Peoples' Vigilance Committee on Human Rights
It has been 67 years since India — the largest democracy in the world attained independence. Yet, justice for all is still a far cry in the country where the caste system continues to determine political, social, and economic lives of a billion people.
Money and muscle power, together with political string-pulling, often result in denial of justice for the hapless ‘have-nots’, especially the Dalits (untouchables), ravaged by poverty and illiteracy. Atrocities and extortion on the Dalits, fake encounters, refusal to register complaints against the well-heeled, arbitrary arrests on false charges, illegal detention and custodial deaths are in commonplace.
In the absence of a modern social audit system, the keepers of the law often unleash a ‘police raj’, especially in rural India. A crippled National Human Rights Commission and its state subsidiaries with limited recommendatory control and a dysfunctional Legal Aid System depict a gloomy picture indeed.
In a unique way, PVCHR, documenting the case-studies with intervention primarily drawn from Uttar Pradesh & Uttarakhand, registering the highest rate of crime against the Dalits, chronicles how the Dalits are tortured and subjected to humiliation by the higher castes, with implicit support from the administration, like being garlanded with shoes, their faces blackened or being forced to ride an ass; yet, in most of the cases, violence, deaths or custodial tortures that are committed against the marginalised and deprived castes go unrecorded.
Ironically, even after having shed the colonial yoke, its legacy continues in the administrative framework of our independent India marked with widespread corruption which has rendered many government-sponsored schemes in rural India a failure.
People’s Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR) started in 1996 as a membership based human rights movement in Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh), one of the most traditional, conservative and segregated regions in India.
PVCHR works to ensure basic rights for marginalized groups in the Indian society, e.g. children, women, Dalits and tribes and to create a human rights culture based on democratic values.
In 1999, PVCHR formed the public charitable trust Jan Mitra Nyas (JMN) to monitor and evaluate activities, to operate the bank account and to enable the organisation to have official clearance for receiving foreign grants.
Ms. Shruti Nagvanshi:http://shrutinagvanshi.com/ Lenin Raghuvanshi:http://www.frontlinedefenders.org/LeninRaghuvanshi, Pt. Vikas Maharaj:http://www.panditvikashmaharaj.com/, Mr. Gyanendra Pati : Poet, Dr. Mahendra Pratap: Historian
OUR VISION To establish a true, vibrant and fully entrenched democratic society through Jan Mitra concept where there shall be no violation of civil rights granted to a citizen by the state.
To provide basic rights to all, to eliminate situations, which give rise to exploitation of vulnerable and marginalized groups and to start a movement for a people friendly society (Jan Mitra Samaj) through an inter-institutional approach.
OUR WORKING APPROACH
· accurate investigation and documentation of human rights violations connected with advocacy, publication and networking on a local, national and international level
· creating models of non -violent and democratic communities (People friendly villages, torture-free villages)
· building up local institutions and supporting them with active human rights networks
· creating a democratic structure for the ‘voiceless’ to enable them access to the constitutional guarantees of modern India
· empowering marginalized communities by trainings and access to information
· promoting a human rights culture
· linking local and international human rights together
· linking grass roots activities and international human rights networks and institutions together
CORE VALUE: 1. Equity 2. Fraternity 3. Non –Violence 4. Participatory Democracy 5. Secularism 6. Justice – Rule of Law
Geographical Focus: Intensively in Eastern (Varanasi, Jaunpur, Sonbhadra, Allahabad, and Ambedkar Nagar) and western (Aligarh, Moradabad, Meerut and Aligarh) regions of Uttar Pradesh and Koderma district of Jharkhand. Through networking working in 16 states of India with Involvements of 99 organizations.