Category: Public Protest

Press release: HIV positive people support agitating workers of Karnataka Stake AIDS Prevention Society Contractual Employees Association

Praja Rajakiya Vedike

& Karnataka HIV Sonkithare Sanghatane

Press Release

Bangalore, 5 Feb 2014:Praja Rajakiya Vedike (PRV) in association with Karnataka HIV Sonkithara Sanghatane along with Karnataka Sex Workers Union (KSWU) and Karnataka Sexual Minorities Forum (KSMF) took out a Rally from Anandrao Circle (near VRL) to Freedom Park, in support of the agitating workers of Karnataka Stake AIDS Prevention Society (KSAPS) Contractual Employees Association.

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Their main demands include Regularisation of all contractual employees who are working in the AIDS control programmes into the Government setup and to apply sixth pay commission salary scale to all KSAPS contractual employees on par with Karnataka State Government employees.

For the last several years, doctors, the counsellors, lab technicians, and other para medical staff and nurses have been supporting and helping many of our members including people living with HIV, sex workers and sexual minorities but the Government instead of meeting the just demands of the workers is trying to divide and rule saying that ART (medicine for HIV positive people) services are being affected. “It is true that the services are temporarily affected but it is the duty of the government to see that people living with HIV are supplied with stocks which are given for one month in advance,” said Parveen of Karnataka HIV Sonkithara Sanghatane. “Instead of solving the problem, the government is trying to divide community from the counsellors who have been supporting us all along,” she added.

HIV positive leaders from Karnataka HIV Sonkithare Sanghatane from many districts, have arrived in Bangalore, to support the striking Contractual employees of Karnataka State AIDS Prevention Society. For the last seven days, as part of a national-level agitation, about 2200 workers of HIV prevention programmes in the State, have gathered a Freedom park to demand regularisation of all contractual employees.

Bharathi, HIV+ and General Secretary of the Karnataka Sex Workers Union said, workers should be united. Governments are also violating labour rights in the HIV prevention programs where they employ sex workers, sexual minorities, drug users and migrants. By terming them as volunteers/ peer educators they are violating minimum wages act, contract labour act etc. She called for all these workers and KSAPS contract workers to join hands to support rights of both these sections.

Manohar Elavarthi, Jont Secretary of Praja Rajakiya Vedike said that the governments are systematically denying labour rights by making large sections them as contract workers. Like KSAPS contract workers, ASHAs, Anganwadi workers, contract municipal workers (paurakamikas) and many others are denied their rights in this process. He said that all workers from organised, unorganised and informal sectors should come together to defend the rights of all workers and to eliminate contract labour system and for the proper implementation of labour laws.

For details call Manohar at 96322 23460 or Parveen at 98809 52676

Press Release – Candle light vigil against child sexual abuse on Christmas day

Press Release
 
Candle light vigil against child sexual abuse on Christmas day
 
 
25th December, 2013
Bangalore
 
Today more than 80 people representing different people’s / women’s movements participated in the candle light vigil from 6PM to 7:30PM at The Town Hall, Bangalore. People listened to the reading of the Letter of a child yearning for justice in English and in Kananda.
 
The gathering was addressed by Suja Jones, Kalpana (from Vimochana), Evangeline Anderson (from Praja Rajakiya Vedike), Ranjani (from AIPWA) and many others. Suja Jones spoke about the trauma she has to go through because of the Pascal Mazurier (accused of child sexual abuse) and his mother appearing at her door-step today morning; with active support of the police.
 
Please find the following:
– Letter of a child yearning for justice (English and Kananda)
– This Christmas Morning (by Suja Jones)
– Photos of the event
In Solidarity
Manohar Elavarthi
Ph: 96322 23460

I am a child

yearning for Justice

I thank you for taking this time to listen to my voice, and to hear my deep cry.

I stand as the voice of all those children who have faced sexual abuse in their lives

I speak for the children whose lives are marred because of violence against our bodies; our spirit

My future stands blurred because the memory of violence follows like a shadow over my head.

I am the child who faced violence at the hands of one, who I trusted and loved,

Who stood before me as a strong ground, and as one on whom I very much depended on to teach what is right and wrong,

I could not cry out against him as he was my own father, one whom others also loved…

 

I did not know how to differentiate between what is acceptable and what cannot be pardoned.

The pain of the abuse that I experienced repeatedly in secret came to the fore one fine day

When my plea “please don’t hurt me there” was once again drowned in the loudness of my own cry…

I could bear it no longer and wondered if I would survive to share this horror story

 

Of a scarred body and spirit – only three and a half years old – to which you could add a decade to every year!

Listen friends; I speak to each one of you who stand here today: the choice that YOU have 

To either address my pain and divide it … or multiply it by your stunning silence, passivity, and ignorance

 Do you know there are thousands like me who want their beloved society to understand…

 

That the scales of justice would work better, if only it would listen to the truth of our experience? 

If I have gathered courage to speak today against all forms of violence against children, especially sexual abuse

It is because I believe that human beings can change for the better and realize their utter common oneness.

If Christmas day is celebrated as the day when Jesus the Christ child was born into this world to bring peace

We, as children, need your help, partnership and support to usher in new ways of building a Just Community.

 – Letter of a Child yearning for Justice

  •  Written with the support of a large network of People’s / Women’s Movements including Vimochana, Praja Rajakiya Vedike (PRV), All India Progressive Women’s Association (AIPWA), Aneka, Bangalore Birth Network, FeministsIndia, Jana Vikasa, Jeeva, Karnataka Sex Workers Union (KSWU), Karnataka Sexual Minorities Forum (KSMF), Samara, Secularism Is A Women’s Issue – international network, Siloam Girls Boarding Home, South Asia Citizens Web, Swaraj Network, Student Christian Movement of India (SCMI), UTC Women’s Studies Department, Women’s Initiative for Citizenship and Universal Rights and many others

ನಾನೊಂದು ಮಗು

ನ್ಯಾಯಕ್ಕಾಗಿ ಹಂಬಲಿಸುತ್ತಿರುವೆ

ನನ್ನ ವ್ಯಾಕುಲ ಹಾಗೂ ದು:ಖವನ್ನು ಮತ್ತು ನನ್ನ ಆಪ್ತ ದನಿಯನ್ನು ಆಲಿಸಲು ನೀವು ಸಮಯ ಮಾಡಿಕೊಂಡಿರಿ, ನಾನು ಋಣಿ

ತಮ್ಮ ಜೀವನದಲ್ಲಿ ಲೈಂಗಿಕ ದೌರ್ಜನ್ಯ ಅನುಭವಿಸಿದ ಆ ಎಲ್ಲಾ ಮಕ್ಕಳ ಧ್ವನಿಯಾಗಿ ನಾನಿರುವೆ

ನಮ್ಮ ದೇಹಗಳ ಮೇಲೆ ನಡೆದ ಹಿಂಸಾಚಾರಕ್ಕೆ ಬಲಿಯಾದ ಎಲ್ಲಾ ಮಕ್ಕಳ ಪರವಾಗಿ ನಾನು ಮಾತನಾಡುವೆ

ಹಿಂಸಾಚಾರದ ಕಾರ್ಮೋಡ ನನ್ನ ತಲೆಯ ಮೇಲೆ ಕವಿದಿರುವಾಗ ನನ್ನ ಭವಿಷ್ಯ ಮಸುಕಾಗಿದೆ

 

ನಾನು ನಂಬಿದವರಿಂದ, ಪ್ರೀತಿಸಿದವರಿಂದ ಹಿಂಸಾಚಾರಕ್ಕೆ ಬಲಿಯಾದ ಮಗು ನಾನು

ಅವರು ನನ್ನ ಮುಂದೆ ಗಟ್ಟಿಯಾಗಿ ನಿಂತಿದ್ದರು; ನಾನು ಅವರನ್ನು ಬಲವಾಗಿ ಅವಲಂಬಿಸಿದ್ದೆ

ಆತ ನನ್ನ ತಂದೆ, ಆತನನ್ನು ಇತರರೂ ಪ್ರೀತಿಸುತ್ತಿದ್ದರು, ಆದರೆ ಆತನ ವಿರುದ್ಧವೇ ನಾನು ಕೂಗಬೇಕಿತ್ತು…..

ಯಾವುದನ್ನು ಒಪ್ಪಬೇಕು ಯಾವುದನ್ನು ಕ್ಷಮಿಸಲಾಗದು ಎಂಬುದರ ನಡುವೆ ವ್ಯತ್ಯಾಸ ನನಗೆ ತಿಳಿದಿರಲಿಲ್ಲ

 

ನಾನು ನಿರಂತರವಾಗಿ ರಹಸ್ಯವಾಗಿ ಅನುಭವಿಸಿದ ಹಿಂಸೆಯ ಯಾತನೆ ನಾನು ಒಂದು ದಿನ ಹೊರಹಾಕಲೇಬೇಕಾಯಿತು

ನನ್ನನ್ನು ಹಿಂಸಿಸಬೇಡ’ ಎಂಬ ನನ್ನ ಆರ್ತ ಕೂಗು ನನ್ನದೇ ಗಟ್ಟಿ ದನಿಯ ಅಳುವಿನಲ್ಲಿ ಕರಗಿ ಹೋಯಿತು

ಆ ಹಿಂಸೆಯನ್ನು ಸಹಿಸುವುದು ನನ್ನಿಂದ ಸಾಧ್ಯವಾಗಲೇ ಇಲ್ಲ; ಆ ಭಯಾನಕ ಹಿಂಸೆಯ ಕತೆಯನ್ನು ಹೇಳಿ ಬದುಕಬಹುದೆ?

ನಾನೊಂದು ಮೂರೂವರೆ ವರ್ಷದ ಮಗು; ದೇಹ ಸುಟ್ಟಿತ್ತು; ಚೈತನ್ಯ ಉಡುಗಿತ್ತು.

 

ಸ್ನೇಹಿತರೆ ಕೇಳಿ; ಇಂದು ಇಲ್ಲಿ ನಿಂತಿರುವ ನಿಮ್ಮಲ್ಲಿ ಪ್ರತಿಯೊಬ್ಬರೊಂದಿಗೂ ನಾನು ಮಾತನಾಡಬಯಸಿರುವೆ

ನೀವು ನನ್ನ ನೋವನ್ನು ಕೇಳಿಸಿಕೊಂಡು ಅದನ್ನು ಕಡಿಮೆ ಮಾಡಿ….. ಅಥವಾ ನಿಮ್ಮ ಗಾಢ ಮೌನದಿಂದ, ನಿಷ್ಕ್ರಿಯತೆಯಿಂದ ಮತ್ತು ಅಜ್ಞಾನದಿಂದ ಅದನ್ನು ಹೆಚ್ಚಿಸಿ

ಈ ಸಮಾಜ ಅರ್ಥ ಮಾಡಿಕೊಳ್ಳಬೇಕಾದ ನನ್ನಂಥ ಸಾವಿರಾರು ಜನ ಇದ್ದೇವೆ

ನ್ಯಾಯದ ತಕ್ಕಡಿ ಸರಿಯಾದ ತೀರ್ಪು ನೀಡಬೇಕು; ಅನುಭವದ ಸತ್ಯವನ್ನು ಅದು ಕೇಳಿಸಿಕೊಳ್ಳಬೇಕು

 

ಮಕ್ಕಳ ಮೇಲಿನ ಎಲ್ಲಾ ರೀತಿಯ ಹಿಂಸೆಗಳ ವಿಶೇಷವಾಗಿ ಲೈಂಗಿಕ ದೌರ್ಜನ್ಯಗಳವಿರುದ್ಧ ಇಂದು ನಾನು ಮಾತನಾಡುತ್ತಿದ್ದರೆ

ಮನುಷ್ಯರು ಬದಲಾಗಬಲ್ಲರು; ತಮ್ಮಂತೆಯೇ ಇರುವ ಇನ್ನೊಂದು ಜೀವಿಯ ದು:ಖವನ್ನು ಅರಿಯಬಲ್ಲರು’ ಎಂಬ ಭರವಸೆ ಇರುವುದರಿಂದ ಮಾತ್ರ

ಈ ಲೋಕಕ್ಕೆ ಶಾಂತಿಯನ್ನು ತರಲು ಯೇಸು ಈ ಭೂಮಿಗೆ ಬಂದ ಎಂಬ ಕಾರಣಕ್ಕೆ ಕ್ರಿಸ್‍ಮಸ್ ಹಬ್ಬ ಆಚರಿಸುತ್ತಿರುವಾಗ

ನಾವು, ಎಲ್ಲಾ ಮಕ್ಕಳು, ನಿಮ್ಮ ನೆರವನ್ನು, ಪಾಲುದಾರಿಕೆಯನ್ನು ಮತ್ತು ಬೆಂಬಲವನ್ನು ಬೇಡುತ್ತಿದ್ದೇವೆ

ನ್ಯಾಯ ಇರುವ ಸಮುದಾಯಗಳನ್ನು ನಿರ್ಮಿಸುವುದಕ್ಕಾಗಿ

 – ನ್ಯಾಯಕ್ಕಾಗಿ ಹಂಬಲಿಸುತ್ತಿರುವ ಮಗುವಿನ ಒಂದು ಪತ್ರ

This Christmas morning…

This morning, for about 30 minutes, Pascal Mazurier and his mother, Jackie Maille were at the gate of my apartment complex. They were accompanied by the Yelahanka police (about 5-6 police in uniform) who spoke to me, trying to convince me to ‘show my children to them’ while my neighbours’ children kept asking me, “Aunty, what happened?” I had to remind the police repeatedly that Pascal Mazurier was accused of rape. Then the police inspector of the Yelahanka police station called me. He kept saying that they were making a ‘request’ on ‘humanitarian grounds’ because it was a ‘festival’. I told him that what he considered a simple ‘request’ was a nightmare for me on Christmas morning and that it was certainly a favour that he was doing for Mr. Mazurier.

My questions:

  1. Did the police even stop to consider what it would mean for the mother of a daughter who has been raped to see the perpetrator at her door step?

  2. Did the police not think even for a second that they were assisting an accused child rapist to meet the victim? Why are police indulging in illegal action?

  3. Was it the duty of the police to accompany an accused of child rape to assist him in seeing the victim and her mother (a witness)?

  4. Now that the police brought him to my apartment complex and he was comfortably seated at the security office with the security guards, how will they make sure that he does not return and attack my children or me?

  5. What is more important on this festive day, Christmas? That an accused child rapist be assisted to meet the victim or that the little child be protected from further trauma by meeting the perpetrator and she be allowed to celebrate Christmas with peace and joy?

  6. Is the role of the police to cause havoc in the lives of my children?

  7. Are my children and me safe anymore?

– Suja Jones

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Bangalore Protest to condemn police terror on sexual minorities in Hassan

Over 200 people protested at Town hall today to condemn the police terror in Hassan against Sexual Minorities last week. The protest is organised by Karnataka Sexual Minorities Forum. Praja Rajakiya Vedike and many other organisations took part in today’s protest. 

Hassan Protest Banner English and Kannada

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Karnataka Sexual Minorities Forum

Press Release

Protest to condemn police terror on sexual minorities in Hassan

Bangalore, 11 Nov 2013: Over 200 sexual minorities including hijras and other supporters protested at Town hall today to condemn the police terror in Hassan against Sexuality and Gender Minorities last week.

They demanded withdrawal of all cases including under section 377 against the 13 members of the sexuality minority community in Hassan.

During the midnight hours of Nov 3 and 4, when the whole country was celebrating Diwali, the Hassan police carried out a systematic raid arresting 13 persons under Section 377 of the IPC and other sections. They were charged under 3 separate FIRs.

In the first FIR the complainant, a 21-year college student, alleged that in 2011 he was coerced into having sex with 6 persons. These 6 persons, according to him, threatened him saying that they would reveal his history in his college as well as to his parents. He said that he was forced into having `unnatural’ sex and hence he was infected with HIV.  It is only now in 2013 that he had the courage to report on what had allegedly happened to him two years ago.

“The police began the midnight operation by going to the house the programme officer of Swami Vivekananda Youth Movement, an NGO implementing the State government’s HIV prevention program, and pressurised him to identify the project staff members. From there the programme officer was taken to the house of a sexual minority person, who was in turn coerced to give the names of other sexual minorities. Using this method, the police arrested 5 from their homes and 8 from other public places,” said Mallappa, President of Karnataka Sexual Minorities Forum, which formed a coalition of organisations to fight these type of harassment.

“The arrests and methods used clearly indicates their intention of spreading fear and terror among the gender minority community and the huge visibility in the media resulting in shaming and humiliating the arrested persons. All of the arrested were also harassed in the jails,” he added.

The modus operandi was to target members of the community, ignoring the fact that as per the judgement of the Delhi High Court in Naz Foundation v. NCR Delhi, sexual minorities are full citizens of India.

“Just when the struggle for equal citizenship of sexual minorities is slowly getting established, the mass scale of the Hassan arrests pushes sexual minorities underground. The arrests are a reminder of the arbitrary power vested in Section 377 of the IPC in local police officers and hence the urgent need for the repeal of this draconian provision,” said human rights activist Manohar Elavarthi, who founded Sangama, which fights for the rights of sexuality minorities.

The protesters main demands are:

  1. Withdrawal of prosecution against all the accused under Section 377 of the IPC

  2. Suspend and Prosecute Mr Ravi D Channanavar (SP), Mr Mahesh JE (PSI), Mr Krishna SK (PSI) and other police officers responsible for the fabrication of cases

  3. Compensation to all the arrested for the harm to reputation done by the false and frivolous prosecutions.

  4. Ensure that there is no sexual abuse/harassment of sexual minority prisoners in the jail by ensuring separate cells

  5. Repeal Section 377 of the IPC

According to Karnataka Sexual Minorities Forum (KSMF), the protest was organised along with Abhayaspandana, Alternative Law forum, Aneka, Apthamitra, Jeeva, Jyothi Mahila Sangha, Karnataka Sex Workers Union (KSWU), Milana, Navasahaja, Navaspoorthy, Nisarga, Pragathi, Praja Rajakiya Vedike (PRV), Prakruthi Seva Samsthe, People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL)-Karnataka, Raksha, Sadhane, Samara, Samara Dharwad, Samara Doddaballapura, Samara Jayanagara, Samara Ramanagara, Samara Yeshwanthpura, Samatha, Sammelana, Sangama, Sanjeevini, Sarathya, Sneha Society, Shristy Sankula, Sweekar, Vimochana and other supportive organisations.

For details call Mallappa, KSMF, at 95915 40181 or Manohar Elavarthi at 94839 50202.

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PHOTOS

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PAMPHLETS

Hassan Leaflet English Page1 Hassan Leaflet English Page2 Hassan Leaflet Kannada Page1 Hassan Leaflet Kannada Page2