Skip to main content

Modi's Chai Pe Charch on women: Answer crucial issues, accept demands to end violence, says Sahiyar

0-6 sex ratio
By Our Representative
A top Varodara-based women’s group, Sahiyar Stree Sangathan, has alleged that the BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, who is doing Chai Pe Charcha on International Women’s Day, March 8, from Delhi, is “nothing but yet another match-fixing gimmick by his spin masters, where he will answer few ‘pre-selected’ questions from ‘pre-selected women’ to show that he is addressing the actual concerns of Indian women." In its statement, Sahiyar said, Modi should "stop comparing" Gujarat women's safety with UP and Delhi, as women in Gujarat moved around freely before he came to power.
“If he really wants to have a meaningful charcha -- or discussion -- he should organise open live debate with representatives of women from Gujarat who are fighting for basic rights since years in Gujarat”, the organization said in the statement signed by Trupti Shah, Deelali Ghelani and Rita Choksi, adding, “He has never made the smallest move to engage with those fighting for women’s rights in Gujarat nor implemented fundamental laws passed by the Indian parliament for upholding constitutional right to life and liberty of a woman.”
Recalling that a year ago, a group of 40 women's organisations, civil society groups and aware citizens prepared and submitted charter of demands to the Government of Gujarat for taking concrete steps for the security of the women and implementation of constitutional guarantees for women and girls, it said, “Following the Delhi gang rape and increasing incidents of violence against women in Gujarat, women groups submitted a list of 34 demands, pointing out need for structural reforms in Police, Judiciary as well as administration.”
Suggesting that the Gujarat government’s response was “apathetic”, the statement says, “In April 2013 with signature of more than 37,000 women across Gujarat, a list of 10 fundamental demands was handed over personally to the Minister of Women and Child Development with an appeal to give time for discussion. Modi or his ministers never gave any time to discuss these issues to the groups nor responded or made any move for effective implementation of the laws.”
Saying that if Modi wants a real charcha, it points out, he should first answer:
* If women are really safe in Gujarat why the chid sex ratio is as low as 886 girls per 1000 boys in Gujarat?
* What is the status of Implementation of Domestic Violence Act, 2006?
* Why parents feel that girls are not safe in Gujarat?
* Why his own home department had to announce that tuition classes should not admit girls in early morning or late evening classes?
The statement further says, “Modi is comparing Gujarat with Delhi and UP and claims that Modi’s Gujarat is safest place for women. This is a wrong comparison. Gujarati women were moving out at night even before the political birth of Modi.” But now the “gravity of the situation is more evident -- especially when we compare the absolute numbers instead of the ratios”, the women’s group points out.
“In absolute numbers, 4,45,964 girls are less compared to boys as per 2001 Census. There is very marginal increase in the child sex ratio to 886 in 2011 but the gap in absolute numbers has increased to 4,54,396 in 2011, in spite of spending crores of rupees by the chief minister Modi in his flagship programme Beti Bachao”, the statement points out.
Pointing towards the poor status of implementation of the Domestic Violence Act, the statement says, “Women who approach the Protection Officer are given one to three months time for registering their complaint. There are no full time trained Protection Offices for implementation of Domestic Violence Act. The additional charge is given to the social welfare officer who is responsible for more than 20 schemes of the department of social welfare.”
It further said, “Recently few untrained fresh women were employed on contract basis”. Saying that these contractual employees do not have proper office space, vehicle or even stationary, the statement wants the state government to “effectively implementation of Vishakha guidelines and the recent law against sexual harassment at workplace, even in government offices.”
Sahiyar's main demands
1. Sexual Harassment Committees be formed in all government, public offices as well as the educational institutes as per the guidelines provided in the Vishakha Judgement. (Now, with the passing of The law Against Sexual harassment at Work place 2013 we are demanding the implementation of the law)
2. Police should take all cases of sexual harassment, sexual violence and assault with due seriousness. And any apathy/negligence on part of police force be punished with strict action against the errant.
3. CCTVs should be installed in all police stations so as to record that police are functioning properly.
4. Instead of imposing bans, restricting movement of girls and women in public places, the Government should ensure safety for them at all times.
5. Fast track courts should be established separately to handle cases of violence against women.
6. The rape victim should be provided the interim relief and rehabilitation expense within three weeks and the rest of the money to be provided without delay to facilitate the victim in her legal fight.
7. Round the clock service connected with the police stations to ensure all possible support to women/girl victims of all kind of violence on the lines of 108 ambulance service. The facility should ensure all kind of medical, legal, psychological and financial support to the victim.
8. A women victim of violence should get priority in availing mental and physical medical help in all government hospitals irrespective of the fact whether police complaint has been lodged or not.
9. Police force in all ranks be gender sensitised and given regular training to ensure proper response to women victims of violence.
10. To ensure transparency as well as accountability in police services across the state, women's group should be made party to the regular review process.

Comments

TRENDING

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

How lead petitioner was rendered homeless when GM mustard matter came up in SC

By Rosamma Thomas*  On January 5, 2023, the Supreme Court stayed a December 20, 2022 direction of the Uttarakhand High Court to the Indian Railways and the district administration of Haldwani to use paramilitary forces to evict thousands of poor families occupying land that belonged to the railways.  Justice AS Oka remarked that it was not right to order the bringing in of paramilitary forces. The SC held that even those who had no rights, but were living there for years, needed to be rehabilitated. On December 21, 2022, just as she was getting ready to celebrate Christmas, researcher Aruna Rodrigues was abruptly evicted from her home in Mhow Cantonment, Madhya Pradesh – no eviction notice was served, and nearly 30 Indian Army soldiers bearing arms were part of the eviction process. What is noteworthy in this case is that the records establishing possession of the house date back to 1892 – the title deed with the name of Dr VP Cardoza, Rodrigues’ great grandfather, is dated November 14

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam* RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Tax buoyancy claims when less than 4% Indian dollar millionaires pay income tax

By Prasanna Mohanty  In FY18, the last year for which disaggregated income tax data is available, only 29,002 ITRs declared income above Rs 5 crore, while Credit Suisse said India had 7.25 lakh dollar millionaires (the wealth equivalent of Rs 8 crore and above) that year. Often enough, the Centre claims that demonetization in 2016 raised tax collections, improved tax efficiency, and expanded the tax base. Now RBI Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) member Ashima Goyal has also joined their ranks, attributing the “claims” of rising tax collections in the current fiscal year to “tax buoyancy” brought by the demonetisation . Do such claims have any basis in official records? The answer is unequivocal. The budget documents show the tax-to-GDP ratio (direct plus indirect tax) increased from 10.6% in FY16 (pre-demonetization) to 11.2% in FY17, remained there in FY18 (demonetization and GST fiscals), and then fell to 9.9% in FY20. In FY22, it improved to 10.8% and is estimated to drop to 10.7% in

Cyrus Mistry, PM Modi’s brother: What do these accidents have in common? Merc!

By Rosamma Thomas*  In September 2022, in an accident at Palghar near Mumbai, Cyrus Mistry, former chairman of the Tata Group, died in a road accident . On December 28, 2022, a road accident in Mysore left one of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s brothers injured. What is common in these accidents? The car that crashed into the divider on the road, in both these cases, was manufactured by “prestigious” German manufacturer Mercedes Benz. One former dealer of Mercedes Benz cars in India has been raising issues of the threat to the lives of those riding these cars for many years now. Cama Motors, among the oldest dealers of foreign cars, having started business in pre-independence India, noted over 10 years ago that Mercedes Benz was indulging in corrupt practices . The cars are currently priced between Rs 41 lakh and Rs 2.92 crore in India; few people realize that the pride of owning a Merc comes at considerable risk to life. Cama Motors carefully documented several of the flaws on a websi

Gandhian unease at Mahadev Desai book launch: Sabarmati Ashram may lose free space

By Rajiv Shah  A simmering apprehension has gripped the Gandhians who continue to be trustees of the Sabarmati Ashram: the “limited freedom” to express one’s views under the Modi dispensation still available at the place which Mahatma Gandhi made his home from 1917 to 1930 may soon be taken away. Also known as Harijan Ashram, a meeting held for introducing yet-to-be-released book, “Mahadev Desai: Mahatma Gandhi's Frontline Reporter”, saw speaker and after speaker point towards “narrowing space” in Gujarat for Gandhians (as also others) to express themselves. Penned by veteran journalist Nachiketa Desai, grandson of Mahadev Desai, while the book was planned to be released on January 1 and the meeting saw several prominent personalities, including actor-director Nandita Das, her scholar-mother Varsha Das, British House of Lords member Bhikhu Parekh, among others, speak glowingly about the effort put in for bringing out the book, exchanges between speakers suggested it should be rele

Civil rights leaders allege corporate loot of resources, suppression of democratic rights

By Our Representative  Civil rights activists have alleged, quoting top intelligence officers as also multiple international forensic reports, that recent developments with regard to the Bhima Koregaon and the Citizenship Amendment Act-National Register of Citizens (CAA-NRC) cases suggest, there was "no connection between the Elgaar Parishad event and the Bhima Koregaon violence." Activists of the Campaign Against State Repression (CASR) told a media event at the HKS Surjeet Bhawan, New Delhi, that, despite this, several political prisoners continue to be behind bars on being accused under the anti-terror the draconian Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. Addressed by family members of the political prisoners, academics, as well as social activists, it was highlighted how cases were sought to be fabricated against progressive individuals, democratic activists and intellectuals, who spoke out against "corporate loot of Indian resources, suppression of basic democratic

Kerala natural rubber producers 'squeezed', attend to their plight: Govt of India told

By Rosamma Thomas   Babu Joseph, general secretary of the National Federation of Rubber Producers Societies (NFRPS) at a recent discussion at Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam, explained that it is high time the Union government paid greater heed to the troubles plaguing the rubber production sector in India – rubber is a strategic product, important for the military establishment and for industry, since natural rubber is still used in the manufacture of tyres for large vehicles and aeroplanes. Synthetic rubber is now quite widespread, but styrene, which is used in making synthetic rubber and plastics, and also butadiene, another major constituent of synthetic rubber, are both hazardous. Prolonged exposure to these even in recycled rubber can cause neurological damage. Kerala produces the bulk of India’s natural rubber. In 2019-20, Kerala’s share in the national production of rubber was over 74%. Over 20% of the gross cropped area in the state is under rubber cultivation, with total

How local NGO is using art, songs to teach children revive Sundarbans mangroves

By Sara Ahmed*  Located in the low-lying islands in the Bay of Bengal, the Sundarbans straddle the border between India and Bangladesh and cover more than 1 million hectares, making them the world’s largest single contiguous mangrove swamp . A Ramsar site added to the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1987, they are home to a wide range of critically endangered fauna, including the Bengal tiger, the Ganges dolphin , river terrapin, the estuarine crocodile and the Indian python, along with approximately 428 species of birds , 120 fish, 42 mammal, 35 reptile and 8 amphibian species. Having adapted to the saline estuarine conditions, more than 60 plant species can be found there. Historically, cyclones have posed a greater threat in the Bay of Bengal than they do in the Arabian sea, to India’s west. Between 1891 and 2018, there were 520 cyclones in the Bay of Bengal , compared to 126 in the Arabian Sea. On top of sucking up large amounts of greenhouse emissions , mangroves also act as the f