in recent national elections too. The prime minister, Narendra Modi, comes from a poor family from the lower-caste Ghanchicommunity, which is associated with selling oil. His rise from humble origins to leader of 1.25 billion people has inspired many – but also provoked scorn from elite politicians who have mocked his background.
The origins of caste are contested. Some point to ancient religious texts, others to rigid classifications of more local definitions of community and identities by British imperial administrators. The word “caste” is of Portuguese origin.
Regardless of its origins, the word still has the power to stir controversy. Arundhati Roy, the Booker prize-winning author, recently accused Mahatma Gandhi, India’s revered independence leader, of discrimination and called for institutions bearing his name to be renamed because of his attitude to caste.
She said: “It is time to unveil a few truths about a person whose doctrine of nonviolence was based on the acceptance of the most brutal social hierarchy ever known, the caste system … Do we really need to name our universities after him?
Sociologists say the rapid urbanisation of India has weakened the caste system as the realities of living in overcrowded Indian cities make reinforcing social separation and discrimination through rituals or violence much harder.
But if change is coming to places like rural Bihar, it is often accompanied by violence.
Last October a roadside bomb killed Sunil Pandey, a landowner who was alleged to be a senior figure in a militia formed in 1994 to enforce the interests of higher castes in the state, but which has been largely dormant recently.
The Ranvir Sena militia, formed by men of the Bhumihar caste of landlords, is held responsible for a series of massacres of Dalits in the 1990s. These murders, in effect reprisals against local Maoist guerrillas, who have also killed many, reached a bloody climax with the deaths of 58 men, women and children with no connection to extremism in the village of Lakshman Bathe in 1998. Ranvir Sena and Pandey were blamed.
Last year 24 men had their convictions for that massacre overturned by Bihar’s high court, prompting renewed clashes.
The authorities have pledged rapid justice for Ram, the 15-year-old burned to death last week. But of nearly 17,000 pending trials in Bihar involving charges of violence against Dalits only a 10th were dealt with last year.
“We are going to … start speedy trial of the case,” Chandan Kumar Kushwaha, the local superintendent of police, said, while the chief minister told reporters he was taking a personal interest in the case.
“I have talked to the state’s director general of police and district superintendent of police concerned, and ordered them to … deliver instant justice to the victim [sic] family,” Manjhi said.
For the teenager’s father, nothing can compensate for the death of his son. “My entire world is lost now,” he said.
Pleas take immediate appropriate action for legal action and compensation in above mentioned case and  a proper guidelines to all states to prevent and end above mentioned crime against humanity.
With regards,
Lenin Raghuvanshi
Member,NGO core group at NHRC
SA 4/2 A, Daualtpur, Varanasi-221002

Sunday, October 05, 2014

A new book of Dr. Archana Kaushik and Ms. Shruti Nagvanshi is going to publish

About the Book

Human civilizations have come a long way in struggling for emancipation from all forms of exploitation, abuse, oppression, exclusion and marginalization of the fellow-beings. There are situations in the social environment that precipitate inequality and injustice, adding to vulnerabilities and impoverishments, hardships and miseries to certain sections of society, which, even after much of efforts, are not resolved amicably — such circumstances call for social action.

The present work is a humble attempt to document the process of intervention that led to empowerment of the Dalits in Varanasi district of Uttar Pradesh, India. Under the aegis of People’s Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR) – a civil society initiative, a few committed and motivated workers mobilized the downtrodden and oppressed Dalits and gradually ‘empowered’ them to take charge of their lives. It is the process towards developing model villages while addressing the social inequalities that had shackled the lives of most underprivileged and marginalized people in the community.

Empowering people who have been socialized and conditioned for ages to be resource-less, powerless and voiceless victims to the dominant upper caste, who have accepted that poverty, chronic malnutrition, abuse, exploitation and injustice as their fate, who struggle, almost unendingly, throughout their life to somehow gather two square meals to keep their body and soul together, is indeed a arduous task. It required more than a decade’s unflinching hard work, consistency and commitment to see some positive change in the lives of Dalits in the area of intervention. The present work has tried to sketch that process of social action, which challenged the elitism, thereby changing the social order to be more egalitarian. This work records the changing identity among Dalits through the process of empowerment in Varanasi district of Uttar Pradesh, India.

About the authors: One of the author, Dr. Archana Kaushik, is a social work educator, teaching at Department of Social Work, University of Delhi. And, the other – Ms. Shruti Nagvanshi has been a field practitioner, the managing Trustee and Co-founder of PVCHR. Shruti Nagvanshi, has been a part of the team that led the intervention that is being talked about in the book. She has witnessed the entire journey of empowerment that has come among many lower caste people collectively termed as Dalits. The experiential reality shared by Shruti is amalgamated with conceptual and theoretical perspectives and presented in this book by Archana, using her knowledge as social work educator.

USP of the book: The literature, in general, and social work literature, in particular, is full of manuals and books on community organization and empowerment, Dalit empowerment and related topics. However, there has always been dearth of materials emerging out of field practice that facilitate testing, verifying, accepting or rejecting theories in the light of  experiences from the field. In this manner, this is a unique and enriching joint venture of an academician and practitioner in social work discipline. Human service professions, such as social work, can grow only if academics and field practice are strongly interconnected, complement, contribute and give insight and foresight to each other to rectify, improve and make itself suitable to meet the demands of fast changing socio-cultural milieu. While, the divorce or disconnect between the two would engulf both theory and practice, making them redundant and eventually extinct. It is in this backdrop, that the present work bears its significance. It depicts the interventions and strategies that have worked well in the field and hence have critical importance for academia. The book highlights the process of community empowerment.

The purpose of documenting the process of Dalit empowerment in the book is to facilitate social workers and other human service professionals to gain an insight into the challenges and problems change agents encounter in social action and approaches, strategies and models of intervention that ‘work’ in empowerment of deprived and marginalized groups and communities. For social planners and policy makers, the present work would provide enough food for thought and analysis that may result in planning of pro-poor and responsive policies and programmes. The social work educators, practitioners and students would appreciate the theoretical perspectives on different aspects of empowerment of downtrodden people gained through fieldwork practice. Hopefully, it would enrich their teaching, learning and practice.  

Contents of the book: A brief outline of the book is delineated here. It is important to note here that the names mentioned in the book, in various case studies, excerpts of interviews and interactions with Dalit and marginalized people, have been camouflaged to protect their identities. 

What it means to be born as Dalit in rural India? How taking birth in a particular family has almost complete bearing on access to resources and power? How rural people respond to authority – whether administrative, legal or charismatic? How caste system perpetuates domination and subjugation in myriad of ways? What is the psyche of the Dalit and how caste-based interiority is internalized? What is the relationship dynamics between Dalits – the oppressed and marginalized and upper caste – the oppressors? And how this relationship is defining and confining access to resources, decision-making power and opportunities to development and empowerment? The chapter one titled, ‘the context’ tries to answer these questions and pictures the backdrop of rural socio-cultural milieu where intervention efforts for empowerment of Dalits have been made.

The chapter two ‘praxis to practice’ lays out the theoretical framework that has guided our action. It conceptualizes the term empowerment, its salient features and components. It provides sociological and psychological perspectives to the process of empowerment from powerlessness and vulnerability. It presents the modalities and models we followed in making the marginalized groups and communities aware, conscientized and ready to act for their rightful dues.  

Chapter three – In Belwa village, Dalits could never participate in the political process of electing their leaders, which is one of the basic rights of every major Indian. For years together, the upper caste leaders forged their votes and continued their unquestioned authority and control in grassroots governance. A few years back nobody could ever imagine that the Dalits of Belvan, who have been oppressed and suppressed, marginalized and excluded, could even voice their concerns. The social action carried out in the village ensured mobilization of Dalit community and their first victory as they marked their impressions on the ballot papers. It is the process of Dalit-empowerment from being led passively to becoming change makers. They not only acquired their right to vote but also nominated their own candidate in elections, who became the new village head. 
Chapter four ‘from starvation deaths to healthy living’ describes another process of social action in Badagaon in Pindra block where there were many reported and unreported cases of starvation deaths of Dalit children and the government machinery was totally indifferent and apathetic. It highlights how consistent and long struggle changed the system and now Badagaon is a model village in terms of ensuring Right to Health to Dalits. Similar interventions were carried out in many other villages and many lives could be saved with timely intervention.  

Chapter five sketches the role of young children bearing the torch of struggle for change with unflinching motivation and spirits, themselves becoming the role models for adults. Children’s parliament was constituted. 

Chapter six – Weaving Destiny through yarns of hardship – captures the plight and struggle of weavers who weave banarasi sarees, but are left with poverty, pain and grief. Their hands weave enchantingly gorgeous sarees but their life is filled with ugliness of impoverishment and poverty.

Chapter seven ‘from bondage to liberation’ is a case study of three brothers in Belwan village who were bonded labourers as children and depicts the process of their struggle, action and freedom. This event triggered enthusiasm among the bonded labourers, their families and social workers working for their rehabilitation and had ripple effect.

Chapter eight – Surviving torture to defending human rights – highlights the cases of police torture on innocent Dalits and their fight against their victimization. There have been numerous instances when police, without any proof, put Dalit inhabitants behind bars on the smallest pretext. The role of testimonial therapy and the process of uniting village fellow-men to collectively fight against perpetrators of torture have been highlighted in this chapter. 

The last chapter ‘Seeing Change’ summarizes the entire process of intervention and depicts the way forward. It opens up the issue of ‘neo-dalit movement’ that attacks caste system in a dynamic way. 

Thursday, October 02, 2014

PVCHR at http://www.idealist.org

Congratulation to all people at PVCHR. PVCHR profile at Idealist:

Modi, sweeper for a day for Gandhi and the "Clean India" campaign

Modi, sweeper for a day for Gandhi and the "Clean India" campaign
Nirmala Carvalho
The aim is to improve the sanitary conditions of the Indian people, providing toilets and services to schools and homes. For pro-Dalit activist Raghuvanshi, the campaign is a boost to the fight against the caste system. However, he opposes plans to turn the Ganges River into a fluvial highway for goods.

Mumbai (AsiaNews) - This morning in New Delhi cleaners from Valmiki Basti Colony found themselves with an exceptional co-worker, Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India.
Wielding a broom, the prime minister cleaned one side of the road, inaugurating his much-heralded Clean India campaign (Swachh Bharat Abhiyan).

In a symbolic move, Modi chose the birthday of the Mahatma Gandhi - India's independence leader - to present an ambitious project whose goal is to improve the sanitary conditions of the Indian people.
Modi's action might seem just a big publicity stunt. However, speaking to AsiaNews, Lenin Raghuvanshi, director of the People's Vigilance Committee for Human Rights (PVCHR), an organisation committed to the defence and promotion of Dalit right, calls today's demonstration a positive step.

"The Clean India campaign," he explains, "is a step towards reconciliation with Gandhi and against the mind-set that still keeps the caste system alive. In this sense, I welcome the prime minister's step."
In the caste system, Dalits -"untouchable" outcaste - take care of most menial and degrading tasks, namely those involving contact with anything that is dirty and "impure".
This ranges from the tanning of hides and skins and animal slaughter to the removal of garbage and animal carcasses.

Even today - in spite of the official abolition of the caste system - streets, latrines and sewers are cleaned by Dalits.
Modi's five-year national campaign kicks off today and on 2 October 2019, the government will take stock of its achievements.
This is a tall order. The first - and most difficult - thing to do will be to get people to stop defecating in the open.
In fact, more than 600 million Indians have no access to privies. To change the situation, Mr Modi has promised to build toilets in every school and provide every home with a one over the next five years. This is expected to cost 620 billion rupees (US$ 10 billion).
The government has earmarked 146 million rupees of its own money for the project, and expects the remaining amount to come from the corporate sector, international development organisations and elsewhere.
However, to build health services will not (and cannot be) the only solution to "clean" India.
In all of the country's cities - including some areas in big cities like Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata - it is not only easy to see people performing bodily functions outdoor, but they also dump trash everywhere. Indian rivers are virtual open dumps.
For this reason, the campaign calls on people to take an active part in the project, learning to keep the streets clean and acquire a new "consciousness" about health and hygiene.
As part of the cleanliness "battle", Raghuvanshi however has some misgivings about another measure by the central government.

"The authorities presented a plan to transport goods via the Ganges. If this is implemented," he warns, "the government will end up polluting even more the already highly polluted waters of the sacred river".

NEWS FEATURE Cleaning India's river Ganges - an eternal challenge? By Sunrita Sen, dpa

"People are involved and concerned like here in Varanasi, but it is for the government to take concerted and sustained steps," said Lenin Raghuvanshi, a long-time social activist based in the holy city on the Ganges.