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About the PVCHR initiative for community work against torture and organized violence supported RCT(http://www.rct.dk)Read more...
2012 Olympics, the perpetrators of the Bhopal disaster will not sponsor the Games
by Nirmala Carvalho
The plastics multinational Dow Chemicals will not appear on the billboards of the Olympic stadium in London, whose value is circa 7 million pounds (8.3 million euros). Satisfaction of athletes, politicians and NGOs opposed to the sponsor. According to Lenin Raghuvanshi, human rights activist, it is important to create consumer awareness, the true agent of change in the event of unethical policies.
Mumbai (AsiaNews) - The organizers of the Olympic Games have announced that plastics multinational Dow Chemicals linked to the disaster in Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh) is no longer a sponsor of London 2012. Indian and British human rights groups, politicians and athletes had strongly attacked the initial decision of the Games Committee to accept the funds of the company. Dow, in fact, is the current owner of the chemical plant responsible for the 1984 industrial accident that killed at least 20 thousand people, with still visible consequences for the local population.
The brand of the corporation would have appeared on the billboards around the Olympic stadium, 900m long and 20m high, to the value of 7 million pounds (8.3 million euros). As per contract, Dow still had the possibility to of a further five panels for advertising, but made known it did not wish to accept out of respect for the anti-pollution policies of the Olympics. The company has always rejected the accusations, pointing out that it has acquired the former Union Carbide plant in 2001.
According to Lenin Raghuvanshi, human rights activist and director of Pvchr (People's Vigilance Committee on Human Rights), this protest has been positive and symbolic, because the Olympics attract the attention of the entire international community. However, the organizers of the Games should be careful not to go to sponsors that, in some way, may have been involved in genocide.
He also emphasizes that every time you target business from the negative or unethical aspects, it is essential that activists involve consumers, because they are a powerful force to achieve a real change of political and economic mechanisms. For this reason, Raghuvanshi says, First we should start a campaign in the Indian civil society, given that Dow India has a turnover of 500 million dollars.
Regarding the Bhopal tragedy, the activist recalls that for the victims - who are mostly Dalits, tribals and other minorities - there is no systematic form of rehabilitation, or appropriate compensation. This causes still huge frustration.
Caused by a leak of 40 tons of methyl isocyanate (cyanide) from Union Carbide pesticide plant, the Bhopal disaster is considered one of the worst environmental tragedies in history. At least 3,500 people died in the early hours of the incident and a further 20 thousand in the months ahead. The permanently disabled were put at over 150 thousand. Even today, hospitals in the area account for about 6 thousand people a day with respiratory, motor and brain problems associated with the contamination of the territory. However, the Government of Madhya Pradesh, considers the area out of danger.
It has been 64 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, Lenin Raghuvanshi, a veteran human rights activist, citing the case-studies primarily drawn from Uttar Pradesh, registering the highest rate of crime against the Dalits, chronicles how with implicit support from the administration, the Dalits are tortured and subjected to humiliation by the higher castes, 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.
Lenin Raghuvanshi an Ayurvedic physician by profession, has been working for the rights of bonded and child labourers and other marginalised people in Varanasi and eastern part of Uttar Pradesh, India. In 1996, he and his wife Shruti founded People’s Vigilance Committee on Human Right (PVCHR), a community-based organisation, to break the closed, feudal hierarchies of conservative slums and villages by building up local institutions and supporting them with a high profile and active human rights network.
Already an Ashoka Fellow, Lenin was the President, United Nations’ Youth Organisation (UNYO), Uttar Pradesh (India) Chapter. Lenin’s work has been recognised with Gwangju Human Rights Award for 2007. In 2009, in collaboration with the Rehabilitation and Research Centre for Torture Victim (RCT), Denmark, Lenin developed Testimonial Models for torture survivors in India. City Council of Weimar in Germany selected Lenin Raghuvanshi for the International Human Rights Award for 2010.
Coming back from the jail, I am no more interested to go anywhere. After being punished for so many years I started thinking myself as guilty. I think what people might be thinking about me. I am mentally disturbed. Due continuous police beating and the hard toil which I put in jail for years together, there is always terrible pain in my body.”Read more...
The work of PVCHR was awarded with the Gwangju Human Rights Award 2007, ACHA Star Peace Award 2008 and 2010 Human rights prize of the city of Weimar in 2010 and Usmania Award from Madarsa Usmania, Bazardiha for the development and welfare of education.read more
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. PVCHR ideology is inspired by the father of the Dalit movement, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar.read more
Indians society, especially in the rural areas, is still influenced by feudalism and the caste system which continues to determine the political, social, and economic life of the country. Caste based discrimination is practiced in the educational system...read more
Collective decision and Individual accountability
Fighting caste discrimination
The life narratives, voices, and actual experiences on this website reflect the spiritual awakenings of personalities extraordinaire who desired to make a difference in the lives of others. The passion for social justice and meaningful activities, the dedication to compassion, the commitment and healing journeys of those ordinary individuals and their stirring stories is what we intend to showcase.
PVCHR founded in 1996 by Mr. Lenin Raghuvanshi and Ms. Shruti Nagvanshi in close association with Sarod Mastro Pandit Vikash Maharaj, Poet - Gyanendra Pati and Historian Mahendra Pratap. PATRON: Justice Z.M Yacoob Sitting Judge Constitution Court of South Africa & Chancellor of University of Durban, South Africa.