Thursday, 21 July 2016

शिक्षा गुणवत्ता बढ़ाने अफ़सर पहुंचे स्कूल

20 बिन्दुओ के आधार पर किया जाएगा शालाओं का मूल्यांकन

बच्चों को खुद करना पड़ता है खाना-बर्तन, साफ-सफाई

चिमनी-लालटने के सहारे गुजरती है रात, चौकीदार तक नही
Source: Chhattisgarh

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Is Durg Juvenile Home a symbol of a broken juvenile reform system?

Source: Clipper28

Durg, July 14: In a telling comment on the functioning of juvenile remand home housing sixty juvenile accused of heinous and simple crime from the adjoining seven districts, no one in the accompanying team couldn’t answer to the queries of the Durg District and Session Judge Nelam Chand Sankhla, as to who is the responsible authority of the remand home.

The Judge was on a visit to the violent hit remand home at Durg trying to know the reason behind a recent spate of indecent and violent assaults in the remand home. There was a pin drop silence and none replied to the queries of the surprised Judge perhaps because those in charge of manning the remand home and controlling the juvenile accused were either absconding or out on bail.

On Monday, a tiny group of juvenile accused whose age are being contested under the impact of liquor is reported to have stabbed a constable and beat two other employees of the remand home and with the support of all inmates virtually laid siege in the remand home driving out all, climbed the terrace of the remand home, broke a under construction wall and pelted bricks upon all the officials including the Durg Collector and SP present in the remand home to negotiate peace.

Finally, well aware of the awaiting fate the entire juvenile accused went at large one by one without any resistance through the front gate of the remand home. About fourty of them returned the next day with their parents and the remaining along with the main accused, two juveniles of Rajnandgaon are at large.

Pelting stones at the armed security forces and getting killed in the process is common in Kashmir. But here at Durg in Chhattisgarh a strange situation developed as the provisions of Juvenile Justice Act prevented the men in uniform enter the premises of the remand home as the juvenile accused went on run riot pelting bricks.

District Judge Neelam Chand Sankhla pointing towards an innocent looking juvenile of less age said these incidents is a cause for great worry and conscious efforts should be made to separate handful of trouble shooter juvenile accused with violent mindset from others. He also suggested the presiding judge of the remand home to write letter to the Durg SP seeking provision of constables from the District Special Branch in the remand home to prevent such untoward incident.

A reform system that ‘reforms’ the juvenile is at place in the juvenile remand home at Durg. The remand home as an incharge superintendent one Patel is now under suspension. He is not willing to take any responsibility as he doesn’t have the authority to sign papers. According to him, the Woman and Child Development Officer Jamulkar the signing authority is responsible. The signing authority visits the remand home once a while as he is entrusted with the responsibility of the children in the entire district. So, it is the responsibility of managing the remand home lies upon the likes of the two juvenile accused from Rajnandgaon.

The juvenile remand home at Durg is a cluster of one-storey barracks spread over more than five acre at Durg behind Pulgaon PS. It is the largest remand home for boys under 18 and holds over 60 children. Most of them, incarcerated for petty crimes like chain-snatching and pick-pocketing, are either a drug addict t or are acquainted with liquor. A handful of boys like the two accused of Rajnandgaon in this case were in for rape and under arms act.

Following recent amendments they were under the threat of being tried as adults in a magistrate court. Following the violent incident the investigators have registered a case against them and they along with some others would be treated as adults.

On the incident day the arms act juvenile aged 17 created a scene as the visiting doctor didn’t cure him for the injury he sustained on his leg. He was insisting to go alone to any doctor outside. The presiding judge Mohini Konwar along with a constable in uniform Santosh Deshmukh entered the remand home to pacify the agitated juvenile and assure he would be cured. The juvenile tried to stab the presiding judge entrusted with the responsibility of granting bail and punishing but the constable intervened and was injured.

Behind the 10-foot-high walls and series of six gates, the older boys like the Rajnandgaon guys hold sway. The smaller weaker boys and new comers are terrorized for money. Liquor and drug abuse is rampant and the juveniles with criminal mindsets also have access to knife and other weapons. The remand home is managed by the older boys with criminal mindset.

Liquor and drug in form of tablets to drug are easily available in the observation home across the wall. Boys there either pay the security guards to obtain their drugs or act as drug mules for peddlers outside. One Home Guard cooperating with the ‘juveniles’ was not only treated properly by Durg SP Amresh Mishra but is also behind bars after the incident. They get drug tablets when they are taken to attend court hearings and even have the freedom to go out and get them from the Durg market without scaling the wall.

The weaker and new comer boys are savagely beaten inside. A juvenile rounded after the derogatory facebook posting row was not only beaten but kept in the toilet and forced to eat shit. Social workers say remand home employees sometimes encourage groups to discipline inmates and encourage violence to discipline new inmates a source of income to them and the ‘controlling guys’.

Sodomy is rampant, says another observation home inmate. "The bigger boys drug the weak and vulnerable and then do bad things to them," said an inmate out on bail. “Here is a tremendous apathy and contempt in dealing with juveniles," says R B Gupta, a lawyer.

The children are seen as criminals and are treated thus and after this incident efforts are being made to treat a large number of juvenile accused as hardcore criminals.

The probation unit that is meant to monitor the progress of boys, once they are with families, has no pre-release and post-release follow- up plans. The remand home in Durg is clearly only a symbol of a broken juvenile reform system.

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Dharampal Saini, The Force Behind Tribal Girls’ Education in Bastar

Meet 87-Year-Old ‘Tauji’, the Force Behind Tribal Girls’ Education in Naxal-Infested Bastar
Source: The Better India

This man has been bringing smiles to the faces of tribals in the conflict-ridden zone of Bastar for almost four decades.

Dharampal Saini came to Bastar in the 1970s with the sole aim of educating and empowering tribal girls in the hinterland of Chhattisgarh.

Today, after almost 40 years of hard work, the 87-year-old, fondly called Tauji by locals, is proud of the transformation he has wrought in Bastar, and rightfully so.

Freedom fighter, a true Gandhian and a disciple of social activist Vinoba Bhave, Dharampal Saini was born in 1930 in the princely state of Dhar, which is now part of Madhya Pradesh. His father was the head of the horticultural department in Dhar. The second of four children, Saini was an ordinary student until his commerce teacher, Vidyasagar Pandey, introduced him to the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi. A little later, Saini came into contact with Bhave and, under his guidance, started working with a number of Gandhian institutions. One of these was Bhil Seva Sangh, an organisation that worked for the Bhil tribe of western Madhya Pradesh.

In the 1960s, Saini read a newspaper report about some girls from the Bastar area that had an impact on him. Apparently, a few angry tribal girls, harassed by hooligans on their way back from a local festival, had hacked the miscreants to death. Saini felt that Bastar’s road to development lay in educating its girls and channelising their energy in a positive direction.

Back then, Bastar was essentially a jungle. Civilisation, as we know it, was yet to make its way into this forested hinterland and modern education was a distant dream. Wanting to do something for the tribal girls, Saini approached Bhave for permission to start an ashram dedicated to girls’ education. But his mentor refused.

Saini, however, persisted with repeated requests and detailed plans till Bhave finally agreed. But he laid down one condition for his disciple – that he should stay at the ashram for at least 10 years to give it a stable foundation. Saini was then given a handwritten letter of introduction to Chief Minister Shyama Charan Shukla and also his first donation for the ashram, a crumpled five-rupee note.

Dharampal Saini’s first task in Bastar was to find a place for his ashram. The then 46-year-old zeroed in on Dimrapal, a village about 11 km from the district headquarters at Jagdalpur.

Bastar’s literacy rate was less than 1% at that time, so the education department gave Saini a grant to set up the first school for 80 girls. So difficult was this project that Saini remembers being mocked by the officers that even eight girls would not turn up for school, leave alone 80.

But Saini took up the project as a challenge, starting his first school, the Mata Rukmini Devi Ashram (named after Vinoba Bhave’s mother), with two women teachers and two support staff on December 13, 1976. The initial days and months were not easy as Saini struggled with several obstacles. The school was a culture shock for the villagers and most of them were hostile to Saini. He visited each house in the district personally to cajole the parents of the girls to allow them to attend school. After facing ridicule for three months, he was able to persuade four families to send their daughters to school.

To encourage other villagers to overcome their reservations about sending girls to school, Saini also started teaching agricultural practices along with conventional subjects in his school. Once the parents realised their daughters were in safe hands and were learning new skills, the number of students started to increase.

After much effort, the herculean task of getting the girls to school had finally been accomplished.

Next, Saini had to face stiff opposition from the Naxals who did not want to see development happen in the area. Undeterred by their threats of violence, however, he opened his next school in Barsur, in an inhospitable and inaccessible Naxal-infested territory. Impressed by his success, the government provided him with land and resources to open more schools, and also helped him take over the running of 30 of its own schools.

With more schools under him, Saini also included boys in his mission to educate and empower the tribals. So committed was he to the cause that he never married, preferring to devote his time to the children under his wings.

Saini did not just emphasise academics in his schools but also focused on physical education. He made sports an important part of the curriculum to channelise the exuberant energy of the children. Speaking with the Times of India, Saini said:
This issue worried me on how to inculcate the habit of studying and creating a learning atmosphere in school. For this I initiated Yoga and then a district forest officer suggested to me to channelise this energy for sports activity as these tribal girls have immense stamina and by the time they are four years old, they walk kilometres barefoot to forests to collect supplies. So I started teaching them sports and in the year 1985, a 14-year-old girl Mangal Mode won the first national medals for us in discus throw and kabaddi.”

Today, Saini runs 37 branches of his school, 21 for girls and 16 for boys, in different villages in the worst Naxalite-hit areas of Bastar. More than 20,000 children have finished matriculation and many of the tribal girls who have completed their education have rejoined his schools as teachers.

For these students, his ashrams are not only shelters from the violence and harsh reality of living in Naxalite dominated regions but also places where they learn to create new lives for themselves.

Besides several academic achievers, the Mata Rukmini Devi Ashram schools have produced approximately 150 girls who have participated in sports competitions at the national level. All the girls get a high protein diet (including milk, jaggery, ghee, dry fruits, and green vegetables) and run 10 km every day on different surfaces. Many of them run marathons and participate in archery, football and kabaddi tournaments throughout the year. Their multiple medals adorn the walls of Saini’s humble two-room home.

In fact, these girls are so good on the field that there is an unwritten rule in the area that they should not compete in block-level competitions. Because if they do, participants from other schools do not get to win!

Many girls educated at Saini’s ashram schools now work in the Bastar government. Many are part of the non-government workforce as well. It can rightly be said that Saini’s students are the foot soldiers of change in the region, something the 87-year old is justifiably proud of.

For his outstanding work, Dharampal Saini was honoured with the Padma Shri in 1991. He can still be spotted personally monitoring and guiding tribal girls as they prepare for various sports competitions on the grounds of the Mata Rukmini Ashram school in Dimrapal. On being asked what keeps him charged and energetic even at this age, the octogenarian bachelor says it is his faith in God, Guru Vinoba ji, and the youth of Bastar.

After spending almost four decades working in the region, Saini still feels his work is not yet over and he wants to do more. His feelings are echoed by the thousands of tribals to whom he gave a new lease of life, rescuing them from the maze of violence that has engulfed the region for decades. They too want their beloved Tauji to stay with them forever.

Child Trafficking in Chhattisgarh

From Sex Slaves To Domestic Workers, How Children Are Being Trafficked In Chhattisgarh
Source: Youth Ki Awaaz

Muskan (name changed) went missing two years ago from a small village of Duldula block in Jashpur, Chhattisgarh. It turned out that she was trafficked to work as domestic help by a local ‘placement agent’ and ended up as a sex slave in a rich household in Delhi.

“The lady of the house used to tie my hands and legs every night and then call her husband to molest me. I was forced to watch dirty films (porn). I was tortured and beaten. The woman was a devil,” the 15-year-old tribal girl told Youth Ki Awaaz.

Geeta (name changed), who was abducted from Jashpur and taken to Delhi in 2005, was held captive with 20 other girls. She returned to her home after eight years. Their abductors moved them from one location to another, multiple times, fearing police raids.

But one morning, Geeta escaped her captors after breaking a window and slithering down a rope. She walked along the banks of the Yamuna and met an elderly man to whom she told her story. He informed the Delhi police, which enabled her to return home.

Geeta’s return was the talk of the district in 2013. But in the eight years she remained missing, presumed dead, there was no let-up in abductions of children from Jashpur.

16-year-old Anamika (name changed) is another girl who ‘returned’. She is still hesitant to talk of her horrifying experience and finds it hard to communicate with strangers. She was rescued from Delhi a few months ago, after being trafficked and held captive by her own relatives.

These are but a handful of examples from the many, in fact, close to 1500 cases of children who, as per a UNICEF survey, were trafficked from only five blocks in Chhattisgarh’s Jashpur district alone, from 2012 to 2014.

What Makes Chattisgarh Vulnerable To Trafficking?
The ‘State of 36 forts’ (hence the name in Hindi) is densely populated and has the highest poverty rate in the country. According to government data released in 2014, 47.9% of the people in Chhattisgarh are below the poverty line.

Jashpur district in Chattisgarh has 765 villages. It doesn’t help that Jashpur’s population of 7,43,160 is nearly 72% SC-ST. These marginal communities survive by cultivating small pieces of land, working as casual labour or eking out a living, selling forest products.

According to the UNICEF, which conducted the survey in the state in collaboration with local self-help groups, a large number of the minor girls were trafficked from the Raigarh-Sarguja-Jashpur corridor between the years 2012-14.

Apart from Chhattisgarh, the children are also trafficked from Andhra Pradesh via national highways to West Bengal, Chennai, Mumbai and Delhi.

Although the exact number of children who have been trafficked is difficult to ascertain, the growth of irregular placement agencies that lure girls, vulnerable due to limited opportunities in the state, is a pointer to the scale.

The call to migrate to towns and cities and strike it rich, relatively speaking that is, is a yearning in many a young girl and boy. They are the ones most vulnerable to lures of placement agencies and their touts who seduce them with false promises of employment in big cities.

Most of these touts also happen to be close relatives of trafficked children. These touts enjoy a certain degree of credibility because they are from the local community and not total strangers.

There’s a clear demand and supply chain that thrives primarily on the strong collusion between the local agents/touts and the placement agencies, which have offices in the big cities where most trafficked children, the majority of them girls, end up, says the UNICEF survey report. And while many of the trafficked children begin their displaced lives as domestic help, a significant number end up as sex slaves, the report adds.

Tracing the girls, once they are taken out of the district, becomes very difficult as the placement agencies change their agency names and mobile numbers frequently.

In contradiction to UNICEF’s numbers, as per P.N. Tiwari, officer on special duty to CID, Chhattisgarh police, between 2011 and 2016, a total of only 265 cases of human trafficking have been reported, of which 192 cases related to child trafficking and that the police have been able to nab 536 traffickers (agents and owners of placement agencies) in the last five years across the state.

At the national level in 2014, India witnessed a 38.7% rise in human trafficking over the previous year 2013, according to a National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) report. Total cases registered across the country rose from 3,940 in 2013 to 5,466 in 2014. Clearly, the state apparatus throughout the country was/is failing in tackling human trafficking.

Rescue And Rehabilitation With Some Help
The whereabouts of Muskan, the 15-year-old tribal girl, were traced by a special anti-human trafficking squad of activists after her parents hesitantly handed to them details, including the phone number, Muskan had last used to talk to them.

The team lodged an FIR after it traced Muskan’s location to a house in a suburban locality of Delhi. The head of the household denied any knowledge of Muskan but under persistent pressure from the Delhi police, he produced her before them.

Muskan was relatively easy to trace because her parents had a telephone number to give to the special squad. Such vital information is not available in every case.

That said, parents seem to be more comfortable in confiding with self-help groups than with the police. They often are more open with getting ‘outside’ help from ‘special squads’ affiliated with local self-help groups.

Like from 25-year-old Durga (name changed), an active member of a rescue squad. Durga and her group of saviours have been successful in rescuing 38 trafficked Jashpur children from Delhi, Mumbai and Haryana so far. Many members of the team are, themselves, victims of human trafficking.

“We visit villages in groups and arrange meetings to explain to people the dangers of child trafficking. We talk to the families and get exact information of when, how and where the child was abducted/trafficked from. Then we work on the possibilities to rescue them,” Durga said.

“First step is to get the family to lodge an FIR. In many places, relatives and friends accompany the family to the police station which helps the case and gives confidence to the family,” said Durga. “There is a risk factor in everything that we do in our daily lives. But that doesn’t stop us from doing those things. So, when success knocks after all the efforts, it is kind of soothing.”

There have been several cases of children rescued from captivity in recent years. State authorities have been able to rescue a total of 919 victims across Chhattisgarh with the help of such groups during the last five years.

Some girls, after being rescued, are now housewives leading normal lives. Others have been trained in various professions to earn a livelihood. A few have been admitted to various schools so that they may get an education.

Why The ‘Missing’ Numbers Don’t Match
Studying these cases reveals that a majority of trafficking cases are registered under the ‘missing’ complaints head.

However, the police attitude to this, changed only three years back. “Since 2013, we have taken strict action as per the directions of the Supreme Court. There are many national highways that facilitate easy transportation of trafficked children to neighboring states like Jharkhand and Orissa,” Jashpur SP G.S. Jaiswal said.

“Placement agencies, with the help of local contacts, zero in on vulnerable families in the area and entice them to part with their children with money and promises of employment. We’ve been doing our best to intervene and stop this,” he said.

Jaiswal said, police action now included enforcing stricter regulations. “We have assigned a constable to each village to understand and study the situation in the village. We have also asked village headmen to monitor and maintain a proper record of residents and people who travel to and from their villages. We are also touring and patrolling villages and rural zones with mobile police offices.”

“The police are working closely with social groups to bridge the information gap,” he said.

In 2013, Chhattisgarh became the first state to pass the Chhattisgarh Private Placement Agencies (Regulation Act), 2013 to handle the human trafficking problem.

As per the Act, no private placement agency shall employ, or engage a woman if she is below 18 years of age. While that clause is frequently flouted, it’s also a matter of concern that women above the age of 18 are also being trafficked and held against their will by illegal placement agencies.

Until now, regulations on placement agencies were non-existent due to which placement agencies got away with violations.

According to UNICEF’s communication officer, Sam Sudheer Bandi, there is a thin line between migration and trafficking. Most of the time, cases of trafficking are labelled as migration and treated accordingly. He said people, particularly in Jashpur, are economically backward tribals, unaware of the consequences, and oblivious to procedures.

“An Act alone therefore is not sufficient to deal with all types of trafficking prevalent in the state as it only prohibits the domestic servitude form of human trafficking. This could also be because the Act was enacted by the Home department instead of labor,” said Tiwari.

The Act lacks provisions for prevention, rescue and rehabilitation unlike the Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2016, proposed by the central government. “We also need a dedicated team of officers with logistic support to speed up investigations and rescue operations in a speedy manner,” Tiwari said.

Starting The Change
Jashpur authorities are planning to start a rehabilitation programme called ‘Beti Zindabad’ to impart skill development to trafficking survivors. “We are in the process of identifying areas for its implementation,” Dr. Priyanka Shukla, Collector of Jashpur, told YKA.

The state also plans to spread awareness on human trafficking in school children, and to maintain a panchayat register to keep track of children.

The bottom-line, however, is that for every Muskan, Avanti, Geeta and Anamika rescued, there are hundred others who still remain trapped, and thousands more who live under the constant threat of vicious and heartless human traffickers. Clearly a lot remains to be done to curb human trafficking, forget about putting a halt to it.