Include Aadhaar in degrees, birth certificates: Sheila Dikshit #UID


10th January 2013 05:30 PM

  • The chief minister announced here that Delhi would achieve 95 percent Aadhaar enrolment by Feb 2013. |PTi File photo
    The chief minister announced here that Delhi would achieve 95 percent Aadhaar enrolment by Feb 2013. |PTi File photo

Setting an April deadline for implementation of all nine central schemes through direct cash transfer, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit urged the union government to include Aadhaar numbers on degree and birth certificates.

The Delhi government launched four centrally-sponsored schemes through Aadhaar Enabled Direct Cash Transfer scheme in two of its districts Jan 1, when the scheme took off in 20 districts of the country.

The chief minister announced here that Delhi would achieve 95 percent Aadhaar enrolment by Feb 2013.

Dikshit also stated that each Aadhaar number is unique to an individual, and would remain valid for life.


Rapist in the family: The great Indian cover-up #Vaw


by Jan 10, 2013, Firstpost

“It is true, trust me,” says Bina Jain, as she recounts one of the many incest cases she encountered in three decades of running Bapun Ghar, a women’s shelter in central Delhi. “She is my fruit after all. So what if I tasted her?” was the justification the man gave to the gynecologist for impregnating his 16 year old daughter, says Jain.

Every year, she says, the shelter gets custody of roughly twenty girls and women abandoned by families. It is a grim reflection of the treatment given to rape victims who, in some cases, are described by the families as ‘dirty’ and ‘untouchable’.

Jain rattles off cases where the rapist is the father, brother, uncle, tutor, neighbour – men known to the victim. In more than 90 percent of the rape cases booked across the country, the perpetrators are men known to the victim, according to National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data.Lenient rape laws, pathetic policing, and politicians as rapists were discussed threadbare in the wake of the barbaric gangrape in the national capital past December. But the known devil, staring in the face of thousands of girls, was once again spared. And he always gets away with his crime as the girl is asked not to speak, for the family’s honour, for what the father owes her, for better future of her siblings, for the tradition of submission, for the sake of being an Indian girl.

The overall conviction rate in rape cases in 2011, as per NCRB, was an abysmal 26.4 percent. Soumya Bhaumik, legal consultant, Centre for Social Research, Delhi, says the pressure on the victim from her family is one of the primary reasons for the low conviction rate. “It is common in urban and rural settings. Therefore, it is extremely courageous when in such cases a girl testifies in court,” says Bhaumik, “As opposed to the cases when the family pressurises her or sweet talks her to withdraw the complaint.”

A girl in certain social set-ups in India does not have to go further than her home where an all-pervasive devaluing of the girl begins from the day she is born. “It begins with the news of the baby girl being born. Everything else follows. Throughout her upbringing, she is considered dispensable. This is why no one stands up to protect her when she is in trouble. Even the best of the people in the society follows this dominant trend,” says Akhila Sivadas, director, Centre for Advocacy & Research, Delhi.

As long as these dynamics will prevail, the victim will be expected to not only endure the crime but live in close proximity with the predator. The matter becomes a family secret. And the men in the garb of ‘family’ or ‘friend’ or ‘neighbour’ never feel guilty. In cases where the victims are firm about their decisions at the cost of ‘bringing shame to the family’, they face severe consequences. They are stigmatised. They are rejected. They are blamed for bringing disgrace to their families.

The decision whether to restore the victim to her family or not is often the biggest dilemma a practitioner of rehabilitation faces in such cases, says Dr Nimesh Desai, director, Institute of Human Behaviour & Allied Sciences, Delhi. “Ethically, we should bring the culprit to the book because we cannot become party to the cover- up. But there is always a hidden danger in convincing the victim to talk against the offender because ultimately the girl would go back the family and they might punish her for being courageous.”

There are various reasons why a rape victim in India cannot look for refuge outside the family. One is that fact that the very notion of a girl moving out of the home and thereby detaching herself from ‘relations’ has a negative connotation in the Indian milieu, writes Sudhir Kakar, novelist and psychoanalyst, in The Times of India. While Kakar is commenting on the women who have migrated to big cities to work or study, it applies just as well to rape victims.

Another problem faced by the victims of sexual abuse and rape in India is the lack of knowledge about governmental support or resources available for rape victims. “There is immense recognition of what she goes through, but no reactionary or proactive mechanism to address the causes of the same. We lack a coherent governance framework which can address the why and how of the problem,” says Sivadas.

For example, very few rape victims avail the compensation that they are entitled to from the state under the section 357A of the CrPC. Very few social welfare bodies are aware of the fact that the Centre has been delaying the implementation comprehensive rape victims’ relief scheme that was drafted following by the National Commission for Women following a Supreme Court writ petition in 1994. According to the draft of the scheme, a rape victim is entitled to financial support of upto Rs 3 lakh and vocational training, jobs from the government.

There are no easy answers to addressing a crime committed by a family member. And the answers that could have come to help aren’t out there known to people. There is no exposing of the great family cover- up anytime soon. And therefore continues a vicious cycle where the rape victim has no option other than to succumb to fate, tradition and family.


#India- Legal rights every woman must know #Vaw #justice #womenrights #mustshare

Under section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code, a woman who has been raped can record her statement before the district magistrate when the case is under trial, and no one else needs to be present. Alternatively, she can record the statement with only one police officer and woman constable in a convenient place that is not crowded and does not provide any possibility of the statement being overheard by a fourth person. The police have to, by law, protect the woman’s right to privacy. It’s important for the person to feel comfortable and not be under any kind of stress while narrating the incident.

The police cannot refuse to register an FIR even if a considerable period of time has elapsed since the incident of rape or molestation took place. If the police tells you that they can’t lodge your FIR since you didn’t report it earlier, do not concede. “Rape is a horrifying incident for any woman, so it’s natural for her to go into shock and not want to report it immediately. She may also fear for her safety and the reputation and dignity of her family. For this reason, the Supreme Court has ruled that the police must register an FIR even if there has been a gap between the report and the occurrence of the incident,” says Tariq Abeed, advocate, Supreme Court.

A rape victim can register her police complaint from any police station under the Zero FIR ruling by Supreme Court. “Sometimes, the police station under which the incident occurs refuses to register the victim’s complaint in order to keep clear of responsibility, and tries sending the victim to another police station. In such cases, she has the right to lodge an FIR at any police station in the city under the Zero FIR ruling. The senior officer will then direct the SHO of the police station concerned to lodge the FIR,” says Abeed. This is a Supreme Court ruling that not many women are aware of, so don’t let the SHO of a police station send you away saying it “doesn’t come under his area”.

According to a Supreme Court ruling, a woman cannot be arrested after sunset and before sunrise. There are many cases of women being harassed by the police in the wee hours, but all this can be avoided if you exercise the right of being present in the police station only during daytime. “Even if there is a woman constable accompanying the officers, the police can’t arrest a woman at night. In case the woman has committed a serious crime, the police has to get it in writing from the magistrate explaining why the arrest is necessary during the night,” says Bhaumik.

Women cannot be called to the police station for interrogation under Section 160 of the Criminal Procedure Code. This law provides Indian women the right of not being physically present at the police station for interrogation. “The police can interrogate a woman at her residence in the presence of a woman constable and family members or friends,” says Abeed. So the next time you’re called to the police station for queries or interrogation when you have faced any kind of harassment, quote this guideline of the Supreme Court to exercise your right and remind the cops about it.

A case of rape can’t be dismissed even if the doctor says rape had not taken place. A victim of rape needs to be medically examined as per Section 164 A of the Criminal Procedure Code, and only the report can act as proof. “A woman has the right to have a copy of the medical report from the doctor. Rape is a crime, not a medical condition. It is a legal term and not a diagnosis to be made by the medical officer treating the victim. The only statement that can be made by the medical officer is that there is evidence of recent sexual activity. Whether the rape has occurred or not is a legal conclusion and the doctor can’t decide on this,” explains Bhaumik.

Under no circumstances can the identity of a rape victim be revealed. Neither the police nor media can make known the name of the victim in public. Section 228-A of the Indian Penal Code makes the disclosure of a victim’s identity a punishable offense. Printing or publishing the name or any matter which may make known the identity of a woman against whom an offence has been committed is punishable. This is done to prevent social victimisation or ostracism of the victim of a sexual offence. Even while a judgment is in progress at the high court or a lower court, the name of the victim is not indicated, she is only described as ‘victim’ in the judgement.

It is the duty of every employer to create a Sexual Harassment Complaints Committee within the organisation for redressal of such complaints. According to a guideline issued by the Supreme Court, it is mandatory for all firms, public and private, to set up these committees to resolve matters of sexual harassment. It is also necessary that the committee be headed by a woman and include 50 per cent women as members. Also, one of the members should be from a women’s welfare group.

Sources: Saumya Bhaumik (women’s right lawyer, Tariq Abeed (advocate, Supreme court)


Poem on the diktat of #Delhi police chief #Delhigangrape #Vaw #moralpolicing

ढीली पोलीस या दिल्ली पोलीस

ढीली पोलीस का फरमान आया है ,
दिल्ली से समाचार पत्रो मे ,
वक्तव्य छपवाया है ,

अपनी बहादुरी , बोधिकता
का मिला जुला असर ,
बताया है …

दिल्ली की बिटिया रानी को ,
स्कूल , कालेज को जाने को ,
इक भयानक खोफ़ बताया है..

एक पोस्टर चिपकाया  है ,
बिटिया सीधा घर जाओ ,
ऐसा ऑर्डर लिखवाया है …

भाई! अपना पेट दुरुस्त करो ,
गाड़ी मे इज़्ज़त का ,
पेट्रोल भरो,
थोड़ा थोड़ा गश्त करो ,

ऐसा फरमान कब छपवओगे ,
ढीली पोलीस से,
दिल्ली पोलीस कब बन कर दिखाओगे ,
क्या कभी ,
with you , for you , always ,
का अनुवाद ,
सही सही समझ पाओगे ?

@राहुल योगी देवेश्वर


#India, #Chhattisgarh- Kanker and its sordid tale of rapes and abuse #Vaw

In Kanker primary school-going girls were repeatedly raped by a teacher and a watchman at a hostel under the administration’s nose

January 9, 2013

The hostel in Kanker, Chhattisgarh. Tehelka photo

While the country was erupting in widespread protests and condemnation over the Delhi gangrape, innocent tribal girls in a primary school of a village in Chhattisgarh were spending their nights in pain and terror. Nobody knew whose turn it was that night. The little girls complained about the oppression meted out to them by their teacher and watchman to the superintendent of the hostel, along with informing the Gram Panchayat and the Block Education Officer (BEO), but their pleas fell on deaf ears. An inquiry was made only when the complaint reached the collector. According to the medical reports, 12 girls have been found to be raped. There remain chances of the numbers of those exploited going up, as the crime has been happening for years.

Two hundred kilometers away from the capital, Raipur, Jhaliyamari is a small village in Narharpur block of Kanker district. Here, next to the school is a house that serves as a hostel for tribal girls studying in primary schools. There are 43 girls residing here aged between 6 and 13. Both the school and the hostel is run by the tribal department and all the girls are from the five adjoining villages of Jhaliyamari. An investigation by Tehelka found that gangrapes of innocent girls have been taking place in this hostel for years. Despite the administration’s knowledge of it, the crimes were kept under wraps, allowing the exploitation of girls to continue.

Alarmail Mangai D, collector of Kanker, acknowledges having received a phone call complaining about the abuse of young girls. Responding to the complaint, Alarmail constituted a team of woman officials to inquire into the reports. The girls confided in the officials when they visited. Following this, teacher Mannulal Goti and watchman Dinanath Nagesh were arrested on 5 January. The next day all 11 girls were taken to Kanker for their medical check up. D.I.G Ramnivas says that a special team has been constituted to inquire into the matter. Police officer Neelam Kujur, from the women’s cell of Narharpur police station, tells Tehelka that in their statement, the girls have said that they have been raped.

There are three rooms in the hostel but none have a door latch. Collector Mangai says that it was mandatory for the superintendent of the hostel to stay back at night, but Babita Markan, the hostel superintendent, used to go home. The watchman, Nagesh, was posted at the hostel and the teacher, Goti, used to come over to sleep. First they would drink heavily on the veranda and then enter any room. After turning off the lights, they would undress the girls, often indulging in gangrape. Some girls had to undergo this trauma repeatedly. The girls also said that when they had initially come to the hostel their seniors warned them about the accused. The police are trying to ascertain the duration for which this has been happening. Reports say that the other girls of the hostel will also be examined. P.R.K Singh, station in-charge, Narharpur Police Station, says that the girls are so young that they don’t even know the meaning of sex.

It is alleged that the Panchayat and BEO did not take any action despite the complaints. Upsarpanch of the village tells Tehelka that such complaints about the hostel have come in the past as well. The girls had initially complained to the wife of the watchman. Then the hostel superintendent was informed. Even after that no action was taken against the accused. Last year, the Panchayat was informed about the misdeeds of Goti and Nagesh. In August, the Gram Panchayat was called, both the accused were fined Rs 5000 and the whole matter was brushed under the carpet. While Nagesh paid the fine and continued to sleep in the hostel, Goti, who didn’t pay, stopped visiting the hostel. Eventually, the case reached the BEO, S S Navarji, who even after conducting a probe, and finding the allegations to be true, took no action against the perpetrators. Nirmal Kange, a local, informs that after the inquiry, the BEO gave the accused the panchnama, but did not take any action. Tortured and threatened by their teacher, the abused girls kept mum and didn’t tell their parents about it.

A room in the hostel, Kanker. Tehelka photo.

When Tehelka looked for the families of victims in nearby villages, one 7-year-old victim’s mother said that her daughter, who was studying in Class II, was too young to know anything about sex or abuse. Her helpless father said that he had sent his daughter to the hostel when guruji (teacher) came to get her admitted. He had no idea about what had happened to his daughter. He now says that even if they die of hunger, he would not send his daughter back to the hostel. In the same village, another victim’s mother told this reporter that on Saturday some people had come and taken her husband away. She had heard that something had happened to her daughter but had no idea what it was.

In a press conference held in Kanker district headquarters on Tuesday 8 January, former Chhattisgarh chief minister Ajit Jogi said that one of the inmates, who passed away in August 2012, was also a victim of sexual abuse. The parents of the 10-year-old girl, who were also present at the press conference, said that their daughter had refused to go back to the hostel after she visited her home in Devgaon. When she was admitted to a hospital following an illness, she was found to have been pregnant. The girl passed away on 8 August in the hospital. The claim, however, was refuted in a statement issued by the government on Wednesday. “During the investigation, it has been found that the 10-year-old girl was not sexually assaulted and died of cardio-respiratory arrest and multi-organ failure,” the statement said.

The incident has acquired a political tone now. Demonstrations are taking place in several places against this barbaric crime. On Wednesday 9 January, a one-day state-wide bandh called by the Congress to protest against the Kanker rapes was a complete success across Chhattisgarh. In Raipur, educational institutions, business establishments and commercial centres downed shutters and petrol pumps remained closed for the day, while government offices, medical shops and emergency services remained unaffected. Vehicular movement virtually came to a halt in many parts of the city as passenger buses and auto-rickshaws remained off the roads. In the meantime, state home minister Nanki Ran Kanwar has kicked up a controversy after he told a news channel that the stars of the women in this country are not favourable and therein lies the explanation to the widespread abuse faced by them.

Following reports, the accused have now been sent to jail. The employment of the hostel’s superintendent, watchman and the cook have all been terminated by the Collector. Assistant Commissioner Tribal Department S K Vahne and BEO Navarji have been suspended. The hostel in Jhliyamari has been closed down and the girls have been shifted to undisclosed hostels. Orders have been given to inquire into all the hostels of the district.


In India, Solar Ambitions Are Suddenly Outsize

 A worker cleaned panels at a solar plant in the village of Meerwada in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, which aims to add 800 megawatts of solar power within five years.
After years of lagging behind China and the West in the adoption of solar power, some states in India are proposing to build solar farms at a galloping pace that leaves them at risk of falling short of electricity (a familiar problem here) or of paying higher prices for it.

In just the last five months, five Indian states have announced plans to bring giant amounts of solar power online within five years, including 1,000 megawatts in Andhra Pradesh, 350 megawatts in Rajasthan, 800 megawatts in Madhya Pradesh, 1,000 megawatts in Chhatisgarh and a whopping 3,000 megawatts in Tamil Nadu.

By comparison, the entire nation of India currently has just over 1,000 megawatts of solar power, and California, the leader in solar power in the United States, has around 2,000. India has more than 300 sunny days a year and much of the nation lies near the equator — ideal conditions, geographically speaking, for harnessing solar power.

The central government has a goal of producing 22 gigawatts of solar power by 2022. Proponents say that solar energy might reduce the country’s dependence on coal, which is always in short supply, and slow the effects of climate change, including sea-level rise, which endangers the country’s coastal cities.

The national government, known here as the Center, intends to lean heavily on the states in working toward that target. And in the last few months a handful of states have emphatically responded.  “The momentum is shifting from the Center to the states,” said Vineeth Vijayaraghavan, who publishesa newsletter on the Indian clean tech industry.

Recent events in Tamil Nadu underline the risks of trying to build out solar power too quickly.

Rolling blackouts are a fact of life here because of a 4,000-megawatt deficit in power production. In response, the government announced in October that it was seeking bidders to build 1,000 megawatts of solar power each year until 2015.

Tamil Nadu modeled its bidding process after one that worked out strongly in the central government’s favor. In 2011, the center sought bids for solar power and was overwhelmed by suitors — it received 5,000 megawatts’ worth of proposals for 1,000-megawatt projects. The government held a novel reverse auction that made solar developers compete with one another to see who could sell power to the state more cheaply. The resulting rates saved the utility and its customers significant money.

Tamil Nadu introduced its own 1,000-megawatt offer last October, and initial interest by solar developers was intense. But some companies grew wary when they examined the fine print. Rules were vague about when payments would be made; the state’s power distributor, known as Tangedco, is in poor financial health, which makes it harder for solar builders to secure loans; and the utility took no responsibility for transmitting the electricity that the developers created.

Furthermore, the projects had to be unveiled at a punishing pace: companies had to acquire land, line up financing, build the solar farms and switch on the power by the end of this year.

As of Friday’s deadline, the state had received bids for just 499 megawatts, less than half its target.

Energy officials maintained in a press report that the response was “by no means discouraging.” But Tobias Engelmeier, the managing director of Bridge to India, a solar research and consulting firm, said that since many of the bids won’t meet the state’s criteria, Tamil Nadu may end up getting only 150 megawatts of solar power this year.

“I think that Tangedco was expecting a lot more enthusiasm,” said Madhavan Nampoothiri, a solar consultant in Chennai, Tamil Nadu’s capital. “They weren’t able to allow an extension, and now they’re going to have to.

Go straight home from school, college: Delhi Police’s safety tip for girls #WTFnews #Vaw

Edited by Prasad Sanyal | Updated: January 10, 2013 16:18 IST, NDTV

Go straight home from school, college: Delhi Police's safety tip for girls

New DelhiGirls should go “straight home” from schools and colleges, says the Delhi Police in posters placed outside educational institutions.If they have other plans, the posters suggest that girls inform their families about where they’re headed.  A note with the student‘s address and contact number should be placed inside bags, the police recommended.

The posters will only create a sense of alarm, said Nirmala Sitharaman, the spokesperson for the opposition BJP.
The Delhi Police is  notoriously  ineffective and  insensitive when dealing with complaints filed by women. The list of Do’s and Don’ts put up today underscores for many the inability of the police to offer better security for women by suggesting they help themselves.

Last month, a young student was raped by a group of men on a bus in Delhi. She was travelling with a male friend who tried to defend her when the men began harassing her.  They responded with an iron rod, striking the couple repeatedly before taking turns to rape the girl.  An hour later, the couple was flung onto the road, naked and bleeding. For two weeks, the girl fought for her life but was unable to survive the vast and severe injuries inflicted on her.

Thousands of protestors, most of them students, lined the streets of Delhi, demanding that the capital be made safer for women, blaming the government and police for being apathetic to crimes against women, and seeking new tough laws to punish sexual offenders.


Madhya Pradesh NGO sends disabled minor girls to boys’ hostel as punishment #WTFnews #Vaw

By , TNN | Jan 10, 2013, 03.20 AM IST

Madhya Pradesh NGO sends minor girls to boys' hostel as punishment
For now Sehore administration has ruled out sexual abuse of the girls though there is no information on whether they had already been sent for medical examination.
BHOPAL: Like lambs sent to the wolves, an NGO entrusted with the welfare of minor girls — many of them disabled and mentally weak — had been sending them for months to the boys’ hostel next door in the name of “punishment”.

The shocking fact, which has just come to light, has startled and enraged people across Madhya Pradesh where the Sehore-based NGO, Bright Star Social Society, had been running the two hostels for boys and girls.

Girls terrorized

In raids carried out on Tuesday at the Mandi area of Sehore, which neighbours Bhopal, a team from the state commission for protection of child rights (SCPCR) found that the girls, almost all of whom were too terrorized to talk, would be forced into the boys’ rooms whenever they “made a mistake” or complained to officials about the poor facilities they had to live with.

“Senior madam would send us to the boys whenever she thought we should be punished for something we had done wrong,” one of the girls told the SCPCR officials. “We were then made to do dirty things. Often we were thrashed.” Another disabled girl was so terrified on being asked by the team what exactly went on there that she broke down and wouldn’t utter a word.

More worryingly, SCPCR chairperson Usha Chaturvedi told TOI that apart from gross irregularities in both the hostels, while records showed a total of 48 girls only 30 were present on Tuesday. “The rest, 18 of them, we were told by secretary (of the NGO) Avanish Jaffery, hadn’t turned up since the Diwali vacation,” she said. “Also, we found that all the 30 girls were stacked up in one room of 11 feet by 11 feet.”

The Sehore district administration has cancelled the licence of the NGO to run the hostels but little action has been taken against Sangeeta and Irshad Jaffery, who were heading operations. Questioned about it, district collector Kavindra Kiyawat said directives had been issued to the NGO to vacate the hostel within three days.

Kiyawat has for now ruled out sexual abuse of the girls though there is no information on whether they had already been sent for medical examination. SCPCR has asked for a report now and ordered the district project coordinator to trace the missing girls.

Meanwhile, during initial interrogation, Avanish confessed before the SCPCR team that though he had 15 days ago taken one of the girls to the boys hostel “on account of bed wetting”, he had not left her with them. “I kept the girl with me and my wife,” he said.

Rajya Shiksha Kendra commissioner Rashmi Arun Shami, along with social justice commissioner B K Batham, also inspected the hostels and spoke to the girls. Calling the incident “very sensitive”, both refused to divulge any further details about the alarming case.



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