#India- UP judge accused of molesting two girls in his office #WTFnews #Vaw #judgemolester


 #India-Towards a Decisive Victory in the Historic Battle for Women’s Rights

Reported by Anant Zanane, Edited by Sindhu Manjesh | Updated: January 23, 2013

Gonda, Uttar PradeshA judge in Uttar Pradesh has been accused of molesting two girls in his chambers at a court in  Gonda district, a two-hour drive from the capital of  Lucknow.

The two separate incidents allegedly took place on Monday.

The girls filed independent police complaints in which they allege that the judge made them undress and touched them inappropriately, claiming that he was trying to determine whether they are minors or younger than 18.

The girls were deposing before the judge in two separate cases of kidnapping that were lodged by their families after they had allegedly eloped. They had been summoned before the court to give their statements, which would have been used as evidence.

The police says that to register a case against the judge, it needs permission from the Allahabad High Court, which is awaited.

Lawyers boycotted the court in Gonda and vandalised the judge’s chambers, demanding his arrest.

 

#India- Battling predators at work #Vaw #sexualharassment


VINAYA DESHPANDE, The Hindu

 

The Vishaka guidelines were meant to counter sexual harassment in the office but women employees who complain often end up fighting a lonely, difficult battle.

This is the story of a woman who allegedly suffered sexual harassment at her workplace, a multi-national company, but did not give up the fight even after the organisation suspended and later dismissed her.

Activists have lamented how women who choose to fight the demon of sexual harassment at the workplace are often targeted. In cases where they decide to struggle alone, they are shown the door. Lack of strong protective legislation worsens their plight.

To hear her tell it, the case of 32-year old Rama Lobo (name changed to protect identity) was no different. She is now entangled in a maze of cases and counter-cases running in various courts, nearly a year-and-half after she was suspended from service. But this mother of two children has not given up. Nor has her family, which is backing her.

Rama Lobo joined Godrej Hicare Ltd on December 1, 2005. The division merged with ISS Integrated Facility Private Limited, a Denmark-based MNC, in April 2009. She worked with ISS Hicare Private Limited, a Pest Management Service provider which is a part of ISS Group — one of the world’s largest facility services providers with a presence in Europe, Asia, USA and Australia. The company is fighting the sexual harassment and unfair dismissal charges in court and has also filed a defamation case against her.

Ms. Lobo worked in the HR (Human Resource) department and was a top performer with consistently good ratings, so much so that her organisation even funded her e-MBA programme by paying Rs. 3 lakhs. According to her, things changed when a new person joined the organisation in 2010 at a very senior position in the HR department. Ms. Lobo’s boss, who used to report to him, resigned abruptly. And she then found herself shifted to various sections, kept without work for some time, and allegedly given hints about “performing as per expectations.”

Every time she was put on a new task which she had not done earlier, she took it as a challenge and excelled at the job — something admitted to by her colleagues and bosses including senior HR personnel.

But the hints did not stop and one day, when she wanted to know why she wasn’t being promoted despite good performance, she was allegedly told that mere performance was not sufficient, and that she needed to sit after office hours for getting promoted.

“On June 29, 2011, [My boss] told me, ‘You don’t understand how to get promotions, you are very hardworking and honest and your performance is excellent, but this is not enough, I told you before also, you have to use your body and your nose, mouth and tongue to get things done and to go up the ladder.’ While talking about all this, he pressed his hand against my hand and gestured very seductively,” Ms. Lobo told  The Hindu .

Unable to bear it, she says she screamed at him and stormed out of his office to the nearest police station to register a complaint. Her office staff persuaded her not to file a police complaint, fearing the reputation of the company would be scarred. A senior management official assured her that her complaint would be heard by the internal committee for investigating sexual harassment.

But while hearing her case on June 30, the company allegedly flouted the Supreme Court’s guidelines under the Vishaka judgment, as also its internal regulations under the firm’s sexual harassment policy.

The confidentiality clause was breached even as the top management held a meeting with female staffers later and told them that Ms. Lobo had raised a sexual harassment complaint as she was unhappy at not being promoted, and that the accused person was not at fault. The internal committee, which signed its report on July 5, concluded that Ms. Lobo’s allegations were untrue.

When asked by  The Hindu  in a detailed email about the alleged flouting of norms and other pertinent queries, ISS Hicare responded, “We wish to state at the outset that the matter is sub judice and hence, we do not wish to give any comment at this juncture. The allegations are completely false and baseless. In fact the accused person [has] already filed a defamation suit against Ms. Lobo [name changed] and it is accepted by the court.”

It is, ultimately, the case of a high performer turned into a “dull, lazy, adamant and non-cooperative” employee. She had also “brought disrepute” to the company by escalating the matter to the senior management of the parent company outside the country. The company, which, she claims, initially promised her an apology letter and a promotion later suspended her before sacking her unceremoniously, on August 13, 2012 after deciding her complaint was untrue.

“I was only talking about my dignity. I demanded a safe working environment. If I brought the injustice to the notice of my own seniors in the parent company, how did I bring disrepute to the company,” she asked.

Women’s rights activists have pointed out that the organisations generally view such cases from the perspective of the company’s prestige and not as breach of an individual employee’s right to dignity and safety, leading to skewed attitudes and hushing up of such cases.

It was the Bombay High Court which came to the rescue of Ms. Lobo.

On the basis of a writ petition filed by her, it directed the police to register a First Information Report in the case and directed the company to reformulate a committee as per the Vishaka guidelines to investigate charges of sexual harassment.

The company has filed counter-cases of defamation and extortion against her and her husband.

The accused has also filed a defamation case against her in a local court. The proceedings in all the cases continue.

 

 

PRESS RELEASE- A Crusade for Creativity- BOL KE LAB AAZAD HAI TERE @26Jan #Mumbai #Foe #Republicday


freedom_of_speech
PRESS RELEASE

Bol ke lab azaad hain tere…….

History has been witness to the systematic deprivation of the oppressed. Right from their attempts to acquire knowledge and make it a vehicle of their liberation, to the production and expression of critical thought and action, the atrocities against the edict of equality enshrined in the constitution have been manifold. Even though the titles and identities of oppressors seem to have changed, the nature of oppression remains identifiably similar; the practice of slavery keeps resurfacing in one form or the other.

Yet, the history of the struggles of the subalterns against such tyranny is just as rich and rousing. We seek to stand up to the tall legacy of these struggles and continue the fight against the dilution of our Constitutional Rights and Freedoms. We denounce the Corporate Media that is all money and no soul, no courage, no character. The media not only manufactures consent but systematically marginalizes subaltern movements by consistently turning a blind eye towards them and privileging middle and upper class rage and issues above all else.

We condemn the State agencies and fascist forces that seek to gag the crusaders of truth and justice. The clamp down on people’s movements against nuclear plants in Koodankulam and Jaitapur, frequent Zillabandi, police firing and lathicharge incidents in response to people’s protests, the landgrab of mining and industrial capitalists in adivasi areas, the moral policing and vandalism of despotical forces, as well as the arrests of cultural revolutionaries like Sudhir Dhawale and members of Kabir Kala Manch who sought to write and sing about the gaffes, among others, must stop.  These are blatant violations of our fundamental Right to Freedom of Expression orchestrated by the State and powerful non-State actors.

To register our protest, we have organised a Cultural Protest Programme in opposition to the atrocities against the Right to Freedom of Speech and Expression in our country.

Event:  Srujanacha Algaar- A Crusade for Creativity

Time & Date: 5:00 – 9:00 pm, Saturday, 26 January 2013
Venue: Dr. Ambedkar Bhavan, Gokulpasta lane, behind Chitra Cinema, Dadar (W), Mumbai.
Programme: Revolutionary Cultural Gala to be presented by a new vibrant team of performers

Music (Hindustani Classical, Ghazals, Vidrohi Shahiri, Parivartanachya Ovya, Global Gondhal, Laavani, Rap, Rock) Poetry recitation, Dance performances,  Song of Kabir by Niraj Arya,  Rap Performances – MC Manmeet Kaur and Ashwini Mishra of Alistrap

Short Plays to be presented entirely by new and young performers and cultural activists.

An invitation extended by Sambhaji Bhagat, Ramu Ramanathan, Anand Patwardhan, Kamayani Bali Mahabal and other supporters of the Freedom of Speech and Expression

 

THE FACEBOOK EVENT HERE-https://www.facebook.com/events/401313879956734/

Media Contact:

Anisha George                                           Sambhaji Bhagat

Tel: 9820171019                                       Tel: 9323801194

Email: anishage@gmail.com

 

#India- Woman in Assam committed suicide after sexual assault by CRPF #Vaw


A 23 year old woman committed suicide yesterday after being sexually assaulted by a CRPF jawan on duty at Nepalpara, Chirang, Assam. She was married and her husband was mentally ill. She was living with her parents and was running a small grocery (pan) shop in front of the parental residence. Taking advantage of the absence of people near the shop, the jawan raped her and tried to run away. The woman could manage to shout for help and villagers caught the CRPF jawan. Officers of CRPF arrived at the venue and made promises of payment of compensation. Unable to face the social stigma, the woman committed suicide yesterday.

SOURCE- ://amarasom.glpublications.in/Details.aspx?id=12149&boxid=114419671

 

 

 

#India-Auto driver’s girl topsCA exams: 24-year-old proves money is no object for a good education #goodnews


By MAIL TODAY REPORTER PUBLISHED: 21:58 GMT, 22 January 2013 | Financial obstacles cannot stop you from fulfiling your dreams, as 24-year-old Prema Jayakumar, the daughter of an auto-rickshaw driver, proved when she secured the first rank in the All India Chartered Accountancy examination. Prema became a role model for lakhs of girls her age when she conquered all odds to achieve her goal. For Prema, education was not just another chore but a way to change her life for better. Her father, Jayakumar Perumal, is double thrilled with the CA results, declared on Monday, as his 22-year-old son Dhanraj has also cleared the exam with flying colours.

Prema Jayakumar (second right) and her brother Dhanraj with their parentsPrema Jayakumar (second right) and her brother Dhanraj with their parents

Prema’s feat has made her a mini-celebrity in her chawl in Mumbai. Her family resides in a small one-room tenement in suburban Malad. Jayakumar migrated from his village Periyakolliyur in Villupuram district of Tamil Nadu in 1992. His wife, Lingam, worked in a private company earlier but has now become a homemaker. A graduate in commerce from Nagindas Kandwala College at Malad, Prema secured the second rank in Mumbai University and completed her M.Com while preparing for CA.

She said: “I have always been a topper and knew that hard work would make me excel in the CA exams but topping it has surprised me.” Prema secured an impressive 607 out of 800 marks in the challenging examination. Dhanraj, who worked for some time at a call centre while completing his degree course to fund his education, said: “My sister is my hero, the source of my inspiration.” Both Prema and Dhanraj, who went to a Tamil medium municipal school, overcame difficult circumstances to achieve success. Prema said her parents never pressurised her to excel academically. “We never faced any pressure from our parents to study. However, we knew that education is our only means to change the lives we have lived. Now that my brother and I have reached this stage, we would like to make the most of it and give our parents a good life,” she said. Prema said she was grateful to her parents for giving her a good education despite their poor financial status. “Though my father was an auto-rickshaw driver, he ensured that I was never deprived of education because of lack of money… Now I want my father, who has worked so hard so that can I realise my dreams, to take some rest,” she said. An elated Jayakumar nodded in approval. “Umra bhi ho gayi. Ab kuch aram karoonga, bahut achcha lag raha hai. (I have grown old. Now I will take some rest, it feels so good),” he said as he prepared to wind down after the day’s hard work on Mumbai’s noisy streets. Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/indiahome/indianews/article-2266606/Auto-drivers-girl-tops-Accountancy-exams-24-year-old-proves-money-object-good-education.html#ixzz2IluviHEL

 

#India -Republic Day tableau calls disabled ‘powerless’ #WTFnews #disability


By , TNN | Jan 23, 2013,

Republic Day tableau calls disabled ‘powerless’
A tableau at the Republic Day rehearsal on Tuesday
NEW DELHI: It’s supposed to empower the disabled, but if the newly formed department of disability affairs has its way, it would call itself the ‘department of the powerless’. At least that’s the name it has given itself in Hindi — nishaktata karya vibhag. Now, to the anger of activists, even a tableau for people with disabilities that will be part of this year’s Republic Day parade has the same inscription in Hindi.The activists, who noticed the name on the tableau three days ago, want it changed immediately. But that is easier demanded than done.

“With difficulty we had managed to convince the government to have a tableau on the disabled. When we finally have one, the inscription on it is so offensive that it has ruined all the work we had done on the issue. To add further insult, the commentator will repeat the word nishakt constantly and the entire country will listen to it. It’s an abusive word,” said Javed Abidi, convener of Disability Rights Group.

The defence ministry has agreed to change the word on the tableau but says it needs a written request from the department of disability affairs. Stuti Kacker, secretary, ministry of social justice and empowerment, said the department was trying its best to change the name. “I can only refer the matter. We hope a decision will be taken quickly,” she said.

Activists say it’s derogatory, demand change of name

Even if the inscription on the tableau is changed, the name of the department will remain till a change is approved by the Cabinet. Poonam Natarajan, chairwoman of National Trust, agreed that nishaktata is an inappropriate term. “Of course, it has to be changed. I think they are trying to change it to viklang jan karyashala. But the change has to be made at the Cabinet level,” she said.

“We noticed the word a few days ago while rehearsing. It’s very derogatory. In fact, state governments such as Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh still use the word apang (crippled), which is also demeaning. There is very little awareness about disability righ8ts,” said Pradeep Raj, a disability rights activist who is rehearsing for the Republic Day with 22 other youths with disabilities. Pradeep’s group first noticed the inscription on the tableau.

Abidi felt ‘nishaktata’ reminded him of the word ‘handicapped’, which was also considered offensive by disability rights activists. “We have moved on. No one uses the word handicapped anymore. It originated after the world war when disabled soldiers used to beg on the streets of Europe with a cap in their hands. In the 1990s, the term was phased out as it was considered offensive. Now even United Nations uses the word ‘disability’. In Hindi it should be viklang and definitely not nishakt,” he said.

 

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