Interventions: Human Rights Advocacy & Monitoring...

State Consultation - Renewing Social, Political and Legal Commitment Against Witch Hunting

6th October 2012

In view of the rising graph of witch hunting cases and atrocity on women, a collective of organizations lead by PAIRVI, Vikas Bharati, FLAC, AASHA, and Humanity organized a State Consultation at Ranchi on 6th October. More than 70 civil society organizations, Panchayat members, women, survivors of witch hunting, academic community and lawyers attended the Consultation. The Chief Guest of the function was Mrs. Vimla Pradhan, Hon’ble Minister of Social Welfare and Women and Child Development. The Consultation was also attended by Jusctice Narayan Roy, Chairperson of the State Human Rights Commission, Dr. Hemlata S Mohan, Chairperson of the State Women Commission, Prof. Ramesh Sharan (Ranchi University), Adv G S Jaiswal, Adv Rashmi Katyayana, Ms Ranjana (Member, State Child Rights Commission).

Workshop with Tongia Community

“Taungiya” is a colloquial word for plantation settlers, which was settled in forest villages by the forest department for maintaining forests during the late 1800 and early 1900. Majority of the taungiyas belong to Tharu and Buxa Tribes having come across the border of Nepal long back. However, later taungiya system was abolished and many of them were driven out of forests. More than 1 lakh taungiya settlers face unknown fate in Uttarakhand living mainly in the districts of Udhamsingh Nagar, Champavat, Hardwar, Dehradun and Pauri-garhwal. They become victim of wrath of forest department and revenue department and many of them suffered imprisonment on the charges of encroachment of forest lands. According to the forest officials, Taungiya system was abolished in 1980s, The Scheduled Tribes and other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 mandates the land rights to traditional forest dwellers including the Taungyas but the State Government has denied to recognize these forest-villagers as traditional forest dwellers and therefore rights available to them under the Act. Pairvi organized a fact finding on land rights of taungiyas and visited a number of forest villages in US Nagar, and Champavat, and met govt officials, NGOs. 

Screening of 'Cotton for My Shroud'

12th March 2012
PAIRVI organized a screening of the Film “Cotton for my Shroud,” which was awarded the best investigative Film in the Indian Film Festival. The film depicts and plight of cotton growers of Vidarbha thousands of whom have committed suicide due to the failure of BT cotton seeds of Monsanto. The Minister of Agriculture, in a statement in the Parliament, has recently admitted that more 2,50,000 (quarter a million) farmers have committed suicide due to poverty and failure of crops in the last one and half decades. 

State Consultation on Declining Child Sex Ratio

The consultation held at Udaipur, Rajasthan on 2nd September 2011 in association with Jatan Sansthan, Udaipur was an effort to learn from the experiences of the organizations/ groups/ individuals working to check progressive decline in child sex ratio, and to strategize possible advocacy interventions on the issue. It was attended by around 40 participants including civil society representatives, PCPNDT cell members and coordinators, DPM, Advocates, Generalists and Medical Doctors. The house was unanimous on the fact that implementation of PCPNDT Act has remained utterly disappointing and has made trivial contribution to the fight against declining child sex ratio.  The need was also expressed to look beyond implementation of the Act and to address the socio-economic and cultural aspects of the problem. Major recommendation on this front was curriculum revamp at school and higher levels to make education more gender sensitive. Some of the major recommendations (evolved from the consultation) are as appended below:
  • Alternate Report: Civil Society must publish a shadow report at district level giving a true account of the situation of girl child in the district. 
  • Lawyers Must be trained to litigate proactively using PCPNDT Act
  • Alternate dialogue with Doctors community must be established. Since Doctors are very much aware of legal aspects of the Act, all that is needed to do is their moral sensitization. 

Annual Conference of Association of Retired Judges of the SC and HC of India

In view of the critical role of judiciary in defining and ensuring implementation of the norms related to environment and environmental justice, the coalition also had a brief meeting with Retired Supreme Court and High Court Judges Association where five senior members and office bearers of the Association participated. The Association also adopted a resolution earlier asking the government of India to put a moratorium on GM Foods in the country.

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