Sunday, December 11, 2016

Domestic Violence: A Heinous Human Rights Violation in Private Space

Domestic Violence: A Heinous Human Rights Violation in Private Space

The effect of domestic violence is not only physical, psychological or emotional but also impacts upon physical, social, interpersonal and financial domains. The survivors are compelled to live a poor quality of life and they have to financially become dependent on their mayeke (parental home). They also have less societal interaction due to the social shame of anxiety, fear of going out, lack of self-esteem, confidence, isolation, lack of confidence and self-blame. Shirin profiles the case of Jyoti. She and her infant girl-child were tortured inhumanly at her in-laws place. Here’s the story of the restoration of dignity, with the intervention of PVCHR, in the regular column, exclusively for Different Truths.
Domestic violence is a pervasive social issue characterised by the perpetration of physical, sexual, and/or psychological harm by a current or former intimate partner (Saltzman, Fanslow, McMahon, & Shelley, 2002).The National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB) Report reveals cruelty by husband and relatives, in 2015, accounted for 34% of cases, rising 6% over the last four years, from 106,527 cases, in 2012, to 113,403, in 2015. As per the state and union territory-wise data, Uttar Pradesh has seen the highest number of women rights violation cases so far, in this financial year at 6,110 1 . These deleterious consequences call attention to the need for further examination of factors that may alleviate these harmful impacts for survivors recently exposed to abuse.
The effect of domestic violence is not only physical, psychological or emotional but also impacts upon physical, social, interpersonal and financial domains. The survivors are compelled to live poor quality of life and they have to financially become dependent on their mayeke (parental home). They also have less societal interaction due to the social shame of the poor relationship.  Due to which they develop many psychological symptoms such as anxiety, fear of going out, lack of self-esteem, confidence, isolation, lack of confidence and self-blame. “I feel so bad that do not want to go to anyone or any place. Never feel like attending marriage or any other function. I feel like repenting in a corner of the house, as I fear what will happen to me and my four year old daughter,” says 23 years old Jyoti.
The survivor’s doesn’t disclose abuse or seek social support because they may feel stigmatized if others know of their abuse, they may see violence in the home as a private matter, or they may fear retaliation from their partners if they disclose the abuse. Even if abused women seek social support, they may not receive the support they need because potential support providers may blame the victim or feel uncomfortable discussing this sensitive topic. Here’s what Jyoti had to say:
“I never shared anything that I faced in two months in my in-laws house. Every time I thought the situation would become better. Every night, I slept with tears. My life had become a living hell. During that time I became pregnant but they never thought of giving me any relief. They made me work for hours and then offered very little food that was insufficient for me. I used to fall down out of weakness and hunger but they never asked why I was becoming so weak with every passing day. 
“After some time, my father came to take me. He said to my in-laws if he could take me to home for a few days. Hearing this, my father-in- law started abusing my father. For long a time, heated words were exchanged between the two and then my mother-in- law stood up to say, ‘Take away your witch, your inauspicious daughter.’ And I came back with my father, weeping. Daughters always feel happy after coming back from their in-laws house but I never felt anything was making me happy.
“I used to think, ‘What were my shortcomings that I got such a terrible treatment from that family.’ Neither my husband is interested in me nor is he paying attention towards the child, who is going to take birth soon.
“After sometime, a daughter was born to me and the information was sent to my in-laws house. But no one from came to see the child. I thought if not for me, they could have come to see the child at least. Whenever someone knocked at the door I used to run and see hoping it were someone from my in-laws family but when I found it was someone else, I used to return with tears. My mother and my Bhabi (brother’s wife) always consoled me saying that things would get better soon.
“Then on March 1, 2010, my mother-in- law and sister-in- law came to take me and my father told me to go with them. But when I came to my in-laws house they repeated their torturous behaviour. My husband never used to see the face of our child for she was a girl. All of them used to curse me for giving birth to a girl child. What was my fault or that of the child, if she was a girl-child? They didn’t allow her to have milk. My mother-in- law used to say, ‘Give her flour with water instead of milk.’
“Her words made me cry and I pleaded with her, ‘Our daughter is just two months old and if I do this she would die. You may not give food to me but please allow my daughter to have milk.’ It was then the turn of my sister-in- law to curse and torment me. She would say, ‘Your father hasn’t given money for her milk then how could you feed her.’
“When I used to breastfeed her, they snatched her from me and put her on the floor and compelled me to work. My sister-in- law used to spit on me and made me clean her footwear. When my husband was at home they used to poison his mind and instigate him against me and made him beat me up blue-black. They threw my child on the floor instead of playing with her and cursed my parents. My father-in-law used to say, ‘We will take you to court and your father will not be able to do anything.’
“Even then, I hoped against hope that things will get better soon. But nothing got better. It worsened with each passing day. One night my husband dragged me down from the first floor, while thrashing me and all other family members of his, including my mother-in- law and sister-in- law too came there. My father-in- law tried and forced me to drink acid kept in a bottle, while my husband kept on beating me. I was crying and asking mercy at the feet of everyone. None had any sympathy for me. My father-in- law said, ‘Go and get money from your father else we will kill you.’ I replied, ‘Father, how would my parents bring more money?’ But they continued to torture and torment me and our daughter.”
In 2012, Jyoti approached to PVCHR through its volunteer. Jyoti was psycho- socially supported through testimonial therapy. The testimonial therapy is a short psychological approach to trauma that utilises the testimony method. The testimony is the truth telling and emotion pain sharing of the survivors with which truth is an important aspect of the process of justice. The testimony is viewed within the broad framework of social construction and provides valid information of human rights violations, without humiliating the witness. More often than not, it resulted in the survivors overcoming of depressive symptoms and cope with a difficult situation. Survivors rediscover self-worth and dignity. They regain self-esteem through the recording of their stories in a human rights context, as such, private pain is reframed with a political meaning.
In the Indian context, it has acquired the psycho-legal form that emphasises denunciation of human rights violation and initiates advocacy for justice. It has three elements:
1. Private: Psychological rehabilitation of the survivor leads to a certain degree of restoration of  the physical and mental state. This opens the possibility of his/her participation in a community movement and ultimately becoming a human rights defender.
2. Legal: The testimonies provide a lot of subjective information about the plight of the victim, which help the court to take into account when the bail application of the victim is considered. The human sufferings are never recorded in the court proceedings. However, these references of human sufferings often go in favour of the victim in front of the well-prepared.
3. Political: Within testimonial therapy, public ceremonies are organised to honour the survivors of torture. These ceremonies provide an opportunity to bring back the survivor to the same community/society that has isolated him/her for being tortured.
The testimonies are read out in the presence of the villagers, invited guests, local politicians, elected representatives, and local media creating debate and discussion at the local level because it contains human sufferings, institutional malpractices, and failure of constitutional guarantees. Testimonies can be used as urgent appeals and for advocacy work.
The ceremonies honouring the survivors after the process of testimonial therapy was such an empowering and endearing moment and milestone in the lives of the survivors. It was a real recognition of the integrity of the survivors as human beings that they possess value in every community and in society and they have right to be honoured in his/her community.
The society provides acknowledgment and understanding of the survivors’ suffering and the necessity for healing and reparation. This was a celebration of their breaking of silence towards achieving empowerment, such as ‘The Kajari Mahotsav’ was able to facilitate the elimination of the caste feeling as both the upper and lower caste are able to participate together in said festival. With the Right to Information also discussed in their folk school, the leaders are well utilising it for their purpose. During the festival of Kajari Mahotsav, Dalit women have provided solidarity to the upper caste women, who were facing domestic violence.
This psycho-social support  model of PVCHR is multi‐dimensional and multi‐layer programming that covers all the three significant pillars of work – that of healing and rehabilitation, achieving and having access to justice and prevention so that the practice and phenomenon of elimination of domestic violence.
Jyoti’s testimony with the covering letter was handed over to the district probation officer, Varanasi under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005. The case is also filed under section 125 Cr. PC in the family court and she is receiving the maintenance of 10,000 INR. Her story was also part of the submission report during the visit of Ms. Rashida Manjoo, UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against women with specific on domestic violence.
Now, Jyoti is continuing her education. She is pursuing postgraduate and her daughter is in class fourth.

1 9700-women- rights-violation- cases-registered- since-april-2015/
©Shirin Shabana Khan
Photo from the internet.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Open letter on possibility for SAARC Human Rights Instruments

I request to Governments of SAARC and SAARC, to bring above mentioned discourse for establishment of SAARC Human Rights mechanism to Government of India and Asia-Pacific forum of NHRIs.

Friday, August 12, 2016

उत्तर प्रदेश के वाराणसी जिले में अदालत में पेशी पर लाने-ले-जाने के लिए महिला व पुरुष बंदियों को भूसे की तरह भरकर एक ही वैन में लाने व ले जाने के सम्बन्ध में |

--------- Forwarded message ----------
From: anup srivastava <>
Date: 2016-08-12 12:31 GMT+05:30
Subject: उत्तर प्रदेश के वाराणसी जिले में अदालत में पेशी पर लाने-ले-जाने के लिए महिला व पुरुष बंदियों को भूसे की तरह भरकर एक ही वैन में लाने व ले जाने के सम्बन्ध में |
Cc: Lenin Raghuvanshi <>, "Dr. Lenin Raghuvanshi" <>

सेवा में,                                            12 अगस्त, 2016
माननीय मुख्यमंत्री महोदय,
उत्तर प्रदेश सरकार,
लखनऊ | 
विषय : उत्तर प्रदेश के वाराणसी जिले में अदालत में पेशी पर लाने-ले-जाने के लिए महिला व पुरुष बंदियों को भूसे की तरह भरकर एक ही वैन में लाने व ले जाने के सम्बन्ध में |  
      आपका ध्यान 12 अगस्त, 2016 के दैनिक समाचार पत्र “जन्संदेश टाईम्स” के इस खबर “खूंखार पुरुष बंदियों के लिए खिलौना बनी महिला बंदी, सुरक्षाकर्मियों की मौजूदगी में वैन में ठूंसी गयी महिला बहाती रही आंसू” की ओर आकृष्ट कराना चाहता हूँ | किस प्रकार से माननीय सर्वोच्च न्यायालय, माननीय राष्ट्रीय मानवाधिकार आयोग के आदशो की धज्जियां उड़ाते हुए वाराणसी पुलिस महिला व पुरुष को एक ही वैन में ठूंस कर जबरदस्ती महिला को उन पुरुषो के साथ बैठने को मजबूर करते है | साथ ही रास्ते भर बंदियों के साथ साथ पुलिस वाले भी महिलाओ के साथ अभद्र भाषा व अश्लील संकेतो का प्रयोग करते है और भी आश्चर्य की बात यह है कि उस महिला कैदी के साथ कोइ भी महिला कांस्टेबल भी मौजूद नहीं दिखाई दी |
      आपको यह भी अवगत कराना चाहता हूँ कि इसके पूर्व भी वाराणसी के जिला जेल में बंदियों द्वारा उपद्रव करते हुए बहुत उत्पात मचाया गया था और लगभग बंदियों ने जिला जेल पर अपना कब्जा जमा लिया था व कई पुलिसवालों को मारा पीटा भी था जिससे यह स्पस्ट होता है कि स्थिति बहुत भयावह है | इसमें तवरित कार्यवाही की आवश्यकता है |
      अतः आपसे विनम्र निवेदन है कि इस संगीन मामले को संज्ञान में लेते हुए इसमें दोषी पुलिसकर्मियों के खिलाफ उचित न्यायोचित कार्यवाही करने के साथ ही साथ महिलाओ के सम्मान व सुरक्षा के लिए कठोर निर्देश देने की कृपा करे |

संलग्नक :
  1. दैनिक समाचार पत्र में छपी खबर की प्रति व घटना से सम्बंधित फोटो |
डा0 लेनिन रघुवंशी
मानवाधिकार जननिगरानी समिति
सा 4/2 ए दौलतपुर, वाराणसी
Like us on facebook 

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Torture and India – An Ugly Persistence

By Amit Singh
 Torture and India – An Ugly Persistence

July 16, Oslo: No other human acts can be so degrading as the act of torture; no other human instincts can be as repulsive and repugnant as idea of torturing someone, whosoever the culprit, state or an individual. Stigma on the modern civilization, the practice of torture is widely prevalent -whether US Government’s use of torture in Guantanamo bay against detained prisoners or Islamic State (ISIS) torturing innocent people in Syria. Torture, despite being inhumane practice, is omnipresent.  In modern states, up to some extent, torture has been legalized.

In Indian states, torture in police custody is widely prevalent which include beating, use of third degree methods, verbal abuse and humiliation in public.  Alarming rate of torture cases have shaken the Indian civil society. Numerous cases of torture have been documented and highlighted by the Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. NGOs continued to report deaths from torture of prisoners while in police custody. 93 cases of deaths and 197 cases of rapes in police custody were reported in 2014. In August the National Human Rights Commission recorded 1,327 deaths in judicial custody between April 2014 and January 2015. Most of the reported cases of police torture are from Kashmir region.

International Center for Prison studies reported India’s prison population is 333,112. Approximately 70% prisoners are waiting for trial . Most of under trial prisoners are vulnerable to police torture as police quite often use torture as means to extract evidence. According to source, more than 14,000 people died in police custody in India between 2001 and 2010, most of them from being tortured .

Most of the torture victims are quite often from vulnerable groups of society such as lower cast Dalits, tribes, and minorities. Incidents of violence against Dalits and Adivasis were reported from states including Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. According to statistics released in August 2014, over 47,000 crimes against members of Scheduled Castes, and over 11,000 crimes against members of Scheduled Tribes, were reported in 2014 .

However, practice of torture is not limited to the police, but also non-state actors frequently use it to punish their opponents such as Maoist armed groups and insurgents in Kashmir and North-east India.

Why Torture must be eliminated?
Torture dehumanizes a person to the level where one’s faith is shaken in society. In addition, the effect of torture percolates, through the survivor of torture, in deep fabric of society, affecting people and communities. A torture victim may deal the impact of torture in various ways; immediate impact of torture may benumb the sense of victims, deeply affecting physical and psychological layers of the personality.

In most cases, torture victims suffer from, to certain degree, psychological or physical harm. Exposure to extreme traumatic experiences not only affects the victims but also has profound impact on their family, the community, and the nation. Torture may alter personal feeling, beliefs, and judgment. However the cumulative effects of torture extend to the whole society, impacting generations to come. Various studies have proved that torture has lasting impact of fear, feeling of helplessness, loss of control, and anxiety.

Apart from the visible wounds, Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can emerge after traumatic events. The defining characteristic of a traumatic event is its capacity to provoke a feeling of fear, horror, and helplessness in response to a threat of injury or death. Whether, physical torture or mild form of psychological torture, equally leave the lasting impact on the wellbeing on the torture victim. The torture victim is in essence dehumanized, striped of their dignity and self worth. This dehumanization is manifested into various forms such as sexual humiliation, desecration (especially religion), and feral treatment (such as forcing victim to act as animal).
Torture is not restricted to an isolated event, as conditions of detention and repeated acts of cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment can meet the threshold of torture as outlined in the United Nations Convention against Torture (1984). This  includes forced starvation, prolonged solitary confinement, repeated denial of basic medical health care, and custodial violence such as rape or being stripped naked.

Healing hands from Indian Civil Society
In its unique endeavor to provide a heeling hand to torture survivor, a north India based NGO, People's Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR) is involved in a pilot project by employing testimonial therapy to improve psychological wellbeing among survivors of torture in India (Torture 2009 vol.19). This is an organized effort of PVCHR to propagate the importance of testimonial therapy as a psycho legal support to the victims of torture. PVCHR testimonial therapy campaign contributes to eliminate impunity for perpetrators of torture in India. Remarkably, PVCHR is not only doing advocacy against police torture, but is also leading ‘anti-torture initiatives and campaigns on torture free society.

However, high number of recorded cases of torture seeks more attention and consistent vigilance from local civil society. Furthermore, commitment to protect dignity of ordinary person must be a topmost priority of government. There is no justification, legal or moral, that supports the practice of torture.
Government stand
India is signatory to the Convention Against Torture (CAT), and while it is yet to ratify the instrument the signature implies an intention to eventually incorporate the provisions of the Convention into domestic law. The Convention specifically prohibits the use of torture, obliging every State Party to "take effective legal, administrative, judicial or other measures to prevent acts of torture in any territory under its jurisdiction."  India must ratify the Convention Against Torture at its earliest. The implicit prohibition of torture is already found in the Indian Constitution and in case law. In its 1998-99 annual report, the National Human Rights Commission expressed regret that the formalities for ratification were still not complete.

However, even if a country has not ratified a particular treaty prohibiting torture, because the prohibition of torture is so fundamental and customary, the country is in any event bound on the basis of general international law. The prohibition of torture is found in a number of international human rights and humanitarian treaties and is also regarded as a principle of general international law.  General international law is binding on all states, even if they have not ratified a particular treaty.

Also, state officials are prohibited from inflicting, instigating or tolerating the torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment of any person. An order from a superior officer or a public authority may not be invoked as a justification for torture as Nuremberg trials ruling asserts. States are also required to ensure that all acts of torture are offences under their criminal law, establish criminal jurisdiction over such acts, investigate all such acts and hold those responsible for committing them to account.
Ray of Hope

However, there is still some hope to combat practices of torture by various stakeholders. In July 2014, the Supreme Court directed state governments to install closed-circuit television cameras (CCTV) in all prisons within two years to prevent torture and other violations of prisoners’ rights, and to consider installing them in all police stations. Also in July 2014, the Ministry of Home Affairs expressed that the government was considering amending the Penal Code to specifically recognize torture as a crime. In addition, vibrant Indian civil society have exerted a tremendous amount of efforts to convince Indian government to rectify CAT and speedy hearing for under trials.

However, despite the existing legal safeguards, widespread use of torture is continuing in India. Torture remains endemic, institutionalized and central to the administration of justice.

Practice of torture must be eliminated to restore the dignity of humanity. No society and government can claim to be civilized and democratic, if practice of torture allowed. 

The Oslo Times International News Network
- See more at:

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Learning of the struggle against hegemonic masculinity

In most of the cases due to the lengthy justice process and no economic and social protection to survivors result extra – legal comprise involving few people from both side as witness. Poor and hapless women who don’t have money to travel to the district office to file complain or do follow up of the case. Even in District Probation office they have to pay to 10 Rs each time to get the new dates and even also during the time of the mediation of the both parties. Survivors are again sent to their husband house as the matter to test the relationship as abuse/violence will not revise again.

Monday, June 6, 2016

One best practice against Rape in India

I am happy to share India court convicts five over Danish woman's rape in Delhi
PVCHR filed follows complain about rape of Danish Woman in Paharganj,New Delhi to National Human Rights Commission as first complain. NHRC took immediate action because media were very active that time.
We received the consequence of false implication by the police of Paharganj Police Station in New Delhi.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Slavery Persists for Millions in India, Despite Improvements

Associates press released and all top newspapers in worlds published.
"These poor and deprived people are forced to leave their homes because of poverty. This is clear reflection of the failure of the welfare state," said Lenin Rghuvanshi of the People's Vigilance Committee on Human Rights, the charity which put together a December report based on testimony from 450 people rescued from slavery and bonded labor in India last year, including Kamla.

"Bonded labor is a contemporary type of slavery," he said. "The government, which is supposed to provide them basic necessities, has failed them."

Radha, kidnapped from her family by a woman from her village and forced into bonded labor at a brick kiln near Varanasi, told the People's Vigilance Committee on Human Rights she was raped daily by the factory's owner when she was not cooking and cleaning for him, and then was beaten when she tried to object.

"I was so scared," she said. "I'm still in pain from the rapes."

#endslavery #pvchr #bondedlabour #u4humanrights

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Varanasi Musahars Break the Shackles of Slavery, Emancipate Community

Elimination of the culture of silence, fear and phobia of organised violence and torture are the predominant factors of resilience to inculcate social transformation. It contributes in poverty elimination. The stories of Sarai and Sakara villages are the classical examples of how change happens. Here’s a special report by Shirin. It’s a part of the Different Truths and PVCHR awareness drive in eradicating bonded labour.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Lenin, my Friend: Empowering the Marginal, Restoring Dignity

Lenin, my Friend: Empowering the Marginal, Restoring Dignity

journalist Mr. Arindam Roy profiles the life and times of the human rights
activist, Lenin Raghuvanshi, who has been working tirelessly to empower and
emancipate the lowest of the low among Dalits, the Musahars and Nuts. A
caste-driven society that functions on the exclusion of the Sanathan Dharma has
to be replaced with the democratic and secular Sramana traditions. He has been
championing the cause of the marginal and the voiceless, restoring dignity and
helping them with their identity as respectable human beings.
find link as follows:

#pvchr #dalit #india #bharat #pluralism

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

A joint intiative for elimination of bonded labour from villages.

On the complain of Lenin Raghuvanshi dated January, 2016 , the Sub - Divisional Magistrate, Pindra in its letter no. .88/17-vividh- T.M.C.(Ayog) - 2016 dated 21 March, 2016 state that their is no bonded labour in Lakshirampur, Aswari, Hamirapur block of Badagaon block and Nehiya, Bhatwari khurd, Sarai musahar basti of Pindra block of Varanasi district.  PVCHR adopted these village in 2010 with the support from DIGNITY: Danish Institute Against Torture. In this initiative their was extraordinary support from National Human Rights Commission.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Invitation: Celebration of the 50 years anniversary of Indo-German Society Remscheid, Germany

Peoples’ Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR) and Malaviya Center for Peace Research, BHU cordially invite you for the Celebration of the 50 years anniversary of Indo-German Society Remscheid, Germany in honour of the long lasting and unique friendship and sustainable cooperation between PVCHR, the Indo-German Society Remscheid on 12 – 13 February, 2016 in Varanasi.  
Objectives of conference: 

a. Meaning of Indo-German relationship in context of sustainable peace and humane world
b. Discussion on education as tools for hope, honour and dignity
c. Inauguration of launch of booklet on work Indo-German Society affiliate Remscheid and PVCHR
d. Distribution of “Certificate from affiliate Remscheid” to successful girls who received “Helma Ritscher Educational Scholarship”
e. Brief meeting about Banaras declaration on Indo-German relationship
f. Press conference on out come as Banaras declaration on Indo-German relationship in particular and Europe in General

12 February, 2016: Malaviya Center for Peace Research, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi from 11 am onwards

13 February, 2016: Hotel Kamesh Hut, Lahurabeer Varanasi from 11 am onwards

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Testimonial Therapy: Impact on social participation and emotional well being among Indian survivors of torture and organized violence

Testimonial Therapy: Impact on social participation and emotional well being among Indian survivors of torture and organized violence

By Mia Myhre Jørgensen,  Jens Modvig, Inger Agger​,Lenin Raghuvanshi​,Shirin Shabana Khan​ and Peter Polatin​

Published in Torture Journal( Journal on Rehabilitation of Torture Victims and Prevention of Torture,latest issue: Volume 25, Nr. 2, 2015).

Please find links:

The current study has added to the evidence of TT as an effective method for reducing psychological distress and increasing well-being and social participation in Indian survivors of TOV. Sharing their trauma story through the testimony process improved the survivors’ psychosocial functioning and enabled them to advance on the path to recovery, accepting new responsibilities and regaining satisfactory functioning in their families and environment. Furthermore, it appears that TT has a positive impact at the community level by promoting community empowerment. This study provides the foundation for further research on this aspect, such as controlled trials to determine the effect of TT on individual- and community outcome measures.

About journal:

#DIGNITY #endimpunity #tt #PVCHR #torture #endtorture #SURVIVOR #u4humanrights