Survivors regained their self-esteem and dignity due to testimonial model
Dr. Lenin Raghuvanshi 31/3/2009 8:55:54 PM(IST)
Peoples’ Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR), India, in collaboration with the Rehabilitation and Research Centre for Torture Victims (RCT), Denmark, is holding a two-day National Consultation at Vishwa Yuvak Kendra, New Delhi. The theme of the consultation, organised from 16th to 17th April 2009, is ‘Testimony to improve psychosocial wellbeing and promote advocacy for survivors of torture and organised violence’.
In order to search for consensus on future plans for the introduction and use of testimonial therapy, the National Consultation has the following objectives:
ü To increase the awareness of how torture engenders psychological symptoms in survivors and how it affects their daily life
ü To integrate testimony into political campaigns, including the national campaign for the ratification of United Nations Convention against Torture (CAT) and the national domestic law against torture.
ü To explore the possibility of creating alliances with different political organisations and stakeholders in India concerning the fight against Torture and other Organised Violence (TOV)
ü To promote the psychosocial well-being of survivors of TOV.
Prior to the National Consultation, a pilot project was launched by RCT, Denmark and PVCHR, India with the purposes of: 1.) building the capacities of Human Rights organisations in India to provide testimonial therapy, and 2.) to assess the utility and applicability of the testimonial method for the human rights work in India.
The testimonial method was originally developed in Chile during the military dictatorship in 1970s. It has been successfully used in the psychotherapeutic treatment of refugee survivors of torture in many countries and it has also been an advocacy tool employed by different human rights movements. Most recently, principles of cognitive behavioural exposure therapy and testimony therapy have been combined as narrative exposure therapy for the treatment of traumatised survivor of war and torture.
During the pilot project, spanning six months, 3 Training of the Trainers workshops were conducted in which 40 human rights activists and community workers, who were already working in their communities, were trained. Guided by the trainers, participants capitalised on the skills developed during the workshops to develop a manual, as well as a Monitoring & Evaluation system to quantify the outcomes and compare various psychosocial parameters before and after the intervention.
Utilizing the testimonial method, 85 survivors of torture gave their testimonies. 65 (76%) were male and 20 (24%) were female. 61 are primary victims and 24 are secondary victims. 72 (86%) were Hindu, 8 (9%) were Muslim, and 6 (7%) were Christian. 8 (9%) belong to upper castes, 39(46%) were OBC, 18 (21%) were dalits and 20(24%) belonged to tribal communities.
During the first two sessions of the ‘Capacity Building’ workshops, testimonies were written and in third session victims of torture participated in a delivery ceremony. The trainee therapists also followed up with survivors to assess their feeling after the intervention.
Victims treated with testimonial therapy demonstrated significant improvements in World Health Organisation indicators for human well being (WHO 5). All of them expressed their satisfaction with the process, especially the public delivery ceremony. This ritual apparently became a “turning point” in the healing process. By recording their stories and externalizing their private pain, survivors reframed their experiences to take on a social meaning within the context of human rights affirmation, and thereby regained their self-esteem and dignity.
For more information about PVCHR see: www.pvchr.org, www.pvchr.blogspot.com
For more information about RCT see: www.rct.dk
Contact number in India: +91-9935599333
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Monday, March 30, 2009
भूख से मरते बच्चों के लिए लेनिन ने छेड़ी मुहिम
भूख से होने वाली मौतों की खबर लेनिन अक्सर अखबारों में पढ़ते हैं। सोनभद्र। आदिवासियों के विकास के लिए सरकार ने कई योजनाएं बनाईं लेकिन इन योजनाओं का फायदा भ्रष्ट अधिकारियों को मिलता है और आदिवासी बद से बदतर हालात में जीते हैं। प्रशासन की इसी बेरुखी की वजह से उत्तर प्रदेश के एक गांव में लोग भूख से मरने लगे। ऐसे में सिटीजन जर्नलिस्ट डॉ. लेनिन ने इस मामले को उठाया और इन लोगों को रोटी का हक दिलाया।
डॉ. लेनिन पेशे से एक डॉक्टर हैं। उनकी लड़ाई एक ऐसे मुद्दे को लेकर है जिसने दुनिया के सबसे बड़े लोकतंत्र का सर शर्म से झुका दिया है। बात कर रहे हैं भूख से होने वाली मौत की और उन लोगों के हक की जो लोग दो वक्त की रोटी के लिए भी तरसते हैं।
भूख से होने वाली मौतों की खबर लेनिन अक्सर अखबारों में पढ़ते हैं। 2005 में सोनभद्र जिले के एक गांव की ऐसी ही एक खबर उन्होंने अखबार में पढ़ी। सोनभद्र के रॉप गांव में भूख के कारण 16 बच्चों की मौत हो गई। लेनिन ये सोच कर हैरान रह जाते हैं कि संसाधनों और विकास की तमाम योजनाओं के बावजूद कैसे लोग भूख से बेमौत मर जाते हैं।
फिर उन्होंने रॉप गांव जाने का फैसला किया। इस गांव में तकरीबन 72 परिवार रहते हैं जो कि घसिया आदिवासी जनजाति से सबंध रखते हैं। लेनिन ने देखा इस गांव में लोगों की हालत काफी खराब थी। 16 बच्चे मौत की आगोश में सो चुके थे और दो बच्चे गंभीर रूप से बीमार थे।
इन लोगों को एक वक्त की रोटी भी नसीब नहीं थी जिस वजह से इन्हें अपनी भूख मिटाने के लिए पेड़ के पत्ते खाने पड़ते थे। यहां अधिकतर बच्चे कुपोषण के शिकार हैं जिसका कारण था खाने की कमी। पैसे की तंगी के कारण इन लोगों के बीपीएल कार्ड भी नहीं बने थे। लेकिन प्रशासन सोया रहा और लोग बेमौत मरते रहे।
प्रशासन कहता है कि ये मौत कुपोषण के कारण हो रही हैं। लेकिन सच ये है कि जो लोग कई दिनों तक खाना नहीं खाते उनके लिए कुपोषण एक बीमारी नहीं बल्कि मजबूरी है। डॉ. लेनिन ने इस समस्या के हर पहलू को बारीकी से समझा और एक रिपोर्ट तैयार की। इस रिपोर्ट को उन्होंने मानवाधिकार आयोग के सामने पेश किया।
मानवाधिकार आयोग ने भी माना कि मामला कुपोषण का नहीं भूखमरी का है। उत्तर प्रदेश के मुख्य सचिव को एक नोटिस भेजा गया। नोटिस मिलते ही सोया हुआ प्रशासन जाग गया। और उसके बाद स्वास्थ्य विभाग ने बच्चों के इलाज के लिए गांव में कैंप लगाया। 154 घरों में अनाज का इंतजाम किया गया और इसके साथ ही इन आदिवासियों के बीपीएल कार्ड भी बने।
भूखमरी सीधे तौर पर कमाई और रोजगार से जुड़ी है। रॉप गांव में एक भी व्यक्ति पढ़ा लिखा नहीं है। लोगों के पास रोजगार नहीं और उनमें जागरूकक की कमी है। ये लोग अपने अधिकारों के बारे में भी नहीं जानते। कुछ लोगों मदद से डॉ. लेनिन ने यहां एक स्कूल बनवाया। भविष्य में कोई भी भूख के कारण मौत का शिकार न हो इसके लिए उन्होंने यहां अनाज बैंक का निर्माण कराया। लोगों के सहयोग से लेनिन ने 4 रिक्शा 100 बकरियां आदिवासियों के रोजगार के लिए उपलब्ध कराए ताकि ये लोग आत्म निर्भर बन सकें।
भूख से मरते लोग भारत की एक शर्मनाक हकीकत हैं। सवाल ये है कि जब सरकार ने इनके लिए योजनाएं बनायी हैं तो ये योजनाएं इन लोगों तक क्यों नहीं पहुंचतीं। दो वक्त की रोटी हर आदमी का बुनियादी हक है और ये सरकार की जिम्मेदारी है कि हर आदमी को उसका बुनियादी हक मिले।
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Patient in dire need of money
Dr Lenin Raghuvanshi 22/3/2009 12:33:00 PM(IST)
The post WHO indicator for human well being of Ratandeep Gupta is reduced in comparison to the pre monitoring and evaluation (M&E) questionnaire. Continuously pus is coming from his leg and again doctor advised for the operation to replace the rod in his leg.
Ratandeep is unable to continue his profession, as he is unable to walk without any support. Earlier his wife Shikha worked as a teacher in private school and now she left the job for the care of her husband.
Ratan deep Gupta is in the immediate need of medical care. If due to economic crisis again he is not operated than he will loose his leg forever.
The video clipping of while police was beating Ratandeep Gupta and his brother Dr. Amardeep Gupta can be viewed at http://in.youtube.com/watch?v=rNiivWoO-v8.
My name is Ratandeep Gupta, 36 years old, Son of Rajendra Kumar Gupta, resident of S 11/24, Choukaghat, police station- Jaitpura District-Varanasi. We are two brothers. My elder brother is Dr. Amardeep Gupta, who is medical practitioner and his clinic is adjoining our house at S 11/23, Choukaghat. I am lawyer by profession.
I was leading quite a normal life but on 28th December 2007 Municipal Corporation officials accompanied by police reached my brother’s clinic to demolish the encroachment. They haven’t given any prior notice. They informed that my brother’s clinic would be demolished as encroachments are being cleared. My brother told them that my clinic is in authorized space and it does not fall within the purview of encroachment. Those who came to demolish my brother’s clinic asked us to come out of the clinic as they want to demolish it. My brother informed this to me in phone. I was in the court. When I reached there, the squad had demolished a portion of the clinic. We could not come to know that who had launched the demolition drive.
Next day, on 29th December 2007, I along with my brother were present in the clinic, then Municipal Corporation officials accompanied by city magistrate, Police officials (Chetganj Circle Officer & Jaitpura Circle Officer) along with posse of policemen and anti-encroachment squad, started demolishing the remaining portion of the clinic at around 11 am. We showed them the legal documents of the house and the approved map of the locality. They shouted on us saying, ‘neither we want to see any papers nor listen to you’. Police officers instructed their subordinates to push both me and my brother to the standing jeep. When we were walking towards the jeep, 4-5 policemen and police officers surrounded both of us and started incessantly raining blows with lathis (long cane tipped with a metal blunt). One among the policemen had been indiscriminately raining lathi blows on one side of my leg, though his lathi had broken still he continued hammering on that side. Besides, kicked and thrashed continuously in a dehumanised manner. Due to incessant blows my right feet started dangling. Injuries were on my left arm, shoulder and different parts of my body. After indiscriminately beating us, they wanted us to board three-wheeler tempo. My brother could board it but I was not able to stand on my feet.
A policeman dragged me to the Vikram tempo and I was frightened seeing myself bleeding profusely. They took us to Jaitpura police station. I was feeling quite thirsty and it seemed as I would die instantaneously. I asked for a glass of water from policemen, and then they told that they would give me tea instead of water for quenching our thirst. Then I told at least to give us tea but they did not even give us. Police was continuously abusing us and used nauseating epithets to humiliate us. Police had also rained lathis, kicked and thrashed my brother also. But in that situation, I was writhing with pain and not in proper frame of mind.
After getting the information, my Bhabhi (elder brother’s wife) my wife reached the police station. Police abused then also and drove them away from the police station and didn’t allow them to meet us. Till 2.00 pm noon as I had lost lot of blood so I was unconscious and police sent me at Kabir Chaura Hospital. In the hospital, when I was conscious then I felt quite dejected. I was worried that now I won’t be able to stand on my own feet.
In the meantime, my wife came to meet me at the hospital. She generated confidence in me. I felt ashamed that women members of our family had to rush to the police station without any fault of theirs. As the Government hospital lacked the facilities, so I had to undergo operation at Lakshmi Medical Centre by Dr. SN Dubey. After operation, I was discharged from the hospital I came back to my home. I was completely in bed rest for three months. During the operation, metal rod was implanted in my right leg. Still I suffer from excruciating pain. Again I was operated by Dr. Shakil Ahmed, who took the bone from my hip and grafted it onto my fibula. Still I suffer from excruciating pain and it’s difficult for me to walk.
Still, today when police brutalities unleashed on us comes in my mind then, I am quite despondent. The abusive language of CO Chetganj still echoes on my ears, who said, “Beat him continuously and break his leg and make him physically handicapped, so that his life is spoiled forever.” What I feel that if anyone is at fault then legal actions should be taken against them but not to be beaten mercilessly to turning them into physically incapacitated. Later we came to know that police had shown their anger suspecting us of stone pelting. Still now we could not know who indulged in pelting stones during the demolition drive. When police was beating us, we did not run away. Still that reverberates in my mind like a film. I am unable to forget it. Today whenever I see police officials I seethe with anger and express my hatred against them.
Police booked us under different sections of IPC and lodged criminal cases against us. We were granted bail by the Court. We were quite enraged by the fact that police, who unleashed unbound savagery on us, rather framed criminal case against us. Our family had to spend over Rs. 1 lakh on me and my brother’s treatment.
Criminal case and police brutalities on us had damaged lots of our credibility in the society. Financially we were pushed to shambles. My legal practice suffered a setback. I was so mentally afflicted, that whenever I try to stand on my feet, the excruciating pain makes the police brutalities in my mind. Coupled with that, society’s disdainful attitude makes our life horrible. The incident has so deeply affected us that we are hesitant enough to take any initiative. In our matter, police wanted to terrorise so that people do not raise voice against the police.
While talking to you, it seems to us that there are people with whom we can share our pain. We are happy that some people are there to lend their helping hand to us. Lawyers and doctors associations extended their support to us. We want to regain our social prestige. We want that whatever false charges police had framed against us both of the brothers should be withdrawn.
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Bad, very bad, people in this country have not been taught to protect their rights
Dr. Lenin Raghuvanshi 12/3/2009 6:02:36 PM(IST)
An interview with Dr.Mohanlal Panda, a leading and well known development professional in India.
How was your experience in working in a liberal foundation?
All ideologies had its own interpretations of the social and economic dimensions of the society. And believers of those specific ideologies formulate policies accordingly. You do not have to agree with everything that organizations preach. But you have to agree with the certain common values. In this case, liberals lean heavily towards free market where I have my reservations. But liberals also preach for strong democracy, human rights and religious tolerance.
What do you think about the human rights situation in India after implementing the Project on “Preventing Torture”?
Bad, very bad. People in this country have not been taught to protect their rights. In fact very few people know about their rights. Constitution in this country is seen as a technical book only to be referred by the legislature and sometime by the media. If you are poor, women, and children or belong to the minority communities then the chances of being at the receiving end of the state atrocities are very high. Approximately 125 human rights institutions created in this country are performing below expectations. These institutions have failed to generate confidence among the common victims that they are approachable and can provide immediate relief. In this project we have established that torture exists and police enjoys impunity. Base on our data we project 1.5million cases of police torture in India per year. This figure is unacceptable in a civilized country that is aspiring for a seat in the Security Council.
Where is the problem?
The problem lies in failure of governance. Nation building can not be just done by speeches. People representing certain sections of the society can not be excluded from the development process. We have to rethink our understanding about democracy, development and dignity.
Be it Muslims, Dalits or Women. All of them are fighting for their self respect. You can not have growth by excluding people in the name of religion, caste or gender. We misuse our human capital. Unfortunately our politics need to change. Look at the way people reacted to Sachar Commission Report. What is wrong with that Report? Is it not true that Muslims do not have access to basic as well as quality education and as a consequence to the job? The same with the dalits. Even these people do not have access to resources? Law must change and there has to be process reform in favour of the deprived section of the society.
You have played an important part in implementing role in the successful completion of the project on Preventing Torture in India. At the end of the three years project how does feel?
The project was an absolute challenge. It was the biggest funding by EU on human rights in India. The same with Friedrich Naumann Stiftung(FNF). Creating physical and human infrastructure in nine states covering forty seven districts in India considering the diversity, providing common training to staff coming from seven linguistic backgrounds and motivating the local staff to document police torture were the three most important challenges we had to confront. No one in this country likes to document cases of police torture.
On the basis of collected data we established that torture exists and it happens everywhere. Police enjoys impunity. Through our limited lobby initiatives we took the findings to the policy makers in the Indian Parliament.
Every project has its limitation. We hope someone initiates a mass movement to take forward the political objective of the project to the next level. It is also necessary to consider the importance of witness protection and rehabilitation of the victims of torture.
Dr.Mohanlal Panda is leading and well known development professional in India
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Uttar Pradesh, depressioni e suicidi fra i tessitori di seta a causa della crisi economica
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Uttar Pradesh: 2 killed in Varanasi by firing of communal police and hindu fascist forces
Dr. Lenin Raghuvanshi 12/3/2009 11:22:38 AM(IST)
Varanasi: Two persons was killed and eight others injured from Muslim minority when police opened fire on Muslim on the name of to control a stone-pelting mob in Badardiha at outskirt of Varanasi on Wednesday, reports said. Two killed in the ‘wanton and unprovoked’ police firing on poor weavers of the Bajardeeha.
The trouble started when Holi revellers threw colours at a place of worship. Badardiha is a poor Muslim, mostly weavers, dominated slum and trouble started when a group of people from outside armed with pichkari and gulal started playing Holi inside the Madarsa-cum-Masjid.
Activists of Bunkar-Dastkar Adhikar Manch(Forum on rights of weavers and artisans) informed PVCHR that police started firing on Muslim in Bajardeeha of Varanasi in India. I and Virendra Yadav visited District Government Hospital and Laxmi Hospital,where two and six people injured with police firing respectively.
Two people died due to police firing by police.All are from minority. PVCHR informed to all major newspaper,allied system and political parties.All political parties except BJP came joined and worked jointly for survivors.
Mr. Farook Sheikh of Bollywood film industry immediately supported and intervened.Secular forces joined and defeated the communal forces and safe the Kashi from communal riot.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Jharkhand: A state of terror in India
Faisal/Dr. Lenin Raghuvanshi 10/3/2009 10:43:38 AM(IST)
On 6th March, 09 at 6 pm in the evening Mr. Saukhat Marandi lost his life in the Rajendra Medical College Hospital (RMCH), Ranchi, he was one of the victims of the police firing in Kathikund, District Dumka of Jharkhand State. Mr. Saukat Marandi died due to the negligence of doctors in the hospital. he was not also properly diagnosed and treated in the hospital. It is the violation of Right to life with dignity which is guaranteed by Article 21 of Indian Constitution.
It is noted that on 6th December, 08 in the pre announced people’s program to protest by courting arrest after paying homage to Martyr Sidhu Kanu. They did not warrant such a heavy police presence and excessive use of force resulting in killing of one Lukhiram Tudu and other 15 were severely injured. Mr. Lukhiram Tudu died due to not timely medicine and owing to excessive bleeding. Police brutally beat up, abused and took into the custody those who were taking the wounded to the hospital. The wounded were treated in contempt and inhumanly even their bodies were dragged like dead dogs.
The people’s peaceful protest against land acquaintance for building dam for power plant is two and half year old, however it took definite shape after notices were published in early May, 08 for acquiring about 264 acre land of two villages Aamgachi and Pokahriya of Kathikund police station of Dumka district. Entire inhabitant united in their resolve to protect their land –only means of life and livelihood - in the absence of any development which leads into huge displacement.
It is fact that 25 lakhs Jharkhandi people were displaced due to the many anti –humane development schemes. These people were not rehabilitated and now their condition is more awful than earlier.
Under the Santhal Pargana Tendency Act, there is no provision to sell or purchase their land, but Indian Government as a neo colonial mindset imposing the Brahmical culture on the indigenous Santhal tribes. In the same way administration is also behaving with this tribe as an enemy which leads into unlawful police firing, arrest, beating and negligence of the health services too, Tribal detainees.
We learned through the testimonies from the survivors of Kathikund in training workshop jointly organized by RCT, PVCHR and CREJ at Ranchi that Mr. Raven Soren, one of the victim were injured with the bullet fire and still he did not receive any medical treatment and the compensation. Mr. Shiv Lal Soren was transferred from RMCH to All Indian Institute of Medical Science, (AIIMS). Where doctors didn’t take out the bullet from his neck, he was discharged from the AIIMS and now he is detained in the medical ward of the prison in Ranchi. It is proved that Jharkhand is not the state of their own people but it is the state of terror for benefits of the corporate and the rich people.
Again police killed 2 people and many were severely injured while they were protesting against the kidnap of three children in Bano of Sindega District. There is no any rule of law in the state of Jharkhand. But the contrary this is the state of the extension of the British and forget the struggle of Birsa Munda and Martyr Sidhu Kanu.