Friday, September 5, 2014

Resilience and coping in model process against torture

Article based on communication between Shririn Shabana Khan of PVCHR and Erik Wendt of Dignity: Danish Institute against torture about Model village process for child right and human Rights. Thanks to Shruti Nagvanshi and Anup Srivastava for sharing of their experience.

The model village against torture and organized violence processes are based on resilience theory as breaking the culture of silence and positive conflict resolution in the most marginalized communities of 70 villages of Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand which is inculcating self - transformation of the victim – survivor – human rights defenders.
The targeted communities in this village are at high risk facing police torture, institutional discrimination, slavery (bonded labour), and organized violence based on caste system and masculinity and are deprived and neglected from all government schemes.
The activists in these villages discussed the dynamics of the abusive intimate relationship and providing them important knowledge through various acts and guidelines in folk schools and focus group discussions. Various activities and process at Individual, Family, Society and institutional level are organized to create physical and psychological resilience of these communities such as Folk School, Community meeting, High profile campaign ("Meri Pehchan" (My identity), neo -dalit campaign Satyagraha, poster campaign and door to door campaign), Meta – legal intervention, testimonial therapy, Legal intervention, Medical support, bringing their voice in the corridor of policy makers, Public hearing and Interface with different stakeholders. In the starting the risk of these villages are mapped through individual and group discussions for stakeholder analysis. Base line survey is one of the base for understand the socio – economic condition of these villages.
The follows methodologies used in the process are:
1)   Identification of the village, community on the basis of anthropological, cultural, economic and political context.
2)   Evaluation of the needs of communities and target groups
3)   Community based strategy formulation and implementation of the community based interventions
4)   Monitoring & evaluation and then re-strategy formation and then again implementation:
These processes inculcate hope, dignity, honor and capacity among community and its leaders but also creating opportunities for involvement and the demonstration of competence and increasing involvement, bonding and attachment between communities and external factors. The Kajari and Sakara festivals are the few classical examples which facilitate the elimination of the gap among different castes are able to participate together in said festival.

Changes in the community behavior are constraint by the meaning they attach to their experience. As now these understood the purpose and meaning of their dignity of lives. “It is getting difficult to recognize that they are Musahar as of now, because their living condition and the knowledge of the improved”. C.O, Badagaon narrates while making the statement of PVCHR activists in the case of police torture of Harinath musahar.

Model village process against torture and organized violence is also creating resilience with the different institutions such as police department, commissions, district administration and hospitals. Mutana, a community leaders said “First time I feel honoured when Bada Sahab (Big official) listen my testimony very carefully.”  She narrates in front of the two presiding officer in public hearing organized by National Human Rights Commission (NHRC). Without any fear these communities are bringing there complain directly to the concerned authorities such as tehsil, police station and are availing medical facilities in government hospital and enjoying service of Government schemes. After many decades now they received their identity card (voter ID card, ration card and birth registration certificate).

Now the community leaders increased their ability to identify problems, establish priorities and act according to that. So, people from the different communities in villages are coming to most marginalized Musahar[i] for seeking help on the issues of basic needs (housing scheme and water) etc. In the first phase 230 Aguwas (community leaders) were trained on writing complain, using RTIs and mapping of the problem in their village. The communities understand the reason of their suffering and now they improved evaluation of self for creating more comprehensive understanding about the society (especially about the people from different caste and attitudes of the institutions towards them) for breaking the cycle of violence. Ex: In sarai village the people from different caste were trying to create dispute within the Musahar communities but due to the continuous process of the organization and the understanding of the community prevents to do so. It also developed and strengthens the resilience between the people from different religions too. Ex. in Anei, Varanasi and Tanda, Ambedkarnagar the place facing the communal violence came forward to help each other in the dire situation.

The processes also create the resilience of the community towards the children, youth and the women and strengthen their role in their family and community with their active role in decision making process. Women community leaders are playing active role in various forum as a member of School Management Committee (SMC) under the Right to Education Act. Children and Youth instead of becoming helping hand for their parents in work and taking care of their sibling are now going to school.

In child centric model village children create the resilience towards their parents thought on issues deeply related to them such as child labour, child marriage and child sexual abuse etc. This process a created a dynamics of resilience in young people like Mangala, Sandhaya, Shobhnath and Anand who came from communities and now working for the upliftment of their own communities.

Resilience is creating more democratic space for marginalized poor which eliminate poverty too. Sakara and other village are example for that. Resilience against torture and organized violence is resilience for poverty alleviation too, which is backbone to stablishing rule of law in true sense at grass roots.

In the next phase these community leaders are creating social network of themselves. 'We are illiterate who belonged to the marginalized communities, it may take time for things to develop for us, but we can continue with the efforts and activities that we are doing so far. We look forward to the building of a broader alliance from among the villages similar to us and like ours'. The whole process creates the close binding and peer support “One for all and all for one”.

Article based on communication between Shririn Shabana Khan of PVCHR and Erik Wendt of Dignity: Danish Institute against torture which is based on Model village process for child right and human Rights under leadership of Shruti Nagvanshi and Anup Srivastava