Sunday, June 25, 2017

Speech - Pavel Svitil- 12 July 2012 - National Consultation on Testimonial Campaign - PVCHR

Condition of Jails of Uttar Pradesh

Jail institution is one of the three major components of Criminal law system. In recent times, the social opinion about prisoners has changed a lot. Today a jail is not seen as only a place made for punishment, but also as a place with a hope of amelioration in prisoners. This fact had led to more emphasis on improving the condition of jails, so that the prisoners may develop a healthy and optimistic perception towards society. The main purpose of this action is to reinstate them back into society once they are acquitted. Jail and its administration is a subject of Schedule 7 List II Column 4 of Constitution of India .Different states/union territories has various levels of jails. Central jails and district jails are the most common types and are considered as the standard Jail Institutions. Other types of jails are Women jails, Juvenile jails, Open jails and Special jails.

Peoples’ Vigilance Committee on Human Right (PVCHR) has made the following report about the condition of prison and the prisoners living in it on the basis of data obtained under Right to information Act.

Condition of all District Jails in Uttar Pradesh
There are total 75 districts in Uttar Pradesh with the current prison strength of 66. Currently these 66 prisons have a capacity of accommodating 8428 prisoners but because of loose administration there are a total no of 48970 prisoners currently locked up in those cells. It means that the prisoners currently accommodated in those prisons are more than 6 times as per the original capacity of them.

 As per the obtained information, in the 9 districts with no prisons construction works are being initiated. After the completion of these additional 9 jails the total capacity of jails will increase to 11326, which would still be less than 4 times the current strength of prisoners.

As per the information, in 2013 the total strength of prisoners under Section 436-A was 2609, out of which 200 prisoners were acquitted later, leaving the current no of prisoners to 2409.

As per the information under the bail able Section 436(1) of IPC there was a total strength of 22937 prisoners under which 19281 prisoners got acquitted and now the current no. of prisoners is 3656.

Details of procedural help given to prisoners in Uttar Pradesh

As per the obtained information in Uttar Pradesh a total no. of 16 under trial prisoners are getting procedural help and 2 proven guilty as well. For the district procedural help 30 applications were sent out of which only 2 have been able to get state’s counsel. In a similar manner 35 cases were sent in Lok Adalats for settlement out of which  16 cases have been resolved, which include acquittal of 2 prisoners as well.
Similarly, in prisons there are 123 proven guilty prisoners who have already been granted bail but due to failure of paying the bail amount and required bail documents in the court they are still locked up. There are 322 proven guilty prisoners without any legal help and they’ve sent their appeals in higher courts through jail administration. Currently, there are 1314 prisoners who are getting state’s help in their legal affair.

Condition of Women in Jails of Uttar Pradesh
According to the provided information there are 26 women who have their child and have been in prison since 2010.  6 women have delivered a child in prison since 2010.
As per the information, facilities like Yoga camps and employment providing skill sessions are organized for women and children under the prison. Television sets are also available for entertainment value.
From 2010 there are total 381under trial and 19 proven guilty women. Since 2010, 11 woman prisoners have been getting legal aid by state.

Condition of Allahabad Naini Jail
As per the given information, since 2010, 27602 under trial prisoners have come in Allahabad District jail out of which 25276 have been acquitted and currently 2326 prisoners are imprisoned. Prison has a total no of 37 barracks. On being asked about the no. of prisoners living in each barrack it was told that the no of prisoners constantly change but on an average it is 63. No information was provided regarding the shower rooms of prisoners. There are 302 bathrooms in the jail but no information was provided regarding the conditions of those bathrooms. No clear information regarding the food facilities of prisoners was provided. Only thing that was told was that prisoners were served according to the jail manual which was not provided to us.

As per the information, in the Allahabad Jail there are 4 physicians, 3 pharmacists, 1 technician and 1 lab assistant appointed. Information regarding the no. of beds and rehabilitation scheme for acquitted prisoners was not provided. Television sets are there in prison for entertainment. For physical entertainment arrangements of sports like Volleyball, Chess and Badminton have been made. No answer was given to the question of any improvement scheme for prisoners.
A teacher has been appointed for education of prisoners. With that, provisions have been made for filling forms of High School, Inter or any other examination and university education through IGNOU, though the no. of students is not specified.
4 prisoners have got state’s legal aid in the prison.

Conditions of Sultanpur District Jail

Similarly, as per the information Since 2010 there are 747 under trials in Sultanpur Jail. There are 11 barracks in the prison with no. of prisoners in each cell 100,115,120,102,110,65,35,30,30,35,15 respectively. Only 2 shower rooms are available for the whole 747 prisoners. This speaks of what difficulties prisoners face in their daily activity. Information about the condition of shower rooms and toilets was not provided.

Menu of the food provided to the prisoners was provided which included bread, tea, jaggery, sprouts, daliya and are given as per the schedule.
In lunch rice , chapatis, different types of pulses and vegetables are provided.
In dinner, rice, chapatis and pulses are given.
Pudi-sabji and sweet dish Halwa are provided every Sunday as well.
There is a hospital available with 2 doctors, 2 pharmacists , 1 X-ray technician, 1 dark room attendant and 8 nurses but the information about the no. of beds in the hospital is not provided.
For rehabilitation of prisoners help of local NGOs like Art of Living, Lok Adhikar Seva Samiti, Cted Sultanpur and Pratap Seva Samiti is taken. Though the specifics of how it is done is not provided.
Prisoners get their education through educational institutions but no information is provided on many prisoners are provided with the opportunity.
6 prisoners have got legal help from state.

Condition of Jaunpur District Jail

Since 2010 the information regarding the inmates was 2617 pages long and a fees of Rs.2 per page was asked that totalled to 5234 even though the similar details of other prisons were obtained through RTI. There are total 10 barracks in jail but the information of no. of inmates in each barrack was not provided. There are 7 shower rooms and 41 toilets. When asked about the condition shower rooms, a fee of Rs.2 per page amounting to Rs.20 was demanded and no information was given regarding the condition of toilets. No details regarding the food of prisoners were provided either.
There is a hospital with 2 doctors,2 pharmacists and 20 beds. Television is present for the entertainment of prisoners and provisions have been made for physical entertainments like sports. Preaching is also organized along with yoga sessions and bhajans. No information regarding the improvement of prisoners was provided. It was told that prisoners get paid for their physical labour but the no. of prisoners and the amount paid to them was not given.
1 teacher has been appointed and examinations are conducted with help of educational institutions. A total no. of 368 received legal aid from the state.

Conditions of Gazipur Jail

There are total 483 under trial prisoners since 2010 in gazipur jail. There are 13 barracks and the data regarding the no. of prisoners in each barrack was not provided. There are 4 shower rooms and 64 toilets and details regarding their condition was not given.
Prisoners are provided food on a weekly basis as per the jail manual but a copy of such document was not provided.
The prison hospital has 1 doctor and 1 pharmacist and details on X-ray technician , ward boy or nurse appointment were not provided and the information regarding the no. of beds was absent as well.
No information was facilitated on provisions of rehabilitation of prisoners.
Activities like sports i.e. Volleyball, carom, badminton and cultural programs are organized for entertainment of inmates.
There is 1 teacher appointed for education of prisoners and 6 of the prisoners are provided with legal aid from state.

Conditions of Varanasi district Jail

How many under trial prisoners does Varanasi district jail have?
How many barracks are there in the jail?
How many shower rooms and toilets are available for inmates and what are their conditions?
None of the above questions were answered by the RTO officer. On question of food provided to prisoners it was told that inmates were served food as per jail manual but copy of the document was not provided.
On question of medical attention and care of inmates it was provided that inmates are taken care of as per the jail manual but as mentioned above the copy of so was not provided. There are 2 doctors and 1 pharmacist appointed.
No information regarding the rehabilitation of prisoners was provided. Television sets are available for entertainment of inmates and sports events are organized .
Provisions regarding improvement of prisoners were also not answered.
For education there is a teacher appointed and university education can be obtained through IGNOU. Details regarding state’s legal aid for prisoners were also unanswered.

Conditions of Balia Jail

As per the information there are a total no of 311 under trial prisoners since 2010. There are 10 barracks with each having 70-80 inmates. There are 9 shower rooms available and 47 toilets are available in daytime and 17 during the night.
No information on conditions of shower rooms and toilet was provided.
A weekly menu of prisoners food was provided which included different menus for different week days. Food included in the menu were bread, tea, bananas, sprouts and daliya as breakfasts, and chapatis, pulses, vegetables, rice and pudis as lunch and dinner in the jail.
There is a jail hospital present with an ambulance. There is 1 doctor and a pharmacist appointed and information regarding X ray technician, lab attendant and no. of beds in the hospitals was not given.
No schemes for rehabilitation were provided. Television sets are present for entertainment of prisoners and indoor games are also conducted. No information for the improvement of prisoners was provided.
23 prisoners are getting state’s legal aid.
What Uttar Pradesh Jail Manual Says

1/3 district jail categories – There are 5 categories of district jail
1st category : Normally 500+ prisoners accommodation
2nd category : Normally 300-500 prisoners accommodation
3rd category : Normally 150-300 prisoners accommodation
4th category : 100-150 prisoners accommodation
5th category : Under 100 prisoners capacity.

¼ district Jails list. District jails are classified as given below :
1st  class district jails : Agra, Aligarh, Bareilly, Badaun, Etah, Faizabad, Fatehgarh, Gonda, Gorakhpur, Hardoi, Khiri,Lucknow, Meerat, Muradabad, Rai Bareilly, Shahjahanpur, Sitapur, Kanpur, Unnav and Varanasi.

2nd class district jails : Azamgarh, Bahraich, Barabanki, Basti, Bijnour, Itawah, Fatehpur, Gazipur, Jaunpur, Mainpuri, Mathura, Pratapgarh, Rampur, Saharanpur, Sultanpur, Banda and Jhansi.

3rd class district jails : Bulandsheher, Deoriya, Hamirpur, Mirzapur, Muzzafarnagar and Urai.

4th class district jails : Almoda, Balia, Dehradun and Pilibheet.

5th class district jails : Nainitaal, Paudi and Tehri.

1/5 Juvenile Jails : One jail situated in Bareilly.

1/6 Arrest Jails : Administered by jail department, it is situated Gorukhpur. A subsidiary jail is situation in Gyanpur, Varanasi district.

Reservation of jails for different types of Prisoners

2/7 Category of criminals kept in central and district jails :  Different kind of criminals kept in central and district jails are instated on following classification

Central Jail :
Adult prisoners serving lifetime imprisonment or more than 7 years of jail time.
1st class District Jail : Prisoners serving more than 3 and less than 7 years of jail time.

2nd class District Jail : Prisoners serving more than 2 and less than 3 years of jail time.

3rd and 4th class District Jails : Prisoners serving more than 1 and less than 2 years of jail time.
2/8 Under trials of district jail and ordinary Jail time serving Prisoners : Under trials, prisoners of district court and prisoners serving ordinary jail time would be kept in their respective district jails i.e. where their case is being processed.

2/9 Women Prisoners :
There are no provisions made in district jails of Varanasi, Lucknow and Allahabad for accommodation of women prisoners. Women of these places would be kept in the respective central jails.

In central jails of Agra, Bareilly and Fatehgarh no provisions are made for women in central jails.
2/10 Prisoners of District Jails : Courts should send prisoners of district jails directly to these locations based on their district :
Bahraich to Gonda District Jail
Balia to Gazipur District Jail
Kanpur to Unnao District Jail
Dehradun to Saharanpur District Jail
Nainital to Bareilly District Jail
Sultanpur to Faizabad District Jail

Suggestions regarding Jail Improvement

1. Crowd should be reduced.
2. Proper psychiatric help should be provided to inmates.
3. Children of women prisoners of 3-6 years should be properly taken care of.
4. Proper and practical rehabilitation schemes should be implemented for            prisoners.
5.  Marketing of products produced in jail and welfare schemes for jail workers.
6. Unity with other communities.
7. Modern architecture for development of new prisons.
8. Training and welfare schemes for women prisoners.
9. Acknowledgement and working on issues like social acceptance of acquitted prisoners.
10. Acceptance of an ideal jail model by every state/union territories.
11. Appointment of sufficient staff in jail.
12. Provisions for entertainment of prisoners.
13. Separate places for under trial and proven guilty prisoners.
14. Linking prisoners with business studies and keeping them by their criminal tendencies.
15. Attention on cleanliness of jails and provisions for Yoga and Health should be made.
16. No. of cleaners in jail should be increased. A pathology lab and ambulance should be available in jail.
17. Food is made to be cooked by prisoners themselves. It is not possible for prisoners to cook food for 2-3 thousand inmates, hence cooks should be appointed.
18. Because of availability of a single barber inmates roam as Romeos. Therefore more barbers should be appointed.

Ideal Jail establishment

1.  An ideal jail should be made at every divisional headquarter. Prisoners serving their time there should get a chance of spending time with their family.
2. Male prisoners who have crossed the age of 60 and have served for more than 14  years and Women prisoners who have crossed the age of 50 and have served more than 7 years should be acquitted.
3. A medical officer should be appointed in each prison.
4. Prisoners should be kept in two divisions :
 (i)- Habitual or dangerous offenders.  
(ii)- Normal or accidental criminals.
5.Prisoners should be given more chances of meeting their family, sending mails and having the home cooked food.
6. Rules regarding parole should be softened and some financial aid should be provided so that the inmates can establish themselves back in society.
7. Under trial prisoners and proven guilty prisoners should be kept apart. Along with it provisions should be made to ensure that under trials spend lesser time in jail.
8. Adequate funding should be provided by state for proper functioning  of prisons.

This report has been created by Peoples’ Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR) on condition of jails and prisoners by the information obtained through Right to Information Act, 2005.

- Anup Srivastava

(Translated by – Suryansh Srivastava)

Saturday, June 24, 2017

International Day in Support of Victims of Torture

PVCHR is requesting for your kind participation in  honor ceremony for the survivors of torture on 26th June, 2017 at hotel Kamesh Hut, Lahurabeer, Varanasi at 12 noon. The UN International Day in Support of Victims of Torture on 26 June marks the moment in 1987 when the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment came into effect.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

2 Bangladeshi teenagers shot dead by BSF on Jhenaidah border

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: PVCHR Communication <>
Date: Wed, Jun 21, 2017 at 11:17 AM
Subject: 2 Bangladeshi teenagers shot dead by BSF on Jhenaidah border
To: covdnhrc <>, NHRC <>
Cc: Lenin Raghuvanshi <>

Dear Sir,
Greetings from PVCHR
I want to bring in your kind attention towards the news published in Dhaka Tribune on 20th June, 2017 regarding 2 Bangladeshi teenagers shot dead by BSF on Jhenaidah border
Therefore it is a kind request please direct for an appropriate action at Earliest.
Thanking You
Sincerely Yours
Lenin Raghuvanshi
Founder and CEO
Peoples'  Vigilance Committee on Human Rights

2 Bangladeshi teenagers shot dead by BSF on Jhenaidah border

2 Bangladeshi teenagers shot dead by BSF on Jhenaidah border
A BSF jawan stands on guard at the India-Bangladesh border Reuters

Both were high school students

Two Bangladeshi students were gunned down allegedly by the members of Indian Border Security Force (BSF) on Khoshalpur border under Maheshpur upazila in Jhenidah on Tuesday morning.
The victims are Shohel Rana, 16, a student of Bakoshpota Secondary School and son of Shahidul Islam of Khoshalpur, and Harunur Rashid, 15, a student of Shamkur Secondary School and son of Kawsar Ali of Shyamkur in the upazila.
Locals said the killings took place around 9am when the duo were trying to enter India illegally.
When contacted, Deputy Commander of 58 Border Guard Bangladesh unit Jasim Uddin and Ahmedul Kabir, officer-in-charge of Maheshpur police station, said they are aware of the incident.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Meet the first Musahar community girl to clear Class X exam

Rekha has cleared her Class X exam from the UP board, results of which were announced recently. She has achieved what no member of her 2.5 lakh-strong community -- the Musahar (rat-catchers) -- in the area could do so far. 
"Im very happy," said Rekha, a resident of the Musahar Basti under Ayar gram panchayat in Harahua block of Varanasi, the Lok Sabha constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. 

Nursing a dream to study further, at least obtaining a graduation degree in arts, the girl said she wanted to become a teacher.

"Although the idea of working for my community and the locals is good, I feel more like becoming a teacher," she said.

Rekhas father, Angal, wore a confused smile, not sure as to how big his daughters’ achievement was.

"Yes, I am happy. Everybody around looks happy, so I am also happy," he said.
The girl scored a little over 63 per cent marks. "My writing is poor. I think I lost some marks because of that," said 16-year-old Rekha, still trying to absorb her overwhelming achievement.

As Rekha showed her marks to his father, who does not know how to read or write as his wife, the mans eyes filled with tears and a joyous embarrassment.

"What do I have to see in this," he asked his daughter, who told him that was her ticket to sit in Class XI.

Angal, a daily wage labourer and father to five children, was now worried about future education expenses of her eldest daughter but certain that he wanted her to study.

While local community folks were happy over her breaking the ceiling, Rekhas mother was out to collect wood.

"I had asked her that today my result will be out, stay at home. She said khana bhi to banana hai(food needs to be arranged too)," Rekha said, instructing her younger brother to go out and bring their mother back.

Shobhnath, a human rights activist working for the uplift of the community, said its a path breaking achievement.

"I know what difficulties Rekha faced to see this day. At a place where you have never seen people around you, people from your community study, it was natural that she opted out. But she sustained and has gained distinction no one in her community in the block, which has around 14 villages, has," said Shobhnath, associated with PVCHR.

The Musahar community is listed as Scheduled Caste in Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, Tripura and West Bengal.

As per Census 2011, the communitys population in UP stood over 2.5 lakh, 1.23 lakh of them females.

The total literates in the community stood at 49,287, while illiterates at 2,07,848, as per the Census.

A backward and socially marginalised community, the Musahar find work as industrial labourers, while a majority still works as daily wagers and farm workers.
The women of the Musahar community in this area make disposable plates dona out of mahua leaves.

"But the business is dwindling and nearing end since the plastic and fibre cups and plates came. Also, at Rs 2 for 80 dona, its economically not viable anymore," said a local.

In 2005, PVCHR-Jan Mitra Nyas-PVCHR initiated breakfast project for education with support of Rajdulari Foundation and Parul Sharma of Sweden. Then Indo -German Society of Remschied, Germany established building for ICDS center and one room in Primary Government School. Then Rekha received two thousands rupees and a cycle for going college. Cycle supported by JMN-PVCHR with support of 200 Swedish donors and Parul Sharma. Now CRY-JMN partnership ( adopted this village, so Shobhnath of PVCHR is continually involved to motivate her. Ms. Parul Sharma declared scholarship to Rekha for further study.

“There is paradigm shift for empowerment of girls, emergence of girls’ power and union of different communities of Shudra and ati-shudra.” says  Shruti Nagvanshi, managing trustee of PVCHR and JMN.


#pvchr #musahar #girlspower #u4humanrights

Meet the first Musahar community girl to clear Class X exam

Thursday, June 08, 2017

A Movement for Child Rights in Uttar Pradesh by Children

Varanasi’s weaving community’s children are becoming the bastions of child rights in Uttar Pradesh as they fight against child labour and early marriage.
“It was my dream to train as a lawyer. And today I am studying to become a lawyer,” says Puja Kumari. She beams when she talks about her dreams and her achievements. But it wasn’t so long ago that Puja was out of school and working long hours to help in the family’s weaving business. Varanasi, one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, is famous for its traditional handloom weaves. But thanks to the vagaries of globalised economics and treaties under WTO agreements, recent times have seen them starving, at the margins of extreme poverty. The children in this community were the first to suffer–sold, married off early, malnourished and working for up to 16 hours a day–they were nowhere near getting an education.
Seeing the condition of the children, People’s Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR) stepped in. They started a series of advocacy and programmatic interventions the end result of which is a sea change in attitudes towards education, early marriage, child labour and the rights of the girl child. One of the pioneering initiatives by them is the Bal Panchayats or children’s parliaments. Puja says that before joining the Munshi Premchand Bal Panchayat in her locality she was unaware of her rights: “I did not know about issues like child marriage and child labour. Now I am fully aware of my rights under the Right to Education. There should be a school within a kilometre. But the nearest school here is located three kilometres away.”
8.4 crore children in India are currently out of school. Child labour accounts for 13% of total workforce in the country. During the recent Universal Periodic Review at the United Nations Human Rights Council, the government came under scrutiny regarding child-related policies particularly those pertaining to child labour and child marriage. The PVCHR’s intervention in Uttar Pradesh is apposite as child rights in Uttar Pradesh hve abysmal records. The state has the highest number of children–2.1 million–engaged in child labour. India also has the highest number of child brides in the world. This is an issue close to the hearts of girls like Pooja who have seen their friends getting married as teenagers and are themselves at high risk of early marriage.
She started a campaign along with two of her colleagues from the Bal Panchayat for raising awareness of child rights in Uttar Pradesh. They named it ‘I will not Cook, I want to get Educated’. “Learning from the Bal Panchayat has enabled us to stand up for our rights. We prevented a minor girl from being sent to her in-law’s place, although we could not stop her marriage. We have taken out awareness rallies about child marriage and now more people are opposing it,” says Pooja. Pooja, currently pursuing her undergraduate degree in Law is a shining example of what girls can achieve if they receive support from their community and family.
Manish Kumar is the president of the Munshi Premchand Bal Panchayat. He says that the inspiration behind starting a children-led initiative like this was to create a forum where the children could voice their concerns and work towards a solution. “When we were young, we would see our parents participate in the Panchayat meetings. If we tried to listen in they would shoo us away and tell us to play. This Bal Panchayat was started in 2004. We meet every month and everyone is given a chance to speak. When PVCHR first started work in this locality only one boy was educated till the tenth standard. Today a lot more young people are going to school.” says Manish.
PVCHR’s wide-ranging advocacy on the issue has seen government officials sit up and take notice of serious issues such as malnourishment and access to education. Today they also run a non-formal education centre for out of school children. They have highlighted the condition of the weavers to the Planning Commission. Slowly but surely, things are turning around for child rights in Uttar Pradesh. With a new crop of aware and enthused young activists like Pooja and Manish, the way forward is full of hope for the children of the weavers’ community in Varanasi.
The video is produced by Video Volunteers with the support of Vikalp Sangam | Article by Madhura Chakraborty

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Meet The Activist Who Is Fighting Deep-Rooted Caste Discrimination At The Grassroots

"All my brothers and sisters were named after prominent Marxist leaders by my father. Though he was a leftist, he was deeply religious. Meanwhile, my grandfather, a Gandhian, was an atheist. An egalitarian, he had a good grasp of grassroots politics. I grew up with my grandparents in Bombay. Our home felt the turbulence of ideologies. These shaped me. Other influences on me were the ideologies of Gautam #Buddha, #Kabir, Dr BR #Ambedkar, Mahatma #Gandhi and Swami #Agnivesh. Though a left-liberal ideologist, engaged with the politics of the marginal (Dalits and minorities), I am a firm believer in non-violence." says Lenin Raghuvanshi

Please read full interview