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Peoples’ Vigilance Committee

on Human Rights,
SA 4/2 A Daulatpur, Varanasi
Brief about PVCHR

 PVCHR – People’s Vigilance Committee on

Human Rights - was founded in 1996 by Mr.
Gyanendrapati, Dr. Mahendra Pratap, Vikash
Maharaj (Sarod Maestro), Shruti, Dr. Lenin as a
membership based human rights movement in
Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh).

 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
 PVCHR is working on the grass-root level in
45 villages in Uttar Pradesh. In close
cooperation with local human rights activists
PVCHR documents cases of severe human
rights violations in the villages, for example
cases of malnutrition and starvation, police
torture or unavailable medical treatment
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
 Linking grass roots activities and
international human rights networks and
institutions together
Our Programs/intervention

 Campaign (From practice to

 At International Level
 At National Level
 At Grass root Level
Organization building:

 At later stages of the campaign, Howe ever,

individuals alone are not sufficient. PVCHR itself
may be an extension of its leader, providing
him/her the necessary organization supports in
order to mobilize people into movement around
the campaign’s issue which is critical for greater
impact at the national & grassroots level. PVCHR
is already engaged in its organization building from
the village level to the national level by working in 80
districts of U.P., M.P. and Bihar on the issues of
human rights, torture victims,
Grassroots intervention in field of Human
Rights Development and Democracy (Janmitra
Village): (Policy to Practice)

 Campaigns are very important, but alone are not enough:

implementation & change at grassroots should never be
assumed & require additional activity.
 A narrow focus can be effective in getting an issue
formulated but problems caused by poverty are more
complex. If the campaign is not widened out at a later
stage it is unlikely to achieve effective change. The
challenge comes if there is desire to go beyond informing
the grassroots of what is good for them towards ensuring
real change as well as engagement & empowerment at
grassroots which will develop civil society with potential
influence on much other issue. Work at this level- to
change attitudes & behaviors & to build capacity & skills
need a lot of thrust & require non hierarchical
organization with close personal contact.

 Itis clear that no individual organization

can effectively campaign at all the different
levels, which often requires very different
attitudes, strategies & skills. To achieve this
complex mix of work, different types of
organizations are called for collaboration
between them and these different
organizations can therefore help in moving
the campaign forward.
Folk school

 The folk school is a forum for a dalits to

meet, where they were treated equally and
where they could freely voice their problem
and concerns. So, PVCHR together with
AHRC started conducting folk school
sessions in dalits villages to continue support
and solidarity with the ordinary people.
 Even senior Government officers attended
the folk school sessions.
 Once by the District
 While on another, a
member of the state
commission for
schedule caste and
scheduled tribes.
Peoples’ Friendly Village (Model

 The people friendly village is a village, where every

individual is assured of his or her social, economic,
political and cultural rights as per the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights and is living together
within the society without any discrimination.
2. Right to development
3. Right to survival
4. Right to protection
5. Right to participation
 In each Peoples’ Friendly village a community centre
has been established, forming the basis for the
project activities. People are also provided with
community-based counselling.
 Peoples’ Friendly concept has a three pronged
functional system
 Peoples’ Friendly Educational concept
 Organization development of marginalized group.
 Peoples’ Friendly village committee
Our campaigns
 Fair Play Campaign against the
use of child labour in Indian
Sporting Goods
 Global March against Child
Labour which in effect liberated
bonded child labour in many
 Campaign on the rights of
weavers and on cases of
starvation among the weavers
 Campaign on Right to food.
 Continuous hunger strike for 15
days putting their demand for
fundamental rights.
 Campaign on land issue
Our demonstration

 Honor ceremony of TOV in front of District

Head Quarter and community.
 Three days demonstration by Marginalized
community in front of District Head Quarter.
 Foot March by the communities of 5 blocks
of Varanasi and culminate by putting their

 Right to food
 Right to Health
 Right to Education
 Peoples’ Tribunal on Weavers and Artisan.
 Peoples’ Tribunal on torture
Urgent Appeal

 Effectiveadvocacy (Urgent Appeals) for

every single case can be accomplished by a
close cooperation with our key partner, the
Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC).
 The urgent appeals documentationalso
enabled PVCHR to register cases at the
National Human Rights Commission and
have reported
Testimonial Therapy
 A testimony is a story or a narrative about an event
 The story is usually told by a person who suffered
an injustice, or something painful or terrible
 It is a “map of pain”, a trauma story, it tries to “tell
the truth”, convey what really happened
 It can be told in many different ways – in words,
music, art
What is Testimony?
 It can be told to many different audiences: to the
family, to friends, to the community, to the “world”,
to a therapist, to a lawyer, to a priest
 It can be used for many different objectives: as a
record, as evidence, as an expression of emotions, for
 Testimony in different variations has been used by
mankind for thousands of years
 Here we are using testimony as a healing or psycho-
therapeutic method
Has a double meaning both in English and Hindi:
 Objective, legal, public, official (evidence, attestation,
 Subjective, cathartic, spiritual, emotional, private
(expression of disapproval, condemnation,
History of Testimony Method
 1983 Chile: For torture victims - to facilitate
integration of traumatic experience and
restore self-esteem. Channels anger into
socially constructive action – document could
be used against offender
 1990 Denmark: For political refugees
tortured in their homeland – a ritual of
healing which is universally understood
History of Testimony Method
 2008 – 2009 with PVCHR, India: For torture victims –
a brief therapy intervention – re-integration of
survivors into the community – development of a
Manual (in Hindi and English)
 In the testimony project with PVCHR a new
testimonial method was developed:
 A short-term method for human rights activists or
community workers without mental health training
 This was a “psycho-legal approach”
Our testimony Model
 Session one : Opening the story – including the
filling in of a questionnaire about wellbeing and
participation – and mindfulness exercises
 Session two: Closing the story – including
mindfulness exercises
 Session three: The delivery ceremony
 Session four: Follow-up – including a repetition of
the questionnaire to assess changes in wellbeing and

 Bonded labour were released and case registered

against their employers.
 Mr. Rahul Gandhi, National Secretary of Indian
National Congress intervened in the case of three
years old malnourished boy Mukesh and treated at
the All Indian Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS), a
hospital where even Indians wealthiest cannot get
admission without one month notice.
 70 crore INR was sanctioned to the Weavers and
Artisan of Varanasi.
 Ram Prasad Bharti case was published in the page 207 -208
report of representative of Secretary General of UN on Human
Rights Defenders for seventh sessions of Human Rights
 Special Rapporteur Torture Communications, Office of the UN
High Commissioner for Human Rights took the case of police
atrocities done in Dharkar Basti, Hukulganj, asked the
survivors to give their consent and correspondence related to
the case will be published in a public report. Prime Minister of
India office considers the case and forwarded letter to Chief
Secretary of U.P for immediate and appropriate action and .
 Many cases were intervened by the National Human Rights
Commission and survivor receives interim relief.
 We all struggle to transcend the cruelties and the follies of mankind.
That struggle will not be won by standing aloof and pointing a
finger; it will be won by action, by men who commit their every
resource of mind and body to the education and improvement and
help of their fellow man.” Robert F. Kennedy, 1966 South Africa”.
 This statement pertain in the grass root level as, they belief ‘one for
all and all for one’.
 In Kuwar Nut hamlet the community people were facing the
problem of land dispute. The individual cases were highlighted and
slowly it implicate other people of the community and now it is a
consolidate agenda of the Nut hamlet. The issue was documented by
the Aljazeera channel.
a. The same process was also used in Belwa village, however
here human rights activists faced the reaction action by
getting threat and charged anti-state activities” under Section
505(b) of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.
b. The Ghasia ghetto of Sonbhadra district is icon against the
police torture and its consequences.18 children died due to
hunger and malnutrition situations in 2005. However after
fight back and with the intervention of National Human
Rights Commission, New Delhi the Ghasiayas immediately
receive the relief.
http://pvchr.blogspot.com/2009/04/blog-post.html. It was
documented by the B.B.C and IBN7
Mukesh photo before & after one
Thank You