Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Spreading inclusive and pluralistic culture stressed

Friday, August 29, 2014

Thursday, August 28, 2014

About Camp Liberty near Baghdad International Airport,Iraq

His-Excellency Ban Ki-moon,     
United Nations Secretary-General                                                               

Dear Sir,
On the basis of reports received from Camp Liberty near Baghdad International Airport, home to Iranian refugees members of the Iranian opposition, the delivery of fuel has been banned by the agents affiliated to the Iraqi Prime Minister office since few days ago to this location.
On Wednesday, August 13th, the Iraqi forces prevented the entrance of a fuel tanker and confiscated the vehicle and later on Thursday, August 14th, prevented the entrance of the second tanker by the same supplying company to Liberty.
Providing minimum daily necessities in Camp Liberty relies on the continuous and non-stop flow of fuel into the camp. Lighting, cooking food, storing food stuffs, air conditioning in trailers where the residents are stationed in, pumping water into the camp and its purification, drainage of black water and residents of Liberty camp are all relying on power generators that need fuel to run.
Shortage in fuel will lead to a serious crisis for the residents’ health and well-being, especially under the scorching summer heat in Iraq where the temperature now reaches 48 centigrade degree.
The medical embargo that has deprived the residents from access to medicine and medical cares, followed by preventing the delivery of fuel to the camp, has turned the situation into a critical appalling condition especially for the patients and the aged individuals. This has increased our serious concerns about the existing humanitarian situation in this camp.
In regard to UN's repeated commitments in providing the protection and security of these refugees who are covered by UNHCR, we urge you to implement the necessary measures to lift the obstructions in delivering the fuel to this camp.
I am grateful for your attention and concern to this humanitarian issue.
Lenin Raghuvanshi
2010 Weimer Human Rights Awardee
2007 Gwangju Human Rights Awardee
Founder and CEO
People's Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR)
SA 4/2 A Daulatpur, Varanasi - 221002 India
Mobile no.+91-9935599333
Website: www.pvchr.asia
Like us on facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pvchr


Hon. Robert S. Beecroft, U.S. Ambassador, Iraq

Hon  Nickolay Mladenov
Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the UN Mission for Iraq


Saturday, August 23, 2014

[PVCHR Office, VNS] August 21, 2014 PVCHR giving farewell to Mr. Joel Dominic Feroze

 This is to certify that Mr. Joel Dominic Feroze completed his internship in Peoples’ Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR) a program unit of Jan Mitra Nyas, Varanasi from 14th – 21st August, 2014.  During his internship he visited to understand the ITE initiative in Madarsas of Varanasi and Jaunpur.

His performance was inimitable in the field of human rights and he moderate in the mission and vision. PVCHR is looking him as an Ambassador of the organization in London.

His contribution was excellent under the norms and standard of social entrepreneurship and I wish for his bright future.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Too early to wed

“I studying in Government primary school after class – VIII all my classmates dropped out from school except three [two belongs from upper caste and one from other backward caste (OBC)]. I grownup in the place near to this area and found that the children of the 99% of the families are not going to the school.  We selected this slum and working here for last 14 years and now young generation are leading their own campaign and ITE(Integrated Technology Education) are integrating in the process. This is the model of the hope based on the resilience against the culture of silence for India in particular and South Asia in general”, Says, Lenin Raghuvanshi, founder and CEO, PVCHR.

The three young girls Chanda, Jyoti and Pooja of Munshi Prem with the support of other children of Chandra Bal Panchayat, Baghwanala, Varanasi flagged a campaign ‘Will not do kitchen, I want to get educate” campaign against child marriage in 2010. They are the first generation among their family.

The inspirations of these girls were the activists of child right centric model villages and teachers of the non – formal education center (NFE) initiated by Jan Mitra Nyas/PVCHR with the support of the Child Rights and You (CRY), support from Ashoka fellowship through Lenin Raghuvanshi and later by Sir Dorabji Tata Trust (SDTT). The NFE centre was inaugurated by PVCHR patron Justice Z.M Yacoob, Sitting Judge Constitution Court of South Africa & Chancellor of University of Durban, South Africa. Process of child theatre against child marriage for right of girls made them to understand the consequence of the child marriage. These three sit together and discussed Mere sath hota toh mai kya jarti (If these things happened with me than what I will do) they know that it is not only the girl child who bears the consequences of early marriage but it equally impacts the lives of those around them.

They lit the campaign from opposing their own children marriage but also prevent other to do so. They are creating awareness in their area through meeting of Bal Panchayat, street march, open letter, signature campaign, slogan, distributing promotional materials and showcasing their theatre play Sindhoor nahi Sikha, which shows the demerits of the child marriage.

They vigil in there are and after getting information of Manisha child marriage they immediately called joint meeting of Munshi Premchandra Bal Panchayat and Kishori Baithak and called Manisha parents. After having long discussion Manisha’s parents agreed to send Manisha to her in-laws house after she attains the age of 18. But next day Manisha husband forcefully took her to his house.
When these girls came to know about this incident, they went to Manisha’s in-laws house and argued them sent back Manisha to her parent house. After a long discussion they agree to bring Manisha back after she attains the age of 18. After this no child marriage is happening in Baghwanala.

The journey was not easy for them they faced several problems to break this deep routed evil which have become a part of Indian society for several centuries. They faced challenges and resistance from their own relatives, community and parents of their friends. Mere phupha bole ki yeh dusro ke mamle mein bol rahi hai isliye ham log iski shadi class 10 ke bad kar denge. (My uncle said she is speaking in the matter of others so, we will do her marry after class 10). The parents of my friends were not allowing to send them because they think there child will also “Yeh log bahut bolti hai aur man ki badhi hai tum logo ke sath rahkar hamari ladki kharab ho jayegi” (These girls speak a lot and are open minded. my daughter will ruin after coming along with you). The people from there area torn the poster and washed the slogan written on the wall “Bal vivah band karo) stopped child marriage but few people in the community supported by signing the petition.

The Manish’s father came to Chanda’s mother shop and threatens her “Apni ladki to samjha dijiye nahi toh ham usko uthwa lenge” (Make your child understand otherwise we will kidnap her.

These hurdles were not sufficient to stop the mission of these three girls without any fear they continued their struggle. They performed the street play not only in Baghwanala but also in many different places showing high rate of child marriage.
In personal life these girls are running pillar to post for their survival and working hard to complete their vision to be on the responsible post for eradicating social evil, says Jyoti. Pooja wants to become teacher for giving valuable education to the next generation. Now they are studying in B.A – II year from Uday Pratap College, Varanasi with the scholarship awarded from Raj Dulari Foundation, Sweden and Ms. Parul Sharma.

Their daring initiative was honoured with Savitri Bai Phule Memorial Award, Marwadi Youth Committee also honored them in the presence of Sri D. K. Thakur, Deputy Inspector General of Police of Varanasi Zone, famous industrialist Sri Jhunjhunwala was present at the occasion. Ms. Chanda honoured with HT Judges Choice Award and her profile published in India today. The Hindustan daily Hindi newspaper honoured initiative by inviting them as one day editor guest.

Now they are receiving well support from the community, parents of their friends. Their mission worked as many parents stopped doing child marriage and providing opportunity to their girls for further study and provide space for their right to expression. Now not only three but other 19 children joined in their mission. It is extraordinary inculcating process to curb down the concept of masculinity, which is decreasing the violence in families and community too. Now with the support from SDTT ITE initiative started and Smart phone for education concept of Henrik, Germany are in process for next milestone of empowerment.  The children learned video documentation from their own voice of India.

Shruti says, ‘when we initiated the school first teacher gave resign and then we appointed a women teacher who faced domestic violence in her life. We initiated adult literacy, campaign against police torture and the illegal activities by the criminal in that area. Whole process in the grass – root are mostly implemented by the women activist and responsible men for women rights so, a gender perspective is very strong in process against the existing concept of masculinity.’

Now in Baghwanala three centres built with support from German Ministry NRW via GIZ GmbH, Indo – German Society of Remscheid, Germany, dalit team, Remschied, Germany and Jan Mitra Nyas

  • ·      Women centre for women was built after the donation of land by Ms. Urmila Singh (mother of Ms. Shruti Nagvanshi)  
  • ·       Community center and office for the weaver the land was donated by the community
  • ·       Raja Suhail Dev Jan Mitra Sikshan Kendra was donated by the community.

Their success story got published in India Today, Times of India, Hindustan Times, Amar Ujala, Sanskar Magazine, Beyond Headline, Inqualab urdu newspaper etc.

Story is written by Shrirn shabana Khan, Program Director, PVCHR with input by Shruti Nagvanshi, Puja and Jyoti

Few Links:

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Spreading inclusive and pluralistic culture stressed

Varanasi, 12 August, 2014: Heads of various religious faiths, prominent social activists and professionals have called upon the government not to commercialise River Ganga and leave it to flow uninterrupted.

Addressing the maiden Banaras Convention on Saturday here organized by Peoples’ Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR)[i] in alliance with Bana Rahe Banaras and Bunkar Dastkar Adhikar Manch (BDAM), the Hindu seer Dwarikapeetha Shankaracharyas[ii]’ representative Swami Avmukteshvaranand underscored the need for preserving the purity of River Ganga intact.

“Let Gangaji remain as mother, not as source of revenue”, the Hindu seer said indirectly disapproving the government’s move to commercialise the largest river of the country. “Let more water flow in Gangaji but not money”, he added opposing the move by the government to construct check dams over River Gangaji.

Shahar-e-Mufti Maulana Batin Nomani quoted Quran saying that discrimination based on wealth or caste is unjustified. “Saint Kabeer has taught us inculcate human values. We all must take note of this lesson”, the Maulana emphasised.  

Speaking on the occasion Father Gabriel (Director of Diocese, Varanasi) called upon to maintain peace and tranquillity like past year. ”We must feel peace from within. If there is war going on within you, that would naturally be reflected in outside world“, he said philosophy.   

Buddhist monk Bhikkhu Kirti Ratan underscores the need for keeping the values, for which Vanarasi is famous, intact. “this city is not known for its building but for its pristine value systems” he reiterated.    

Corroborating the views of the seer, Maulana Harun Rashid Mufti said the present scenario of Ganga would not allow to be disturbed. “Every religion have reposed faith in Ganga. This city can never be same without Ganga. You find so many mosques on its banks. Muslims read Namaz on the rivers side. We all will work for Ganga’s purity”, he remarked adding that river Ganga is a symbol of Hindu Muslim unity.

Magsaysay awardees Rajendra Singh vehemently opposed the union governments plan to launch water transport in Ganga River. The government has a made a budgetary provision of Rs 4600 cores to develops water transport in the sacred river by running huge mechanized boats carrying 450 Tons of cargo. By implementing this plan of action, the government is out to pollute the already polluted Ganga River. This will also hampers free flow of clean water in the river.

Congress legislator from Kolasla Mr. Ajay Rai, Varanasi made it clear that under no circumstances mother Ganga would be allowed to go down as a playground of corporate bigwigs. “Banaras is the heart of the country cultural diversity time has ticked away. Myriad changes follow but the holy city of Banaras remains the same with its cultural mooring kept intact. No one would be allowed to tinker with the cities values and rich tradition” he retreated.  

Prof. Deepak Malik supported Mr. Rai’s statement saying that some people without understanding the pulse of Banaras a trying to interfere with the city in the name of modernization and development.

Kicking of the debate PVCHR Executive Director Lenin Raghuvanshi highlighted the basic objective of convention. “Time has come to accept and practice inclusive and pluralistic culture across the globe. Varanasi – the epicentre of such culture, should take the lead to spread the massage beyond India”

Among others Dr. Mohammad Arif, Bindu Singh, Vallabhachary Pandey spoke on the occasion. Muniza Rafique Khan welcomes the guests while PVCHR founder and trustee Shruti Nagvanshi[iii] gave vote of thanks. Vyomesh Shukla[iv] and Ateek Ansari moderated on the occasion.

To commemorate August Kranti Day[v], BANARAS SAMMELAN (Banaras Convention) was observed on August 09, 2014 at the Moolgadi Kabir Math[vi], Kabir Chaura, Varanasi, India.

The religious leaders jointly released report of “Kashi Kumbh” to save river Gangaji. Also a book title “a guideline for Communal Harmony” in hindi was unveiled.

On the sideline of historical event, Swami Avmukteshvaranand honoured Jan Mitra Award to Ms. Teesta Setalvad[vii]a veteran social activist, Dr. Tir Vijay Singh, a veteran journalist and Senior Editor of Hindustan and Mr. Nageshwar Patnaik, a veteran journalist for their incredible contribution and commitment & another hand ‘PVCHR Ambassador’ to Pandit Vikash Maharaj[viii], Sarod Maestro and Mr. Prabhash Maharaj, Tabla Maestro as a legendary musicians to protect and assert pluralism and inclusiveness around the world. 

The one day programme took off with the classical music by Maharaj trio Pt Vikash Maharaj[ix] (renowned Sarod player) and Pt Prabhash Maharaj (Tabla player), Abhishek Mahraj (Sitarist) of Varanasi Gharana. A group of singer lead by Ashish Mishra performed on the message of Kabir (kabeer vani). A theatre play “Ganga or Gangi by Prerana Kala Manch[x] was staged. A documentary film  “Muzaffarnagar riots” by Gopal Menon[xi] was also Screened. The program proceeded with Pad Yatra (Kabir Yatra) from Kabir Chaura Math to Chandra Shekhar Azad[xii]Park, Lahurabeer, Varanasi.  More than 2000 people from various district participated in the programme and Benaras Declaration[xiii] announced on occasion.

Earlier Hon’ble President of India Shri Pranav Mukharji, Ex- Secretary General, United Nation Mr. Kofi Annan, Indian Bharatanatyam dancer, Ms. Pratibha Prahlad, Chairperson, Indo- German Society of Remscheid Ms. Helma Ritscher, Mr. Mike Ghos[xiv] from America, Director, Observer Research Foundation (ORF), Mr. Sujoy Joshi, Kanak Mani from Nepal and Director, Navsadhana father V. Sebastian, BHU Vice Chancellor Prof. Lal Ji Singh sent massages to wish the programme a grand success.