Monday, July 29, 2013

Nobody wants to help us because we are dalits: acid attack survivor Chanchal Kumari

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: PVCHR Communication
Date: Tue, Jul 30, 2013 at 10:47 AM
Subject: Nobody wants to help us because we are dalits: acid attack survivor Chanchal Kumari
To: covdnhrc , jrlawnhrc
Cc: "Dr. Lenin Raghuvanshi"

The Chairperson
National Human Rights Commission
New Delhi

Dear Sir,

I want to bring in your kind attention towards the news published in the local English newspaper Hindustan Times on 30th July, 2013 Nobody wants to help us because we are dalits: acid attack survivor Chanchal Kumari

Nobody wants to help us because we are dalits: acid attack survivor Chanchal Kumari

Rai Atul Krishna, Hindustan Times  Bihar, July 30, 2013
First Published: 01:46 IST(30/7/2013) | Last Updated: 03:59 IST(30/7/2013)

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It is never easy for a dalit girl in Bihar to dream big. Caste roles remain well defined in our state and it’s not often someone breaks free from the mould.
Yet, I dreamt of becoming a computer engineer. I was encouraged to pursue my dream by my father, Sailesh Paswan. A daily wage construction worker who barely earns enough to make the ends meet for our family of four, he wanted me — the elder of his two daughters — to be one up on all the boys of our community.
So, unmindful of his meagre earnings, my father did the seemingly impossible: he put me in a Plus-2 college and was making me undergo coaching at Danapur, near Patna, to take the engineering entrance examination.

Chanchal Kumari was attacked by a bunch of local hoodlums when she didn’t pay any attention to their overtures. (HT Photo)

Life was never easy but the hope of a rewarding future kept me going. Trips from my native Chitnawan village, under Maner police station of Patna district, to my college and coaching institute in Danapur were endless.
But I thought nothing of my daily grind that the 22-km trip entailed.
Then, late in the night of October 21, 2012, my whole world came crashing around me.
A few minutes short of midnight, four youth from my village climbed onto the roof of our single-storeyed Indira Awas Yojana house at Chitnawan, as I slept there with my younger sister, Sonam.
Two of them held my hands and the other two intruders poured almost a litre of acid on my face. As I writhed in agony, they laughed at me. One of them said: "Now you see we do whatever we say."
Some of the acid fell on Sonam as she tried to save me. My shrieks brought my mother Sunaina rushing to the roof. But the assailants deliberately stood there for a while before leaving, as if to enjoy the moment.
These boys had been harassing me for months. They used to pass vulgar remarks, pull my chunni and follow me on their motorcycles when I went to Danapur for my Plus-2 classes and coaching.
When I did not respond to their overtures, they turned abusive and threatened to teach me a lesson I would never forget. Focused as I was on my career goal, I thought nothing of it. How wrong I was.
For months after the incident, nobody came to help us. Even the local mukhia (village headman) and the area MLA avoided visiting us, let alone helping us, as the culprits are from a dominant community.
Since then, internet campaigns by several NGOs and a Maner-based social activist have had many people pledging their support for my treatment and rehabilitation. A Ranchi-based plastic surgeon has even promised to reconstruct my face.
When the acid attack was reported in the media, the Scheduled Castes commission stepped in and we, the two sisters, got a compensation of R2.42 lakh between us. The money, which was not enough to begin with, is long gone.
I have been told that the badi adalat (Supreme Court) has ordered compensation and free medical treatment for acid victims like me. This has rekindled the hope in my heart.
If my face can be restored, this dalit ki beti still has it in her to make something of her shattered life. Jab tak saans hai, tab tak aas hai (Till there’s life, there’s hope).
But the sarkar (government) has not done much for me so far. We have just returned from Delhi's Safdarjung Hospital after receiving treatment for some complications in my neck. The doctors there told me I have 90 per cent burns on my face. But we are left with no money for further treatment.
Those who ruined my life are in jail. But no progress has been made in the case as my statement under Section 164 of the CrPC has not been recorded even almost nine months after the incident.
We met IG saheb (Arvind Pandey, IG, CID – weaker sections) on December 31 last year and he had promised early action in this regard. Then my father met the Patna district magistrate in April this year. But my statement has still not been recorded.
Earlier, the excuse given for the delay was that I was not fit to speak owing to the severe burns on my face. Though I am now able to speak easily, my statement has still not been recorded for reasons unknown.
I want exemplary punishment to be handed out to the culprits so that it dissuades others like them from ruining the lives of innocent girls, who are pursuing their dreams under trying circumstances.
But neither the police nor the government seems serious in pushing my case. Perhaps, they think I am a poor, helpless dalit girl, not worth bothering about. Or, this is the situation maybe because the culprits belong to a dominant group.
But I will pursue the matter till my last breath. My father tells me I am a brave girl, full of fight. I will prove him right. I won’t give up till the end.
Therefore it is a kind request please take appropriate action at earliest.

Thanking You
Sincerely Yours
Lenin Raghuvanshi
Secretary General
Peoples' Vigilance Committee on Human Rights
Sa 4/2 A Daulatpur, Varanasi - 221002
Mobile No: +91-9935599333

Friday, July 26, 2013

पुलिस कर्मियों पर आई0पी0सी0 की धारा 166ए के तहत् कार्यवाही की जाय।

आयोग का फुलबेन्च मुझे, सपना, श्रुति, पुलिस अधिकारियों एवं सुनील गुप्ता को बुलाकर सुनवाई करे। आयोग के ह्यूमन राइट्स डिफेन्डर डेस्क को मजबूत करें एवं 20 दिसम्बर, 2012 व 16 जनवरी, 2013 को मिली धमकी पर प्राथमिकी दर्ज कर जाँच की जाय एवं मानसिक प्रताड़ना के लिए पीडि़त सपना एवं मानवाधिकार कार्यकर्ताओं को मुवायजा दिया जाए। पूरे प्रकरण की जाँच सी0बी0आई0 से करायी जाय एवं पुलिस कर्मियों पर आई0पी0सी0 की धारा 166ए के तहत् कार्यवाही की जाय।

Friday, July 19, 2013


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.

Importance of identity cards stressed

Importance of identity cards stressed
July 18, 2013 , By Omar Rashid 
A woman displays her identity card. Photo: Brijesh Jaiswal
A woman displays her identity card. Photo: Brijesh Jaiswal
This month and the next will see an energetic campaign in eastern Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand to ensure that Dalits and tribals acquire birth and caste certificates that will entitle them to state privileges
Knowing one's rights often serves as the first line of defence against exploitation.
But to enjoy the entitlements of these rights, it is necessary for the citizens to possess an authentication card. In the absence of these "identity" cards, even the most basic rights sometimes get trespassed, resulting in exploitation and discrimination, and even violence.
The case is true of the Dalits and tribals living in some of the most backward regions of India.
An attempt is being made to educate villagers about the importance of identity cards and their contribution in creating a torture-free climate by the People's Vigilance Committee on Human Rights, an organisation based in Varanasi.
To this end, the PVCHR has kicked off the Meri Pehchaan or ‘My Identity’ campaign in 72 model villages in different blocks of the Eastern Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand.
Equating "identity" with dignity, the campaign will hold discussions in each village on the importance of identity cards.
The activists of PVCHR will reach out to the homes of the villagers and list the persons who do not possess some of the basic identity cards, including caste certificates and birth certificates, says PCVHR programme Manager Shirin Shabana Khan.
"These areas are mostly inhabited by tribals and dalits. They are unaware of their rights and even if they have rights they do not have the proper cards to validate them. We will meet the concerned officials and submit an application to them so that the villagers get their identity cards,"she said.
The target blocks are Pindre in Varanasi, Tanda in Ambedkar Nagar, Robertsganj in Sonbhadra, Chaka in Allahabad and Domchach in Jharkhand.
A preliminary survey of 3000 persons by PVCHR activists had concluded that most of the people did not own any type of identity cards such as election card, caste certificate, birth registration and death registration certificate. 
A caste certificate is the proof of one’s belonging to a particular caste, especially in case one belongs to any of the ‘Scheduled Castes.’ Through the possession of this card, these citizens can avail the privileges granted to them, including reservation of seats in the legislatures and in government service, waiving off a part of or the whole fees for admission to schools and colleges, and quotas in educational institutions. 
To ensure that children are counted and have access to basic services such as health, social security and education, birth registration is central. It also protects the child from child labour, being arrested and treated as adults in the justice system, forcible conscription in armed forces, child marriage, trafficking and sexual exploitation.  In effect, birth registration is their ‘passport to protection.’ The campaign, which kicked off in July, will last till August 15.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Director General of Police,UP,India: Removal of Fake case against Human Rights Defenders

Sub: Fake case against Lenin Raghuvanshi and Shruti Nagvanshi. Threat to life of Human Rights Defenders due to corrupt police and anti - women element of the city of Varanasi.
On 19th June, 2013 at 9:31 pm Lenin received a threatening call from mobile no: +91- 8934003003 on his mobile +91-9935599333. He was calling himself as journalist and while making call he was speaking with threatening voice and said “see the power of journalist in case of Sapana”. He said that you know FIR lodged against Lenin and Shruti in Bhelupur police station in crime no. 199/13 under section 342, 348, 498 of IPC.
He gave threat to withdraw the cases against Sunil Gupta and doctors of city. He said that he dropped the copy of FIR in my house. As Lenin was outside city for important work and immediately the staff in the office scanned and sent it to him.
Lenin was shocked after reading the FIR that it address to the Chief Medical Officer, Varanasi but not to the police officer and FIR filed by police station of Bhelupur in Varanasi.
It is noted on 28th February, 2013 already Sunil Gupta filed habeas corpus against Lenin Raghuvanshi in honorable High Court under writ petition no. 8753 of 2013 as a same allegations. (The copy of writ is annexed). On 18th March, 2013 the honourable court gave order against Sunil Gupta “The petition stands disposed of, accordingly, her husband, Sunil Kumar Gupta, is restrained from making any kind of interference in the peaceful life and liberty of the corpus”.
On 24th January, 2013 Lenin wrote an urgent appeal he fully understand that the police-mafia nexus might make attempt to kill him or his family members or try to get me trapped in bogus case. I have been threatened so on December 20, 2012 and January 16, 2013.
He also demanded to protect, my family, Sapna Chaurasia and her family be protected and a probe should be conducted at high level by the CBCID or CBI due to involvement of corrupts in all sectors such as media, police, NGOs, lawyers, relatives etc, because he received many calls and advises from them to withdrawal his petition and support. First time in his life, he is feeling that his death is so near. He believes in life before death like Jesus, so he is going to fight up to my death against corrupt and patriarchal elements. He says, “If I will be died, please support to people of PVCHR and provide care to my son. It is my testimony on the birthday of my son Kabeer karunik on 24 January 2013.”
He sent this letter to all concerned authorities. NHRC issued notice to Senior Superintendent of Police in case no. 42218/24/72/2012/UC dated 15 December, 2012 

Sunil Gupta is continuously active on facebook ( ) and he misused the many picture of Shruti Nagvanshi and she filed case against Sunil Gupta in Cantt police station crime no. 418/13 under section 66ग, 66घ, 67 of IT Act.
On 16th June, 2013 in noon three police officials came to Lenins’ house. One police official to discuss about Sapana case, the other one on the case registered under IT Act and last official came for his personal work. Lenin identified one police official he was an alleged perpetrator in the one case pursued by him. They also took the IP number of PVCHR offices’ wi-fi connection.
Not only Lenin and Shruti faced the above mental and physical harassment but on April 24, 2013 at around 8 pm three unidentified assailants knocked at his house and called Lenin (SA 4/2 A, Daualatpur, Police station: Cantt,Varanasi-221002,India) and then suddenly they fired upon Lenin with the pistol with the intention to kill him. He fortunately bent down and the bullet missed him but then suddenly the other assailant took out a knife and attacked on his foot.
The First Information Report (FIR) lodged case no. 359/13 under section 307, 452, 343 and 325 of Indian Penal Code after the intervention of Circle Officer, Cantt. But till date the investigation officer did not come to take his statement. However the Pahadiya police chowki is continuously making pressure to compromise.
When Lenin was writing this letter on 20th June, 2013 at 12:20 he received call from +66830217171 and after that at 12:27 am +91-9029683501 threat him to involve him in fake case.
I am writing this letter just to inform that any time any incidence can happen with Lenin and Shruti, their family and other their close associates. Therefore it is a kind request to take appropriate action under different legal procedure to ensure the peaceful work of Human Rights defenders for realisation of rule of law. Please take immediate action under169 Cr.P.C. in Fake FIR crime no. 199/13 under section 342, 348, 498 of IPC. And also take appropriate action under 182 IPC against Sunil Gupta to filling same case of same allegation, which are decided by police enquiry and Honourable High Court.