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People’s Vigilance committee on Human Rights (PVCHR


History of PVCHR

1996: People's Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR) founded by Dr. Lenin Raghuvanshi along with Shruti,
Dr. Mahendra Pratap (Historian),Vikash Maharaj (Musician), Gyanedra Pati (poet) to work on child labour free village.

1998: Its Director/Convener organized, coordinated, and participated as Core Marcher in Global March against Child

1998: Fair Play Campaign against use of child labour in Indian Sporting Goods Industry. The campaign forced FIFA, ICC
(International Cricket Council), World Federation of Sporting Goods Industry and Reebok to prohibit use of child labour
in producing their goods.

1999: Founded Jan Mitra Nyas, a public charitable trust, for working on governance, and Human Rights in five adopted
villages near Varanasi

2001: Awarded the Ashoka Fellowship for social entrepreneurship and change maker from Ashoka: innovators for Public
based in Washington , DC

2001: it become part of the alliance Voice of People (VOP, 25000 membership), a state wide people's alliance for bringing
to the fore the politics of marginalized.

2000: Campaigned and mobilized at State and national level for prevention of torture.

2002: Its Director/Convener appointed member of District Vigilance committee on Bonded Labour under Bonded Labour
abolition Act 1976 by the Governor of UP.
2004: Created Model Village "people Friendly Village" to enable and amplify the voice of the marginalized.

2004: Holds Benaras Convention in order to assert the discourse of politics of marginalized in the national mainstream.
The convention attended by thinkers and activists across the nation unanimously declared that the City of Varanasi was
the symbol of Shraman Sanskriti (culture of the working class) as opposed to that of the Brahminical Sanskriti (Culture
of the feudal class).

2004: Established Bunkar-Dastkar Adhikar Manch (Forum on rights of the weavers and artisans) to give voice to their
plight in an organized manner. The forum has membership of 3000 people and has been able to make Planning
Commission of India commit Rupees One Thousand crores for their re-habilitation. This body is led by indigenous
leaders and is self supporting.

2004: Conceptualized and formed the Varanasi Weavers Trust along with eminent economist and Ashoka fellow from
Srilanka, Dr. Darin Gunasekara. The trust envisages creation of a democratized mode of production with social control
over capital for the weavers. The Planning Commission of India and Government of Uttar Pradesh have taken note of the
objective of the trust and are in the process of giving shape to the idea respectively.

2004: Founded the Musahar-Nut Adhikar Manch (Forum on rights of Musahars and Nuts; Musahars and Nuts are the
most marginalized untouchable caste) in the hunger infested districts of eastern Uttar Pradesh. Advocacy at national and
international fora has succeeded in prioritizing hunger in Government expenditure policy. Active mobilization of the
poor Dalit has forced political parties to include the improvement of Dalit in their electoral manifesto. The liberation from
social inhibitions has resulted in creation of Martyrs' domes in village where hunger deaths occurred and has created a
pool of indigenous hunger activists among the poor. The District administration of Varanasi has sought Rupees 6.75
crores to fight hunger situation of Musahars in the district. As a result of PVCHRs' pressure the UP Panchayat Act was
amended to include a clause which directed each local self Government of village to hold a fund of Rupees one thousand
to mitigate emergency hunger situation.
2005: Conceived and convened People's SAARC at Varanasi. The objective was to bring together the issues of the people
of SAARC countries to the forefront and establish a people to people relationship to fight caste, communal, ethnic, and
fascist forces in the region. The most important declaration read, "We cherish and uphold the Rule of Law, sovereignty of
the people, a system of governance that ensures devolution of power, People' right to self rule and control over
resources." Convention is resulted in South Asian People's Forum (SAPF) of which Dr. Lenin was elected the coordinator.
The core committee comprised of PVCHR (India ), INSEC ( Nepal ), People's Forum for Human Rights ( Bhutan ), Human
Rights Commission of Pakistan, LOKOJ ( Bangladesh ) and Wiros Lokh Institute (Srilanka).This convention triggered off a
series of similar convention across the SAARC countries. Two major outcomes of the convention were inclusion of
Afghanistan in the SAARC, and in the Dhaka declaration in 2005 SAARC summit inclusion of civil society voice in the
decision making process.

2006: Founded Rozagar Haq Abhiyan (Right to work campaign) along with AIM, Parmarth, GSS, Musahar Manch for
monitoring implementation of National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) in UP.

2006: PVCHR work on torture victims resulted in Dr. Lenin being appointed State Director of National Project on
Prevention of Torture funded by European Union.

2006: In the context of international advocacy along with AHRC, PVCHR achieved the rare distinction of being reported
by the UN special rappoteur on Racism and Xenophobia. In the same year three out of four reported cases from India in
the report of UN representative of Secretary General for Human Rights defenders were from PVCHR.

2007: Director Dr. Lenin drafted along with Faisal Anurag the vision paper for NAFRE Peoples' Movement, an alliance of
representative from 16 states of India. This paper presented a road map for civil society movement drawing from the
traditional working class past of India from the perspective of caste.

2007: Established Folk School for Dalit in Belwa

2007: PVCHR and Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) along with 210 NGOs across the state conducted the UP
Election watch (UPEW). The objective was to sensitize the electors about the governance processes. By providing
background information of candidates UPEW facilitated informed choice of the citizens of UP. Dr. Lenin, coordinator of
UPEW, successfully ran a media campaign and managed to bring the issue of criminalization of politics to the center

2007: received 2007 Gwangju Human Rights Award from May 18 Foundation of South Korea along with Ms. Sharmila
Irom of Manipur

2008: Developed Testimonial Model for India with Dr. Inger Agger PhD, International Development Consultant,
Psychologist, Denmark

Received ACHA Star Peace award from Association for Communal Harmony in Asia USA along with B. M. Kutty,
Karachi, Karamat Ali, Karachi, Pakistan and Mubashir Mirza, Sadiqabad from Pakistan.

2009: formation of “National Alliance on Testimonial Therapy” (NATT) in the national consultation “Testimony to
improve psychosocial wellbeing and promote advocacy for survivors of torture and organised violence” It was formed
by the Panelists for the further use of testimonial therapy in India.


Establishing a true, vibrant and fully entrenched democratic society through Jan Mitra (people friendly) concept where
shall be no violation of rights granted to citizens by state.

Mission Statement

Working for to provide basic rights to all and eliminate situation (democratic gap) which gives rise to exploitation of
vulnerable groups, i.e. children, women, dalit & working class. To make movement for people friendly society (Jan Mitra
Samaj), a human right culture (democratic value) based society, which opposed the demon rights in feudalistic society
and the anti-people practice of economic globalization through inter-institutional approach.
• Elimination of slavery e.g. child labour etc
• pro humane rights societ.
• Humane Sensibility based society.

Thematic perception

The feudal system prevalent in the post independent India defeated the essence of freedom itself. It made the caste system
more vulgar whereby Hindu Fundamentalism took the form of fascism and as result the Dalits who are in majority were
looked down upon and led a miserable life forcing them to work as bonded laborers. Their standard of living forced their
children to work as child labourers even in hazardous industries. And this feudal system gave way to a gender biased
thinking, which led to the further exploitation of Women in the society instead of empowerment.
In the same way Economic Globalization has clearly marginalized the dalits, women and children making the rich
richer and the poor still poorer. The institutions supposed to safeguarded human rights, economic growth and
development have worked in the reverse order giving place to demons rights which again gave way to dominance of
multinationals which in turn helped strengthening anti-people policies imposed on developing nations by organizations
like WTO, World Bank, G-7, IMF, etc. This again helped the feudal system to persist in which the bureaucracy too plays a
negative context, as it in itself is ignorant about human rights aspects. It was therefore felt that Democracy, Human Rights
and Development need to be given thrust. This is how the idea of PVCHR took shape of fight for these causes.


• accurate investigation and documentation of human rights violations connected with advocacy, publication and
networking on a local, national and international level
• creating models of non violent and democratic communities (People friendly villages, torture-free villages)
• building up local institutions and supporting them with active human rights networks
• creating a democratic structure for the ‘voiceless’ to enable them access to the constitutional guarantees of modern
• empowering marginalized communities by trainings and access to information
• promoting a human rights culture
• linking local and international human rights together
• linking grass roots activities and international human rights networks and institutions together

The PVCHR works on the eradication of caste based injustices that prevail in India though prohibitted for more than 60
years now. The organisation therefore takes manifold action as for example:

• Promoting the concept of Jan Mitra Goan (Hindi - people friendly village) for which Lenin Raghuvanshi became
Ashoka fellow in 2001
• fighting police torture and creating public awareness in the 'Project on Preventing Torture in India', (Project of the
European Union),which leads in to a new initiative as developing the testimonial model for survivors of torture
and organized violence with support of Danish organization Rehabilitaion and Research Center for Torture
• imparting elementary education to Dalit children in several villages in Varanasi district (funded by Dorabji Tata
Trust, India)
• working in the Right to Food campaign

Programms/Interventions :- (Idea in to action)

(1) Campaign- (Practice to policy)

To organize campaigns and awareness programmes with the aim of inculcating such value & imparting such
knowledge, which go into making a human being more humane & awake to the task of creating a world where all beings
Co-exist peacefully.
(i) at international level- To influence international organization like United Nations, IRCT, European Union, Amnesty
International which in turn will put pressure on the Indian Government for appropriate action on issues which PVCHR
takes up with those international organizations.

(ii) at national level- It might be governments regulations, legislation or industrial/development policies which are
antipeople that are challenged.

(iii) at gross roots- It can be campaigns to change people’s perception & local norms. It does not only mean work
to get policies in place, but also monitoring policies & pressuring them to be enacted, as well as work to ensure that the
intended beneficiaries are aware of policies & have a sense of ownership for them.

(2) Organisation building:

At later stages of the campaign, Howe ever, individuals alone are not sufficient. PVCHR itself may be an extension of its
leader, providing him/her the necessary organization supports in order to mobilize people into movement around the campaign’s issue
which is critical for greater impact at the national & grassroots level. PVCHR is already engaged in its organization building
from the village level to the national level by working in 80 districts of U.P., M.P. and Bihar on the issues of human rights,
torture victims, etc. Justice Rangnath Mishra, Former Chief Justice of India & Ex- Chairman-NHRC, Justice V.S. Malimath,
Former Chief Justice of Kerala, Karnataka & Ex-Member-NHRC, Mr. Francesco Gesuldi of Italy, Dr. Priyankar
Upadhyaya Malviya Research Center for Peace B.H.U., Mr. Rabi Ray-Ex. Speaker, Loksabha, Prof. Deepak Malik, Justice
Sukumaran, Justice Yacoob-sitting judge, constitutional court & chancellor, Durban university, South Africa all agreed
with our view and joined the international advisory committee of PVCHR.

(3) Grassroots intervention in field of Human Rights Development and Democracy (Janmitra Village): (Policy to

Campaigns are very important, but alone are not enough: implementation & change at grassroots should never be
assumed & require additional activity.
A narrow focus can be effective in getting an issue formulated but problems caused by poverty are more complex. If
the campaign is not widened out at a later stage it is unlikely to achieve effective change. The challenge comes if there
is desire to go beyond informing the grassroots of what is good for them towards ensuring real change as well as
engagement & empowerment at grassroots which will develop civil society with potential influence on much other
issue. Work at this level- to change attitudes & behaviors & to build capacity & skills need a lot of thrust & require non
hierarchical organization with close personal contact.


Board of Trustee

Core Group


Administrative team

Core Team

Working team

A. Shri G yane ndra P ati - Settlor (a renowned poet))
B. Sant Vi vekdas - Head P riest of Kabi r Chaura Math
C. Smt. Shrut i Nagvanshi - Soc ial Worker
D. Shri L al Bahadur Ram-Teacher an d Dalit ri ght act ivist
E. Shr i Gopal Das- T ribal activ ist s for commu nal Harmony

(i) Legal Holder
(ii) Monitoring of the flow of funds;
(iii) For ideological verification of the work: Appointed Director: Dr. Lenin Raghuvanshi


o One represen tative f rom the Trustees- Smt. Sh ruti Nagvanshi.
o Two person s from PVCH R Executi ve Council
 Dr. Lenin R aghuvanshi
 Dr. Mahe ndra P ratap
o One person devoting full time: Shri S iddiqui Hasan
o Represen tative f rom Wome n’s f orum: Smt. Shanti
o One Marginal farmer: Shri Manoj Singh.
o One person f rom Dalit Initiati ve: Sh ri Lal Bahadu r Ram.
o One person f rom Minorit y an d Legal Aid Initiative: Tanveer Ahame d Siddiqu i (A dvocate).

The Core Group mentioned above meets once in every six months for approval of all appointments.
On 1 st Jul y, 200 9 in the Joint meeting of Core Group, Core team and key staff, Core Group approves Core
Team and Administrative team as a legal Body of the organization. Core Group also approves the name of the
Core Team Member and the Structure of the Administrative Team.

Day to day activit ies of the projects by ta king the decision after the recomme ndation of co re
group under the leadership of D irector.

Administrative Team will work in the leadership of Director and it consists of Managing Trustee, Member
Secretary, Core Group, Director and all Assistant Directors.

1. Assistant Director (Administration): Mr. Upendra Kumar
2. Assistant Director (Campaign): Mr.Anup Kumar Srivastava
3. Assistant Director (Communication): Ms. Shirin Shabana Khan
4. Assistant Director (Documentation): Vacant
5. Assistant Director (Legal): Vacant

The vacant post of Assistant Director will be fulfilled with the selection/election by the Core Group on
the recommendation of the Directors.

# The Administrative team mentioned above meet once in every month and the meeting can be called
urgent situation related to the projects and activities.
PVCH R CORE TEAM (It is basically a Manage ment Committe e which suggests dif feren t
policies, rules and regulation to the Core Group fo r approval and ma nage the ap proved
plan o f the Co re G roup through the adminis trati ve tea m)

(i) Ms. Anupa m
(ii) Mr. Jai Kumar Mishra
(iii) Ms. Shi rin Shabana K han
(iv) Ms. Shrut i
(v) Mr. Ajay Singh
(vi) Mr. A nup Sr ivastava
(vii) Mr. Um esh Singh
(vii i) Mr. Upen dra K umar
(ix) Mr. Siddique Hasan

# The meeting of the core team will be chaired by the Managing trustee in her absence by Member
secretary. The Core team mentioned above meet once in every month and the meeting can be called
urgent situation related to the projects and activities.


The Core Group in consultation with Core Team recruits the staff. Whilst in the termination process the Core team takes
the decision and is seconded by the Core Group.

In matters of disciplinary action with regards to Financial Matters, Sexual Harassment at workplace, and Negligence in
duties etc approval of the Director and Core Group is required.
Staff engaged can be categorised in three different ways:

• Full time employees who are insured.
• Staff employed on a yearly basis or as per the requirement of the project with specific Terms of Reference.
• Consultants, whose expertise/services are hired.

Positive discrimination on the basic of socio-economic status, socio-cultural situation, political situation and historical
background of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes is practised.
• There is no discrimination on the basis of gender and caste in remuneration.
• Because of their socio-cultural situation a longer probation period is being offered to them. (SC, ST and females)
• Percentage of female staff is less because of the socio-cultural factors of the Eastern Uttar Pradesh.


A Committee on Sexual Harassment deals with such issues. At present Mrs. Shruti Nagvanshi and Ms. Sandhya Singh
are Members of the committee.


There is a clear-cut financial policy. All funds approved are utilised through the co-ordinator, the Director and
Accountant do further evaluation and crosschecking.