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June 2007 : Vol.4 - Issue 2

Quote:”Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending”. -- Maria Robinson

Top Stories: -

  1. National policy for NGOs : The policy attempts to bring greater transparency among NGOs and suggests the government examine establishing an accreditation system, an independent national self-regulatory organization, for charitable organizations
  2. Six hundred NGOs under the scanner : The tough action against the NGOs came in the wake of reports that around 4,000 files pertaining to unaccounted for funds had gone missing.
  3. Oct 2. to be International Day of non-violence : The idea originated at an international conference on "Peace, Non-Violence and Empowerment –Gandhian Philosophy in the 21st Century" convened in New Delhi in January 2007
  4. Dying a slow uranium death : In the region of the uranium mines, in villages such as Chatikocha, Dumardeeh, Telaitaand, Echada, Bhatin, and Lipighututu, 45 of every hundred women are suffering from spontaneous abortions.
  5. 2008 to be International year of Sanitationt: It is estimated that improved sanitation facilities could reduce diarrhoea-related morbidity in young children by more than one-third.
  6. Food for thought or poison? : There seem to be a large number of uncertainties and lack of transparency with respect to the US-Indo deal on agriculture
  7. Another Coca Cola plant in trouble : A fact-finding team led by the India Resource Center to a Coca-Cola bottling plant in Sinhachawar (Uttar Pradesh) issued a report June 10 detailing the violations.
    ”The plant is indiscriminately dumping its sludge, considered to be industrial hazardous waste, across the plant premises, in complete violation of the laws regarding handling and disposal of industrial hazardous waste in India.”
  8. The dying Yamuna : The river Yamuna today represents all that could go wrong with a river system – large scale pollution, encroachment and exceedingly low level of water-flow
  9. Media: The latest docus and shorts and books on development issues
  10. More News


    Mumbai’s K-ward damns WB water prog
    On June 3, the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) held a stakeholders meeting in which the New Zealand based consultant group Castalia (hired by the World Bank and the Public Private Infrastructure Advisory Facility) to conduct a study in the K-east ward of Mumbai, presented their findings and recommendations after a year-long study, for the Water Distribution Improvement Programme (WDIP). The meeting was attended by the MCGM Labour Union, K-east ward residents, ctivists,
    experts in water management and a few elected representatives. Shyamal Sarkar of the World Bank (WB) and Bhavna Bhatia of the PPIAF were special invitees. The presence of the citizens, labour unions and activists proved disastrous for Castalia and the World Bank. Both organisations were exposed for presenting a report based on inflated data in order to push through water privatisation.

    The World Bank is associated with a project where there is a complete lack of transparency, no updates on website, no deliverables, and change of ToR near the fag-end of the project.

    However the Mumbai Paani (a group of concerned citizens and organizations which took up the cause to oppose the privatization of water in Mumbai after the PPIAF money was given for the study) network has worked on an action plan to educate the consumers in the K-east ward about the Castalia report, the MCGM officials’ hidden support to the privatisation process and WB/PPIAF agenda to push for public private partnership.
    Mumbai Paani along with all the other civil society organizations in the K-east plan to take out ‘Torch March’ to build up pressure on their local representatives in the Bombay Municipal Corporation (also called as MCGM) to completely reject the Castalia’s report and call for the withdrawal of the World Bank and the PPIAF from basic necessities like water. Mumbai Paani will also organise meetings with local residents, MCGM Corporators and senior citizens of Mumbai to build up pressure on the municipal corporation to reject their plan for water reforms through private participation and initiate a process of public-public partnership (with the Hydraulic Engineer of the MCGM to help evolve a proposal) which can be the only possible solutions to deal with the current water problems.( Afsar Jafri -Focus on the Global South, one of the constituent groups of the Mumbai Paani network.) <>.Tel: 6592 1141 / 51
    Whose Law?
    The demand for a law on communal violence emerged from a brutal record of recurring violence in our country, the increasing occurrence of gender-based crimes in communal conflagrations, and complete impunity for mass crimes. The reasons are many - lack of political will to prosecute perpetrators, State complicity in communal crimes, lack of impartial investigation, and lack of sensitivity to victim's experiences. But there is also, crucially, the glaring inadequacy of the law. Today, despite huge strides in international jurisprudence, India continues to lack an adequate domestic legal framework, which would allow survivors of communal violence to seek and to secure justice.

    The UPA Government's Common Minimum Programme (CMP) had promised to give the citizens of this country a 'comprehensive legislation' to fill this legal vacuum. We were promised a legislation that would strengthen the hands of the citizens in the struggle against communalism, and allow us to prosecute for mass crimes committed with political complicity and intent. While the country does need a strong law on communal violence, this present Bill is totally misconceived. What we have before us today is a dangerous piece of legislation called the Communal Violence (Prevention, Control & Rehabilitation of Victims) Bill 2005, which will not only fail to secure justice for communal crimes, but will actually strengthen the shield of protection enjoyed by the State, its political leaders and its officials for their acts of omission and commission in these crimes. It is a Bill, which conceives of communal violence as a 'one time' event rather than as a long-term politically motivated process, and seeks to prevent it only by giving greater powers to (often communally tainted) State governments. Further, it continues to perpetuate the silence around gender-based crimes.
    It is a travesty that a Bill of such fundamental importance in addressing the challenges posed to the secular character of our society and polity, was drafted by the Government without any real consultative process involving civil society. At this National Consultation on the Communal Violence (Prevention, Control & Rehabilitation of Victims) Bill 2005, we the undersigned, reject this Bill in its entirety. The assumptions of the Bill are so flawed that it cannot be remedied by amending a few components. We therefore reject this Bill and ask the Central Government to forthwith set up a Drafting Committee to formulate an entirely new bill on communal violence, with the active participation of civil society through an open, transparent, and public process. Eminent jurists, civil society activists, academics and legal experts who have engaged on the ground and in court rooms with communal crimes must be part of such a process. A statute which is sincere about addressing gaps in criminal jurisprudence, must base itself on the experiences of victims of communal violence over the last 60 years, the recommendations of various Commissions of Enquiries and international covenants to which India is a signatory. Stop Hate Campaign" <> Justice A M Ahmadi, former Chief Justice, Supreme CourtJustice Hosbet Suresh, former Judge, Mumbai High CourtJustice K K Usha, former Chief Justice, Kerala High CourtJustice Rajinder Sachar, former Chief Justice, Delhi High CourtJustice Sardar Ali Khan, former Judge, AP High Court; Professor K.N. Panikker, former VC, Shree Shankaracharya University, Kerala

Govt seeks to impart legitimacy to NGOs

The Union cabinet is likely to release India's first national policy governing non-profit organizations soon according to members of the task force that helped draft the document on May 17.

Observers say it will help improve practices and bring legitimacy to a sector increasingly asked to plug gaps in services, from water conservation to HIV/AIDS treatment.

The policy attempts to bring greater transparency among NGOs and suggests the government examine establishing an accreditation system, an independent national self-regulatory organization, ways to streamline and standardize registration, and simplify income-tax exemption for charitable organizations.

"The government is giving us the legitimacy we have always cried for, and the spirit of the plan will place NGOs under new obligations to improve their governance, of which we are in total support," said Pooran C. Pandey, a member of the task force and chief executive of the Voluntary Action Network of India

(Vani), a lobby group that represents 2,400 NGOs.

There are no reliable estimates for the number of NGOs operating in India, as many groups don't comply with the requirement of registering themselves with the government.

Advocacy group, Participatory Research in Asia, conducted a sample study in 2003 across five states in the country and found as many 1.2 million NGOs, the majority of whom were not registered. The sector is growing at between 10% and 15% a year, according to Vani's estimates.

Across the board, the policy addresses the need of NGOs as "not so much just as agents doing social work out in the field, but as viable professional partners", said Viraf Mehta, chief executive of the non-profit Partners In Change and who also sat on the task force.
From: Rural Volunteers Centre

Comments of Rural Volunteers Centre (RVC) on the National Policy on Voluntary Sector
* How do you perceive the National Policy on Voluntary sector?
It is a well knitted initiative to guide the future course through more discussions, positive debates and consultations.
* There has been much debate about the definition of the Voluntary sector; does the current policy effectively include the broad spectrum of organizations working in the voluntary sector? (Section 2, 2.1)
In the current national policy for voluntary sector, special emphasis has been made to define the voluntary sector in sub-section 2.1 as well as in 2.2 but still it is not specific whether the democratic movement groups will be considered as VOs or not. This should be clearly stated. As defined in section 2 movement groups definitely come under VOs, but if so then Government of India should be ready to accept the sub section 4.1 of the policy in favor of the movement group also.
* Do you think the policy is a trade off? For example, by acknowledging the autonomy of the Voluntary Organizations, the policy raises the issue self-regulation mechanisms. (Section4, 4.1)
No. Instead we feel that to make the sub-section 4.1 more meaningful and acceptable to all , the policy should emphasize more on the factor that the laws, policies, rules and regulations relating to VOs should have transparency and accountability factor as an inbuilt component and also in such a manner which are acceptable to the VOs. This would foster a strong relationship among all the concern sectors to work collectively
* The policy encourages a national level self-regulatory agency for the sector. Is this an extension of the increasing public perception that Voluntary Organizations are often questioned on accountability/ Transparency and loosely governed?
Yes. To some extend this factor is working.
* Does the policy effectively impact the Non formal Voluntary Organizations?
? (Section 4, 4.2).
If the sub-section 4.1 covers them effectively then yes otherwise no.

"State wise List of blacklisted NGOs"

New Delhi: Cracking its whip on fake and ghost non-government organisations, the rural development ministry has ordered blacklisting of 600 NGOs, lodging FIRs against 21 others and handing over 10 cases to the CBI. "We have to
stop the scam involving public money," rural development minister Raghuvansh Prasad Singh said.

The tough action against the NGOs came in the wake of reports that around 4,000 files pertaining to unaccounted for funds had gone missing.The 600 non-governmental organizations which were banned by the government up to March this year were funded by the Council for Advancement of People's Action andRural Technology, which works as a liaison between the government and NGOs.The council formulates projects and selects NGOs that can implement them. It also funds projects proposed by NGOs in different states, to take care of various development- related tasks. The blacklisted NGOs will not be allowed to start functioning again.

Andhra Pradesh (175), Bihar (123), Tamil Nadu (71), Uttar Pradesh (69) and Rajasthan (31) are the top five states where the blacklisted NGOs are based. Karnataka (22), West Bengal (21), Delhi (21), Haryana (20), Orissa (19) and Maharashtra (19) are in the top 10 states.

Singh also said the resettlement and rehabilitation policy mooted by his ministry was likely to see the light of day "within weeks". The policy, which seeks to ensure prompt rehabilitation and resettlement of those uprooted by mega-projects, industrial units and special economic zones, will go to the cabinet for its approval. TNN AND AGENCIES Publication: Times of India Mumbai;:Jun 14, 2007; Page:11

Oct. 2 is International Non-violence Day
The International Day of Non-Violence will be celebrated each year on 2 October – the birth
anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, who helped lead India to independence and inspired movements for civil rights and freedom across the world.

Introducing the resolution adopted by the 192-member body, Anand Sharma, India's Minister of State for External Relations, said the idea originated at an international conference on "Peace, Non-Violence and Empowerment –Gandhian Philosophy in the 21st Century" convened in New Delhi in January this year.

The late leader's "novel mode of mass mobilization and non-violent action"brought down colonialism, strengthened the roots of popular sovereignty, of civil, political and economic rights, and greatly influenced many a freedom struggle and inspired leaders like Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King Jr., Mr. Sharma stated.

The Assembly, "desiring to secure a culture of peace, tolerance,understanding and non-violence, " invited States, UN bodies, regional and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and individuals to commemorate the Day, including through education and public awareness.

Dying a slow uranium death

Ranchi, The soil of Jadugoda in the Jharkhand region has provided uranium to run the Atomic Energy program in the country and develop Nuclear capabilities, but the Santhal aadivasis of this region are dying a slow death by uranium radiation. It is a living death that compels people to suffer till their last breath. It is a death the reality of which is being denied by all Government agencies. In the region of the uranium mines, in villages such as Chatikocha, Dumardeeh, Telaitaand, Echada, Bhatin, and Lipighututu, 45 of every hundred women are suffering from spontaneous abortions. The children are dying. Most of the children are becoming physically and mentally handicapped. People are not living beyond 65 years of age. No one wants to marry the girls from this area. The girls who did get married are being abandoned for their inability to bear children. Under the influence of radioactivity, physical malformations, cancer and pulmonary diseases are assuming demonic dimensions.

2008-International Year of Sanitation

NEW YORK, 7 May 2007 An estimated 2.6 billion people world wide remain without proper sanitation facilities. This means they lack protection against preventable diseases that claim the lives of thousands daily, primarily children, according to experts attending the First Preparatory Meeting on the International Year of Sanitation 2008 today. This is a theme year set by the UN General Assembly in December 2006 to help accelerate progress on sanitation.
His Royal Highness, the Prince of Orange, Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, Chairperson for the United Nations Secretary General’s Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation (UNSGAB) said. “It is important that between now and November, when the International Year of Sanitation will be launched, we take the step from general objectives to measurable targets. Targets expressed in figures, percentages and money, and in concrete project plans and partnerships.”
Participants at the one-day meeting included representatives of UN Member States, NGOs, citizen groups, academics and the private sector. The meeting was hosted by UNSGAB, the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) and UNICEF, with the goal of developing an action plan for the International Year of Sanitation and beyond to help accelerate progress and public awareness.
It is estimated that improved sanitation facilities could reduce diarrhoea-related morbidity in young children by more than one-third. If hygiene promotion is added, such as teaching proper hand washing, it could be reduced by two thirds. Millions of people – especially the poor in developing countries - are forced to defecate in bags, buckets, fields or roadside ditches, causing serious health risks to them and others. Progress requires broad cooperation through public and private partnerships, community involvement and public awareness.

Food for thought or poison?

There seem to be a large number of uncertainties and lack of transparency with respect to the US-Indo deal on agriculture

According to the Bharat Krishi Samaj, the content of the Agriculture Pact must be debated and approved by the Parliament before any decision is taken on its implementation.;. A multi-stakeholder body of independent experts should be set up to conduct a series of public hearings nationwide, to discuss the content of the Agriculture Pact and elicit people's views on it.

3. The implementation of the Agriculture Agreement must be in consonance with Indian policy and legislation, ensuring that Farmers Rights are upheld and the rights of local communities over agro biodiversity is maintained.

4. Since Agriculture is a state subject, all matters related to it should be decided in consent with State Legislatures before final
approval by Parliament.

5. Informed consultations with the scientific community, farmer's organizations and elected representatives must precede any decisions taken in the field of agriculture.

Companies like Monsanto, Wall-Mart etc. are on the board of the US-India Agricultural Knowledge Initiative Agreement to monitor agricultural research, education and dissemination and exchange of knowledge between US and India.

The US-Indo agreement amounts to an open invitation to the American multinationals to take over India’s agro-rural system.They will get access to the Germ Plasm Bank of indigenous crop varieties and get them patented, while Indian Agricultural Universities, K.V.Ks and Research Centres are expected act as extension agencies to promote the technologies of American multinationals.

Major stakeholders in agriculture in India, like farmer's organizations, State governments, Standing Committees of Parliament, civil society organizations and eminent academics, have not been consulted in preparing the framework of the agriculture deal nor in determining the focus areas.

Through the Agriculture Knowledge Initiative, the US has asked for unhindered access to the rich biodiversity in India's gene banks. The terms and conditions of the CBD like Prior Informed Consent, Material Transfer Agreement and Benefit Sharing under which our genetic resources will be accessed must be clearly specified. America is a notable dissenter to the CBD and has not ratified it.

All features of the agriculture deal must be in consonance with existing Indian policy and legislation, the National Biodiversity Act and the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers Rights Act.

”It is extremely regrettable that there is no information in the public domain about the US-Indo Knowledge Initiative on Agriculture in clear violation of S. 4(1) (c) which states " Every public authority shall-Publish all relevant facts while formulating important policies or announcing the decisions which affect public".

It is alarming that there is no mention in the deal of key issues of genetic engineering, like respecting crops in their centers of origin, of protecting socio-economic interests of rural and tribal communities and implementing a regime for liability and redress incase something goes wrong with a genetically engineered crop or fish or animal.

The process of granting the Intellectual Property Rights on outcome of research using Indian genetic resources should be clarified.In case of conflict over IPRs, the Indian law should be applicable. The technology and knowledge gained through the collaborative research should be freely accessible to the Indian scientific community and remain in the public domain and pro-rata India should have free access to the public sector technology and research in US universities and research institutions.

---Dr. Krishan Bir Chaudhary, Executive Chairman, Bharat Krishak Samaj

Another Coke Plant, More Pollution Dumping

In a shocking finding, another Coca-Cola bottling plant in India has been found to be operating in complete violation of environmental laws and regulations in India. Communities around this plant have begun protests at this discovery.
A fact-finding team led by the India Resource Center to a Coca-Cola bottling plant in Sinhachawar in the state of Uttar Pradesh issued a report June 10 detailing the violations.
**The plant is indiscriminately dumping its sludge, considered to be industrial hazardous waste, across the plant premises, in complete violation of the laws regarding handling and disposal of industrial hazardous waste in India.

**The Effluent Treatment Plant was non-operational, and the bottling plant was discharging its wastewater into surrounding agricultural fields and a canal that feeds into the river Ganges.

**The plant did not disclose the amount of hazardous waste being used and generated, as required by the Supreme Court of India for all industrial units in India that deal with hazardous waste.

Such careless disposal of the sludge and the wastewater resulted in the pollution of the agricultural lands, local water supplies as well as the food chain. At stake are the very lives and livelihoods of thousands of farmers who live around the bottling plant.
In 2003, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) of India assessed the sludge at eight Coca-Cola bottling plants, and found them all to contain excessive levels of lead, cadmium or chromium. The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) also tested the sludge around the Coca-Cola bottling plant in Plachimada in Kerala in 2003, and found it to be toxic. The BBC report found that the toxins from the sludge had polluted the groundwater.

“Our lives have been made much more difficult after the Coca-Cola bottling plant began its operations here,” said Mr. Baliram of the locally based Coca-Cola Bhagao, Krishi Bachao Sangharsh Samiti (Get Rid of Coke, Save Farming Struggle Committee). “We are demanding that the Coca-Cola plant be shut down immediately and be investigated for any wrongdoing.”

Data from the Central Ground Water Board of India has confirmed that groundwater levels have dropped in the area since Coca-Cola started operations in the area in 1999. The area around the Coca-Cola bottling plant has also been declared a "dark zone" by Mr. Hakim Singh, director of the District Rural Development Agency (DRDA). A "dark zone" category implies that groundwater resources are overexploited,
For more information, visit Baliram, Coca-Cola Bhagao, Krishi Bachao Sangharsh Samiti +91 94507 79325 (India) (Hindi only)
Amit Srivastava, India Resource Center +91 98103 46161 (India) +1 415 336 7584 (US) E:
Nandlal Master, Lok Samiti +91 94153 00520 (Hindi) Posted by collective at June 10, 2007 07:42 PM

Yamuna Satyagraha

New Delhi: The river Yamuna today represents all that could go wrong with a river system – large scale pollution, encroachment and exceedingly low level of water-flow in it leave no doubt that the river is indeed dead. Stemming from this very challenge is a movement, the Yamuna Satyagraha, which is led by the Waterman of India and Magsaysay Award winner, Rajendra Singh.

The goal of the Yamuna Satyagraha underlies the belief that rivers, belong to no one and thus by inference actually belong to every one. It is a common resource that, if managed well, can meet the common good or if misused, can become entirely extinct. The movement envisages revival of the Yamuna river back into a vibrant ecosystem through community action so that it once again begins to meet the aspirations of all those who not only revere it but are also dependent on it.

As part of this movement, a Satyagraha Yatra was started by Rajendra Singh on May 23 2007 from the Hathnikund Barrage where he was joined by representatives from the bordering riparian states of Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana. During its course, the Satyagraha Yatra traversed a length of over 200 km, passing through various towns where it interacted with village folks, academics and the general public to generate awareness and build support for the revival of the Yamuna.

The Yatra culminated in Delhi on May 27 2007. The group maintains that a law for the conservation of the river Yamuna should be promulgated as soon as possible.

Media: Films

Silver Remi Award Winner
Lukka chhuppi (Hide-n-seek)
directed by Vinod Ganatra
Luka-chhupi is a thriller that was shot entirely in Ladakh. It is about a small kidnapped boy who is rescued by two older boys. The film ends in a grand climax in the middle of the magnificent Hamis Festival and Matho Monastery of Ladakh. The cast included children from Ladakh who were facing camera for the first time. Contact: Vinod Ganatra Tel . (022) 2492 2385 Telefax: 2493 6278, Email:,

Story of a Golden River
40-minute, English
Dir. Soumitra Dastidar who is a documentary film-maker from Kolkata and has been making films on people's movements since 1999. The film is about Subansiri, the golden river which flows down from the hills of Arunachal Pradesh into the Brahmaputra in the Assam valley. It is believed that the waters of the river once carried gold that was shifted by the people living downstream. There are no more gold sediments here but there is a vast resource of power. Contact: KRITI, Tel. (011) 26027845/ 26033088, Email: /

Whose Land Is This Anyway
This Land is Mine,
Free Bird Productions,
Dir. Ladly Mukhopadhyay
These are films on forced displacement The first covers the events at Singur, and the second on the Nandigram crisis. An important concern is the loss of livelihood. The West Bengal Government handed the Tata Group a plot of 997 acres to establish an automobile factory .This will impact not only the 5000-strong peasant population of Singur, but will also endanger the lives and livelihoods of working peasants who come from neighbouring villages everyday, small tradesmen, shopkeepers, hawkers and everyone else, with the total number of affected persons estimated at 50,000. How many of them can the Tata factory employ? Not more than 800-1000 people, say the Tatas themselves.

One Billion Eyes 2007
The 2007 Indian documentary film festival organised by the Prakriti Foundation, Chennai
Theme “Caste” from 15– 20 Aug. 15-20.
This festival—juxtaposing screenings with literary readings, panel discussions and interventions from the audience—will seek to broaden the contours of the discourse on caste. Besides filmmakers and their films, it will feature poets, activists, students, victims, agent provocateurs,
academicians, and of course a panel of jolly judges who will decide on the best film for a prize of Rs 25,000.
Preferred entry format: DVDs/ VCDs. Last date for entries is 15 July 2007 entry form available on Contact abillioneyes @ or anand.navayana

Men of Burden – Pedaling Towards A Horizon"
Dir. Raghu Jeganathan, 66 minutes
Set in the city of Pondicherry, the documentary uncovers the story of disappearing cycle rickshaw drivers living in abject poverty. While India's big cities are racing towards globalization and technology, these men, against all odds, remain appreciative of their modest lives by believing in the power of now. Portraying the immediacy and desolation of the situation the film highlights a catalytic change revolutionizing India's economic and social future from the grass roots level. Juxtaposing the way of life of these men with definitive solutions, the film answers the question of how these changes can trickle down to the roots of India's soil.


AbilityFest 2007
Org. Ability Foundation --a cross disability organisation is organising AbilityFest 2007 the second International Disability Film Festival in Chennai from October 5th to 8th, 2007. The festival will screen the best films on the subject made all over the world - cinema by, with and about, persons with disability. Mr. P.K. Nair, former Director of National Film Archives of India is the Director of the Festival, and actor/director Revathy is the vice chair person.
It will also hold for the second time '60 Seconds to Fame!' the All India one-minute film competition for film makers on the theme – “Celebrating Diversity”. Selected entries will be screened as part of AbilityFest 2007. An eminent jury will choose three winners who will win exciting cash prizes. The last date for entries is June 30th, 2007. Contact: Ability Foundation, Chennai Tel. (044)24452400, Website:

Third Eye Asian Film Festival
Applications invited for the Third Eye Asian Film Festival scheduled to be held in Mumbai, Nov 1-8 2007. Besides the regular sections: "Spectrum Asia" of contemporary Asian cinema, "Indian Vista" of recent Indian films, "Reflection" of Asian classics and "Retrospective" of Asian masters, there will be "Competition" sections for full-length features and short fictions from Asia. Full length features should be the first or second film of the Asian directors who must have debuted not before 2005. There is no entry fee. Last date - 15th Sept. 15 Entry at: www.affmumbai. org. Contact: Premendra Mazumder, Mumbai 400014, Telefax: (022) 24131918 Cell: +919830140517. Email:

INDIA UNTOUCHED - Stories of a People Apart (pix)
108 minutes.
Hindi, Bhojpuri, Gujarati, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam with English sub-titles.
Dir Stalin K.

This is perhaps the most comprehensive look at untouchability ever undertaken on film.
Director Stalin K. spent four years traveling the length and breadth of the country to expose the continued oppression of 'Dalits,' the 'broken people' who suffer under a 4000 year-old religious system. Spanning eight states and four religions, this film will make it impossible for anyone to deny that untouchability continues to be practiced in India. This film is produced by DRISHTI-Media, Arts and Human Rights and presented by Navsarjan Trust which is a leading Dalit human rights organisation, working in over 3000 villages in Gujarat.


Earth Bound- land water people (pix)
Res. & Design: Jackfruit
Publ: welt hunger wilfe

Photographs :Claire Arni
The exhibition showcases experiences of GAAs presence in rural India and are case studies from eight German Agro Action-supported projects all over India: SCRIA (Social Centre for Rural Initiative and Advancement), Rajasthan; Chaitanya Shravanti, AP;Myrada, Karnataka;Sikshasandhan, Orissa;Ramakrishna Mission Ashram, WB;Swadhina, Jharkhand. The exhibition has already been held in Bangalore, Hyderbad, Delhi and Kolkota and this year travelsto Mumbai, Bhubaneswar, Jaipur/Jamshedpur.

Childline in India-
An analysis of calls to 1098
Childline India Foundation, 022-23841098
Childline services over 2 million calls a year in 75 cities across 24 states…and these calls represent thesingle largest record In India of children’s concerns and needs. The analysis of these calls covers 56 cities over a 2-year period from 2003-5. Soft copy can be downloaded from The book was supported by PLAN>For copies Email:

Freedom from Fear: Investment in Human Dignity and Security.

This Amnesty International Report documents the state of human rights in 153 countries during 2006. It reveals a world ravaged by armed conflict, repression and discrimination, where women are at constant risk or violence, where entire communities are mired in poverty and social exclusion. The report also points to the crucial achievements of human rights activists around the world in countering these abuses and tackling impunity. Contact: Amnesty International India, Delhi Tel: (01) 41642501, 26854763.

(1) Foretelling the Crisis: HIV/AIDS, Sexual and Reproductive Health & Women in India
Based on the baseline Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices (KAP) survey undertaken by Alliance India in 2006 in 5 States, on the situation of women relating to their sexual and reproductive health and HIV/AIDS It recommends specific actions to help alleviate the negative impact of HIV and AIDS on women, their partners and their families in India. http://www.aidsallianceindia. net/

(2) Common Cause, Collective Strength: Findings of an evaluation of support groups of women and children living with and/or affected by HIV/AIDS in three Indian States
A key activity for Alliance India has been the formation of community support groups- an effective mechanism for providing psychosocial and emotional support amongst members who are affected by and/or living with HIV/AIDS.This report is an assessment of the impact of support groups of women and children in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Delhi Alliance India has also produced a poster, and flip books in 6 languages on sexual and reproductive health rights http://www.aidsalli

Strategies to combat violence against women
Kriti Publications
'Aurato ke Khilaf Hinsa: Dhrishtikon aur Rannitiyan' is the Hindi version of Kriti’s publication From Thought to Action: Strategies to combat Violence against Women. This book is based on an in-depth, field-based study of the nature, the extent, the causes of physical violence faced by women and the different responses to it, and was conducted over a period of one year across eight villages and three slums located in different parts of India. The book also suggests strategies that can be used by fieldworkers/activists with voluntary organisations/ NGOs to prevent and eliminate this form of violence at home, at workplaces, on the streets and society in general. Contact: Kriti, Delhi Tel. (011)-26027845/ 26213088. Email:

Contributions for Peace Journal-Praxis
WISCOMP (Women in Security, Conflict Management and Peace) invites
contributions for the first edition of its Annual South Asia Peacebuilding Journal, The journal publishes Academic essays/research articles (3000 and 5000 words).Perspectives from the Field: (3000 to 5000 words). Reviews of books on issues of peace and conflict (1200 to 1500 words)
In addition to the article, the contributor is requested to send an abstract (100 words, bio-note (60-70 words) and coordinates. Contributions should be mailed to WISCOMP at by August 13, 2007 with “peacebuilding journal” in the subject line. contact: Manjri Sewak, Sr. Program Officer,WISCOMP, Foundation for Universal Responsibility of HH The Dalai Lama, New Delhi – 110003. Tel. (011)24648450, Email:,

Green Tapism

This is a review of the Environmental Impact Assessment Notification – 2006. It comprehensively analyses the legal, historical and political basis of the formulation of the controversial Environment Impact Assessment Notification -- 2006, a critical legislation supporting consideration of environmental and social justice in developmental decision making. Read the Introduction Chapter to Green Tapism at
Contact: Environment Support Group, Bangalore,Tel. (080)22441977/ 26531339 Email: or

Theory and Praxis of Dalit Politics
by M C Raj and Jyothi
Published by Ambedkar Resource Center, Tumkur
Pp 275, price Rs.250/-, Pre-publication Price Rs.150/-

This book provides a history of dalit politics beginning with the political conflict between Ambedkar and Gandhi on the issue of Separate Electorate for the depressed classes which has thrown up many bitter lessons for future generations. It examines Dalit political theory. The book also gives a good analysis and looks at how dalits can sustain the power they have gained in the recent UP elections to govern. Contact:Rural Education for Development Society, Shanthinagar
Tumkur 572102, Karnataka. Cell phone: Raj-(0)9845144893

Probing the Jihadi Mindset
By Sohail Abbas
National Book Foundation, Islamabad
ISBN 969-37-0236- 0 207pp. Rs 250

Well-known psychologist Dr Sohail Abbas, enjoys a unique position amongst studies on Muslim militants in and around Pakistan. Dr Abbas and his team of researchers interviewed 517 men who had left their homes and families to fight in Afghanistan who were detained in Haripur and Peshawar jails. The study demolishes the commonly-held view that the men who went to fight in Afghanistan were poor, illiterate and unemployed young men or madressah students. The study also examines the jihadi groups' psychological characteristics (morbidity, sociability, emotional stability, prejudice, etc) .

More News :

NGO office raided, workers beaten up
Bangalore: On June 2, police from the Chennapatna police station (Bangalore Rural dist) raided the house of one person and arrested two women who had gathered there. These two women were staff of Suraksha, (an NGO working to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS), had been booked under section 3,4,5 and 7 of Immoral Trafficking Prevention Act.

The police allowed a local TV channel, TV9, to do a live coverage of the arrest within the premises of the police station and this was telecast in the 6.00 p.m. news without either the permission of the 4 women accused or without masking their faces. Immediately after the arrest the police led by the deputy superintendent of police, Mr. Devaraj D. unlawfully entered Suraksha’s Chennapatna office and went through clinical records and data of sex workers.This search was conducted without a search warrant.

On June 3, the Karnataka Sex Workers' Union along with representatives from Suraksha, Sangama, Sadhane, Samara, Sanchaya Nele and other social justice organisations assembled in front of the Chennapatna police station to stage a peaceful protest when they were attacked by the police and 50-60 local goondas, beaten up, women were manhandled, sexually harrassed and filthily abused. On June 4, a meeting was organised at Centre for Youth and Cultural Development (CYCD) demanding action against the police affoicers. Contact Sangama,Bangalore Tel:.080- 23438843 / 23438840
e-mail: advocacy@sangama. org

100 child labourers rehabilitated
Ramgarh (Jharkhand),: Over hundred girl child labourers, rescued from various shops and roadside eateries, are now living a rehabilitated life at Ramgarh in Jharkhand. thanks to the initiatives taken by the NGO Jan Seva Parishad, which is making the rehabilitation of such children possible with the support of the Jharkhand authorities. The State Government spends Rs18 on each of the young student-cum-apprentices at the institutions being run by Jan SevaParishad.
The girls are given a nine-month training that includes formal education till fifth standard along with vocational training like candle making, stitching, embroidery and others.
"We bring these girls from coal mines, roadside eateries and other places. We have a training centre since 2005 to a batch of 50 girls every nine month. Here, these girls learn candle making, stitching, soap making etc," said Manju Devi, a Jan Seva Parishad staff.
Once the students prepare some items, these are marketed by the Jan SevaParishad and the money earned is distributed among these working children as per their due.
Jan Seva Parishad, has taken up the social responsibility to effectively utilize the Central government's policy prohibiting employment of children below 14years of age in domestic as well as industrial and commercial spheres.
Founded in 2005, the Jharkhand Government endorsed Jan Seva Parishad in the ambit of NationalChild Labourer Rehabilitation Centre, on June 15, 2006.

BCAS Foundation
(Bombay Chartered Accountants' Society) operates RTI Clinic to provide help and guidance to citizens for making applications / appeals etc. under the RTI Act and also assist in resolving any related difficulties on the subject of RTI. The clinic operates on 3 Saturdays of every month i.e 2nd, 3rd and 4th Saturdays between 11.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. at BCAS, Ground Floor, 7, Jolly Bhavan no. 2, New Marine Lines, Mumbai - 400 020. Call to fix your appointment on 66595601-05

Obit Sanjai Sangvai

Numerous admirers, colleagues and friends have poured their heart out at the passing of Sanjai Sangvai.. Last two decades of his work with Narmada Bachao Andolan and National Alliance of People's Movements as well as his professional contribution through various organizations like Abhivyakti, National Centre for Advocacy Studies (NCAS) has proved that Sanjay was an activist of a different caliber, of unique capacities and rare commitment. He was not merely a ground level activist but also a journalist, writer and litterateur. He passed away at the age of 48, due to a long lasting sickness of heart and lungs, on Tuesday, 29th May around 7 a.m. The funeral took place on 30th May at Pune.
Sanjay was not just academic but a man of vision, strategy for transformation, and culture. His cultural moorings into Indian and Asian way of life made him committed to not mere preaching but practicing simple living, closeness to nature and sustainability in extraction. He raised the voice of the people of Narmada valley by becoming a part of their struggle .
Sanjay was a man of ethics. His commitment were not merely verbalized but practiced. His sensitivity and creativity was enabling him to lead a life committed to the common people- farmers, labourers, adivasis, dalits and others- and also gain aesthetic sense in every aspect. His deep interest in and knowledge of classical music, Sanskrit, Indian literature etc was a result of the same, and indeed led a 'progressive' life which was his goal, not just an avowed glamorous slogan.
The most unfortunate barrier in Sanjay's path of progress was his critically ill-health. Many activists' organizations- supporters held condolence meetings in various parts of Maharashtra and other states too, all of whom, will take inspiration from Sanjay's life and carry forward his mission.

Another Taal centre in Pune
Pune: Actress Riya Sen on June 2 inaugurated the new Taal centre which is run by HIV positive people for HIV positive people. Taal is a unique care and support centre set up in association with Emcure Pharmaceuticals, Network of Maharashtra by People Living with HIV/AIDS (NMP+) and Human Resource Development Network (HRDN).
The first Taal centre was inaugurated in Pune in January 2006. Within a short span, Taal-Pune has not only been serving more than 1,000 positive people but has become a model centre for others to replicate. Taal-Pune has become self-sustainable and financially independent. Making it a one-stop shop for HIV positive people, Taal has acquired additional facilities like laboratory for testing/monitoring, daily doctor service and peer group counselling.

Indo-German body for UP's development
Lucknow: "Transporting Gandhi to 21st century", is the aim of the International Institute for Holistic Research and Voluntary Action (Indo-Germany) , which is going to start work in Uttar Pradesh.
"We have worked in south India mainly. But, have toured MP, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and UP extensively. " said Irmel Marla, chairperson of the institute.The institute offers consultancy services for cutting down the widening gap between the haves and have-nots in the remote areas it selects for work. The institute works through network of experts who are from different fields like medical, educational, administrative and focusses on holistic development. "For that can only assure sustainability. And this is also what Gandhian principles talk about," added Marla.
Programmes initiated by the institute have worked on public-private partnership model.
The development action plan for UP would focus on evolving entrepreneurship through action-oriented training programmes, at local and grassroot level converging all activities with local banks and other financial agencies and stressing self-employment.
Akshay Bhai, state president of Confederation of NGOs of Rural India (CNRI) was also present on the occasion.

Home Based Care for HIV/AIDS infected patients
We are running an NGO Aids Combat International in Malad, Mumbai giving home based care for HIV/AIDS patients that includes counseling ,nursing care, treatment for opportunistic infection ,guidance for nutrition and diet and try to reduce the stigma from the mind set of family members and prepare them to give care and support to the infected family member. Any NGO or individual who needs Home Based Care for an HIV/AIDS infected person can contact on email or phone. "Mamta Trivedi" or - Dr. Girish Trivedi Mobile - 98210 81138 98700 81138
Conf held
Population First organised a three-day residential training workshop,titled 'Power Media- For Social Justice' for print and electronic media persons at the HDFC Training centre, Lonavala from June 8 to 10, 2007. The workshop provided a gender perspective on all socially relevant events and developments in the field of education, health, youth, employment, budget etc For details, email or call Nivedita/ Preeti on 2262 6672/ 6/ 6507.
Bangalore: Human Rights Law Network organized a 3-day seminar on Violence against women and the Law April 26-29. Various women’s organizations and students fora participated in discussions on matrimonial laws and sexual harassment at the workplace.

Ranchi: From June 17 to 25 an Right to Information (RTI) awareness camp was organized in 8 districts of Jharkhand. near the office of district magistrate in that district Contact: Ranchi Md. Rizwan 9934399341
International Resources for Fairer Trade organized a 3 day residential training programmme on MDP on Business plan /project Proposal Writing from June 18 to 20th at Hyderabad. Contact: Ms.Sayantani Das / Mr. Nagraj Swamy
(IRFT)Hyderabad Cell: 09949363044 / 09849638153 Ph: 040-64561475
APMAS (Mahila Abhivruddhi Society, Andhra Pradesh) held the 2nd National TOT on Participatory Training Methodologies (PTM) in the context of SHGs and SHG Federations, from July 2-7 at Hyderabad attended by staff of SHPIs (Self Help Promoting Institutions) including NGOs, Bankers and Government Agencies.mail website
International Conference on 'Ethnographic Discourse of the other', 3rd-5th July 2007 at University of Hyderabad, India*University of Hyderabad
Emails: **, **
An online discussion on the theme "Financing for gender equality and the empowerment of women", was organized by the United Nations Division for the Advancement of

An online discussion on the theme "Financing for gender equality and the empowerment of women", was organized by the United Nations Division for the Advancement of Women from June 18 to July 15. The purpose of the online discussion is to identify good practices and lessons learned and highlight gaps and challenges requiring further action.
The online discussion is part of the preparatory process of the 52nd session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) to be held from 25 February to 7 March 2008, which will consider "Financing for gender equality and the empowerment of women" as its priority theme. Contact: Charmaine Williams-Carter [williams-carter@]

Info-Market for cancer

Mumbai: The International Confederation of Childhood Cancer Parents Organisations (ICCCPO) at the last SIOP conference at Geneva, started an Info-Market to share information and services. The goal is to open up the communication and to make it easier to share projects and ideas that are working, as well as finding new ideas. In the NCPA in Mumbai, the Info-Market will be held in the “Sunken Garden”from Oct. 29-Nov.2.
If you would like to participate, contact Shubha Maudgal

The Model Police Act 2006
The Police Act of 1861 is to be revised and a Drafting Committee of the Ministry of Home Affairs has circulated a "Model Police Act 2006". Shri S R Sankaran, Convenor of the Committee of Concerned Citizens in Andhra Pradesh, and a member of the PUCL has prepared a Commentary on the Draft according to his ideas. Discussions treating this document as Background Paper are needed for comments. These will be compiled and all the comments sent to the MHA. model-police-act-comments.html

Counselling for Alzheimers Disease
The Society for Service to Voluntary Agencies (SOSVA) has started a Health Counselling Centre for Alzheimer’s disease at its office at Petit School, Opposite Bhabha Hospital, Bandra. The Centre is offering Counselling and a Caregiver Support Group for caregivers of those suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease. The counselling is completely free of charge.
Counselling for Alzheimers disease is offered from 11.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. on 2nd and 4th Saturdays of the month. Caregivers are required to take prior appointment.
The focus is on supporting the caregivers as they play an important role in the well being of the patient. The Centre is part of SOSVA’s larger plan to set up an Apex Support Society to promote new health support societies where no support for a particular segment of disease-affected population exists. Our partners in this endeavor would be existing support groups, the medical fraternity and NGOs.Contact: Society for Service to Voluntary Agencies (SOSVA) Tel. no. 2655 5704 / 2641 1205 Email: Website:

VOLACT (a part of SOSVA) is in touch with over 100 NGOs and have placed 1500 volunteers in various situations since a decade now. E.g. volunteers provide educational help to the orphaned children of Prem Sangh and Nivara at Borivali, hospital visits through Make a Wish Foundation, help in administrative work at Foundation for Excellence, Powai and at Indian Association for Promotion of Adoption, Grant Road. A senior citizen, enjoys teaching the children at Bangur Nagar Vidyalaya, Goregaon and at Sunbeam – for street children at Bandra.

Volunteers also have provided legal advice to women at Aadhar in Malad. vocal music teaching to the desitutes at Shraddhananad Mahila Ashram, Matunga; office administration at Akshara, Dadar, and help in Library organizing at Vaccha based in Vile Parle and a volunteer teaches Marathi to the students at Seva Sadan Society for girls in South Mumbai.

Even senior citizen volunteers conduct recreational games, teach yoga and have friendly visits at Sharan – Home for the aged and paraphlegics in Vashi,organize birthday parties for the aged at All Saints Home, Dockyard besides regular reading for the blind at Industrial Blind Home, Andheri and at MNB Home, for the blind at Jogeshwari thus helping the students of Law and standard 12th in realizing their dreams. A retired technocrat does case study analysis at Naseoh an organization for the disabled in Chembur. Another senior citizen volunteer provides regular teaching assistance for the mentally challenged at Child Reach in Santacruz. Professional volunteers teach the art of cooking Indian and Continental cuisines, instrumental music like tabla, embroidery and computers to the deaf and mute children of Sanskardham at Goregaon. A volunteer teaches arts and crafts for the mentally challenged students of Sulabha School at Chembur. If you want to volunteer, or need volunteers contact: 26555704 / 26411205 Email at: / Visit:

RTI bank to come up in Bangalore
Bangalore: On the lines of blood banks and eye-banks, there will soon be a Right to
Information (RTI) bank in Bangalore through which documents can be accessed by both activists and the general public.
The bank, which is said to be the first of its kind in India, will come into existence by July. NGO, Mahiti Hakku Adhyayana Kendra (RTI Study Centre), which floated the idea has assigned 50 RTI activists to collect the documents obtained by people through the RTI Act. Initially, the collection will be spread over 26 other districts in Karnataka, said Vikram Simha, trustee of the RTI Study Centre. "We found that there were many applications for similar documents in the past. We then thought of establishing a bank which would collect documents from those people," said BH Veeresh member of the study centre.
"Every activist will collect documents from a department and we will then build a library of documents. Anybody can walk in and ask for the documents they need after they specify the reason," said Veeresh.
The RTI Study Centre is also looking towards spreading its net to other states too. "We are in talks with a couple of RTI activist friends in Pune and Gujarat. If the concept works in Karnataka, they might think of establishing such a bank in their state too," said Simha.
The RTI users in India are increasing and hence building a bank is essential, say activists.

Recreation centre for seniors
Goa: Lions Club of Margao in collaboration with the department of Social Welfare, government of Goa is starting the Narayan Rajaram Bandekar senior citizens recreation centre at Pedda-Margao. The centre would be a facility where senior citizens can spend thier day-time hours in fruitful activity,and take care of the physical, psychological and spiritual needs of the senior citizens. Contact: Dr Fernandes on 2736109/9422058741

ART centre for every district soon
Chennai: Soon, an Anti Retroviral Therapy (ART) centre for every district will become a reality in Tamil Nadu. There are 19 centres as on date…With access to the ART becoming better, Supriya Sahu, project director of the Tamil Nadu State AIDS Control Society (TANSACS), said, the facility would be expanded, making it a travelling distance for the people in the State. She was speaking at a function on June 9 to commemorate a decade of the Indian Network for People Living with HIV/AIDS (INP+). "At present, 19,000 persons are covered by the ART…In fact, 3,500 children were registered at our ART centres, of which 1,200 are eligible for the treatment," she added.

PETA on Bears (pix- 1col.)
Remembering Navlin
Mumbai: Sathya vijay seva sanstha organized a program on June 19 to remember the late Navlin Kumar who was brutally murdered five years ago. Navlin Kumar’s commitment and dedication towards the marginalized section of society, particularly the tribal in Thane Dist was legendary, and to continue her work, the Sathya vijay seva sanstha Trust was formed. The organization takes up land issues of the tribals and slum dwellers, conducts training programs for girls and women, works for street children and their education, occasional training programs for Adivasi youth and various other socio-economic issues. Contact Gandhali Naik on 9890088148 or Adv. Jaya Menon.

Consumer helpline
The National Consumer Helpline (NCH) 1800-11-4000 (toll-free no.)
receives complaints against various service providers and guides consumers in finding solutions to problems related to products and services.

Female condoms sold by SHG

Sampooran Nagar (Lakhimpur Kheri) . In 2006 medical aid and female condom centres were set up in 80 blocks of Sampooran Nagar and Nighasan by Rahi Foundation. The centres, part of HIV AIDS and female condom promotion programme were supported by Manav Seva Sansthan (MSS) of Gorakhpur and Department for International Development (DFID), New Delhi.

A medical 'suvidha kit, consisting of Dettol, bandages,ORS packets, iron and multivitamin tablets along with female condoms and a manual (Mahila Condom: Ek digdarshika), was distributed among the women. The kit went a long way in breaking the ice.
While most urban areas are still reluctant to use female condom, the women of Sampooran Nagar town in Lakhimpur Kheri district accepted it without much fuss. At the Sewa Swasthya Kendra in Shinghai Khurd block, run by Navchetna Swayam Sahayta Samuh over 1,000 female condoms were sold in the past year.The female condoms, imported from UK, are sold at a subsidised rate of Rs 2 per piece. How long the condoms will be available is the moot point.

Kala Dalen
Pune: Mr. Anna Hazare inaugurated Maher’s " Kala Dalen " ( Training in Handicraft ) at its centre at Vadu on June 16,

Children address press meet (pix)
Delhi: Children have formed various platforms to save themselves or build their future and media and civil society organizations are playing a significant role in aiding the children's fights. At a press meet at Rajendra Bhawan organisesd by Plan International, CASP, Delhi and Grassroots Media Initiative, Bal Panchayat, a children's group addressed the press meet 'Children as change agents'.

The children from Badarpur, Sangam Vihar and Madanpur Khadar have constituted 5 bal panchyats and 10 bal sabhas comprising 1500 children. Bal sabhas have children of 8-12 years age group, while bal panchayats are formed by 12-18 year children. A single unit of bal panchayat or bal sabha consists of groups of 40-50 children. Through this platform the participating children work for the mental and physical development of poor and undernourished children of squatters and slums. They also coerce the parents to change their attitude and behavior towards children. Some children present their work in international fora.
Child Rights Information Centre (CRIC) is a crucial unit of the Bal panchayat that not only collects information on various issues affecting children but also publishes it.

Panel on senior citizen health insurance
Chennai: The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) announced the constitution of a committee to go into issues connected with health insurance for senior citizens.

Headed by V.Hariharan (former President, Sundram Fasteners), the committee will make recommendations relating to possible abolition of age limit, "portability" of health insurance from one scheme to another, "pre-existing" conditions and deductibles, medical treatment on a "cashless" basis, incorporation of alternative systems of medicine into the insurance system, possible incentives to senior citizens for adopting healthier life styles and incorporation of the concept of the "family doctor" in insurance schemes and integration of travel insurance like mediclaim into the health insurance schemes.

Members of the public and other stakeholders are requested to send their views to R.Srinivasan, Officer on Special Duty at

Donations for an orphanage

Delta Air Lines in the USA is sponsoring a new project named "Project Snuggles" in which they adopt an orphanage in one of their partner countries and contribute clothing, hygiene needs, handmade dolls, etc.
The following information is required:• Number of girls in residence;• Ages and sizes of girls etc.
Personnel plan to visit each orphanage personally the first time.•” We would appreciate any literature about the orphanage and the children housed there at the earliest”. Contact

Address change
Hyderabad: Mithrudu has shifted its office from Himayathnagar to Abids . Pls note the news address and tel. nos. Mithrudu (MSM CBO) ,An HIV/AIDS & STI Prevention Project ,H.No.5-8-595/ B/16, Nasar Chambers, Mubarak Bazar lane, Abids, Hyderabad - 500001
Ph: +91 40 23202303,Fax: +91 40 30224432 ,Mobile: 9396262300
Email:, Web Site:

The Humsafar Trust, Head Office has shifted to a new building because the Municipal Corporation of Mumbai have decided to re-develop the building. The new postal address and contact details are: The Humsafar Trust,III and IV floor, Municipal Transit Building, Nehru Road, Vakola, Santacruz (East), MUMBAI - 400 055 Telephone numbers, E-Mail address will remain the same.

Jumbled for dogs
Mumbai: The Welfare of Stray Dogs (WSD) an animal welfare NGO that sterilises and immunizes stray dogs, has an adoption program for abandoned pets and pariahs, and on-site first–aid program and an education and awareness programme in schools, colleges, streets and slums has so far sterilised more than 30,500 stray dogs and impacted the lives of thousands more through first-aid and adoption.

One of the methods of raising funds is their regular garage/jumble sale in various loacalities.The last one from May 25-27, 2007 at Bandra
Reclamation.For information call WSD on 23733433 or e-mail

Global AIDS Week of Action

Bangalore HIV & AIDS Forum with AIDS Activists across the world observed Global AIDS Week of Action from 20-26 May demanding stronger response, greater accountability and more resources; demanding the state to ensure the right to life and dignity of all people living with and affected by HIV-AIDS. Among the events held was a Candle Light Memorial, on May 20 at Cubbon Park, remembering all the people who lost their lives to AIDS and a cultural program by 'Gana Vinodini'. On May 21 at the Urban Health Reserach and Training Institute, a Convention on Food Security and HIV-AIDS was held concluding with a Public Rally on May 24 from Chamarajpet with a Public Meeting.

Nagpur: The local International AIDS Candlelight Memorial event was held by YMCA Nagpur on May 24 2007.The theme of this year's International AIDS Candlelight Memorial is "Leading the way to a world without AIDS." The memorial was followed by a
Community dialogue about HIV/AIDS,• Street Theatre• Presentation by speakers • Screening of documentary film• Call for community action followed by dinner
contact: 9923414559, 9860784400, 9960127766 or 9890915857.

Chennai: A collective of NGOs working among persons living with HIV/AIDS, sex workers and transgenders took part in a candle light ceremony held here on May 19 to mark the commencement of the Global AIDS Week of Action.
The campaign is aimed at ensuring quality treatment of and support for persons living with HIV/AIDS, in the State, according to A.J. Hariharan, chairperson, TamilNadu AIDS Solidarity Action (TASA). Esther Mariaselvam, programme manager, Action Aid India, said the campaign should end all human rights violations against the persons living with HIV/AIDS and women
Noorie, secretary, TASA, and A. Bhakthavatsalam, vice-chairperson, TASA, addressed the participants of the ceremony that was held in Thiru. Vi. Ka. Park at Shenoy Nagar.
Actor Prashanth lit the first candle and inaugurated the campaign. Over 150 people lit candles at Abhirami Mega mall on Sunday evening to mark the passing away of people with HIV/AIDS.

Kolkata International AIDS Candlelight Memorial Day 2007 presented by Prantakatha and SAATHII, Courtesy: Elton John AIDS Foundation, London on May 21, 2007. at Gyan Mancha was about Fighting for Affordable Medicines and Treatment for One and All and that all sections of society must become aware and alert about the implications of the revised Indian Patents Act.
At the welcome address members of SPARSHA shared their experiences, focussing on the urgent need for affordable access to life saving drugs. The Candlelight Ceremony at 7 pm honoured the struggles of those whom lost to HIV and those still living with it. Followed by a Film Screening (7.25 pm): “Patents, R&D and Damned Li(v)es”, Contact information for AMTC Helpline: Phone: 98309 07208 Email:
Pranthakatha Bappaditya Mukherjee, 98309 07208, 98307 80051;; SAATHII Pawan Dhall, Subhadip Roy; 033 2334 7329; ;
Pawan Dhall

Nandan: The Bengal Network for People living with HIV/AIDS (BNP+)organized a three hour-long programme on May 21, 2007 at Nandan-Rabindra Sadan Prangon

Assam: At least 29 different civil society groups, including people living with HIV, have formed an alliance in Assam to jointly fight HIV/AIDS .As part of the awareness drive, the Alliance is organising the Global AIDS Week of Action from May 20 to 26 in Assam beginning with the 24th International Candlelight Memorial march in the state in memory of those who died of AIDS.

Peoples News Network
The People's News Network is an attempt to set up a public service media organization. Many persons including Dr. Banwari Lal Sharma, Dr. Vandana Shiva, Arundhati Roy, Prashant Bhushan, Sanjay Kak, Harsh Dobhal (of Human Rights Law Network), Amit Sengupta, Bharat Gogra, Javed Nagvi, Madhu Bhaduri, Shivakant Jha, V P Srivastava are involved in setting up this network. To begin with, PNN would be run essentially as a news service which would disseminate information, news, analysis and views of major interest to organizations and individuals working on and interested in public interest issues, as well as to small and medium newspapers, magazines and media organizations who might be interested in carrying news, information, analysis and views of this kind. PNN Hindi is the Hindi language news service of People's News Network.
Welcome to list

Eye Camp in WBengal (pix)
It was on Sunday, the 8th April, 2007, an eye camp was organized at SHIS Eye Care Hospital with joint collaboration of Pragati Sangha. 697 patients were examined and the deserving ones were operated upon for cataract surgery. The operated patients were checked up as a part of follow up, on 18th April.
The camp was inaugurated by the Chairman of Rajarhat Gopalpur Municipal Corporation, Sri Tapas Chattopadhyay in presence of MA Wohab, Director SHIS, the Secretary of Pragati Sangha Sri Bapi Ray and many other distinguished personalities.

Positive Women Network (PWN+) organised the programme in association with Satyam Foundation, a corporate social responsibility (CSR) group of Satyam Computers.
S. Swaminathan, general manager, Satyam Computer, said: "Within the CSR group, we have a red ribbon club on AIDS awareness. We chose a mall as the young have misconceptions about AIDS. Satyam has an AIDS workplace policy against discrimination of HIV positive."
About 20 employees and their families were at the mall interacting with volunteers from PWN+.
A street play was also staged.Source:The Hindu,Chennai, May 21,2007

Shristi - now goes to the villages (pix)
Bangalore: Newer programmes have been added to Shristi Special Academy for the mentally challenged and autistic. Sathi, the early interventionprogramme for children0-6 years for chidlrenwith delayed development to minimize deficits and preventing secondary handicaps trhough training. Prakruthi is the program where autistics are offered an intensive funcational programme that includes sensory integration and behaviour modification. Prayathna is the Respite Care Unit that provides exclusive rehabilitation therapy for children who have severe mentalretardation…and Dhruti gives vocational training for those above 12 years. Presently 120 mentally challenged and autistic individuals come to their two campuses.
Now from their Channenahalli branch, Shristi has undertaken to provide holistic Community based rehabilitation services to the villages around their Channenahalli campus in Bangalore South District. Their multidisciplinary team of special educators, psychologists and therapists will work with parents, medical specialists and dieticians to help parents achieve goals with their children. Presently 40 normal children attend their balwadi. Contact Shristi, Bangalore 080- 2830524 or email Interact Worldwide, an international NGO with 30 years of experience of working on SRH&R and HIV/AIDS in developing countries seeks "Expression of Interest" from firms/organizations having past experience in reviewing and evaluating NGO related programmes.

Sealed offers are invited from professional agencies, organizations and research institutions having expertise in conducting midterm review of a comprehensive community based initiative implemented through a leading NGO of Orissa. Professional agencies, organizations and research institutions with expertise are requested to offer their organization profile, CVs of the experts working in the organization and their contact telephone number. This should reach the undersigned by post or email within 7 days of publication of the advertisement. Short listed organization/ agencies will be asked to develop a proposal. The details of the proposal(ToR) can be obtained through the website www.nysasdri. Org Interested firms/institutions/ organizations having the requisite expertise may submit their EOI on or before 28.6.07 to the following address.

National Youth Service and Social Development Research Institute (NYSASDRI)
Plot No.138, Flat No.301
Narayani VIP Enclave
VIP Area, IRC Village
Bhubaneswar- 751015
Ph. No. 0674 2553885

NREG scheme get tamper-proof identity cards
Chennai: 170 workers under the National Rural Employment Guarantee programme (NREG) in two villages will be the first to be registered as NREG members through a foolproof biometric verification device. After the initial hostility and scepticism, villagers in Kurkuri and Dhuparchak Mushahari in Phulwarisharif block of Patna district, gathered at the Panchayat office to place their fingers (all 10) on a Korean-made biometric device. Each finger was registered twice for getting the best value of minutiae counts (the whorls and ridges on a finger).Then the villagers were photographed and all their personal data was registered on their NREG Card. With the photograph and details scanned and attached to their names, the state created a permanent database on the workers.
After the registration process was completed, the verification was done immediately by entering the NREG ID number, and the beneficiary was asked to place any finger on the biometric device, a small machine that is easily portable to the worksite. The individual's photograph instantly popped up from the database on the computer monitor.
"The technology has been proven through a transparent system. Now we have to link it to our NREG process which will give every member a job card or a smart card and cover entire Bihar," Anup Mukherji, Commissioner of the Rural Development Department, told The Indian Express.
All that a panchayat would need for implementing a fool-proof registration and verification process is a biometric device costing about Rs. 20,000, a laptop computer of about Rs. 25,000, a webcam or a digital camera and a personnel for operating the devices.
An article on Kris Dev, a Chennai-based e-governance consultant, caught the attention of the Bihar administration. Mukherji got in touch with Kris Dev and asked him to prove to the state government that the technology worked at the ground level. "If your solution does all that the article describes, it would be ideal for Bihar where people find ways to beat all systems," Mukherji told Kris Dev.
Garbage Concern website
Mumbai: Garbage Concern NGO has now begun several projects under it’s Pro-Active Waste to Wealth Programme to convert organic waste into life giving compost through cost effective EM-Vermiculture Technology. In order to reach out to more people their Web Site was launched on June 13 by The Mayor of Mumbai,Dr. (Mrs). S Raul. Students of BMS, and B.Sc IT of St. Xavier's and St. Andrew's Colleges designed the website.. Those interested in Waste Management for Housing Societies, Institutions and Malls can contact 9820702096/28680636
initiative, which helps those hesitant to buy condoms from shops to get them at home

Board of Sakshi has appointed Mr. V. Nandagopal as Director of Saskhi from June 1
Mr. V. Nandagopal was the co-Founder and Co-Director of Sakshi for a few years, has ample grass-root experience in the development field, good knowledge of and exposure to Dalit human rights situations and monitoring mechanisms. He is also worked as Secretary of Union which is our primary collaborating organization and he is also play critical role in Dappu process.


CNDP Condoles the Untimely Passing Away of R Gopalakrishnan
The Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace (CNDP) - an all-national coalition of anti-nuclear peace activists in India, deeply condoles the untimely death of Sri R Gopalakrishnan, one of its leading members.
RG, as he was popularly known, was the moving spirit behind the Movement Against Nuclear Weapons (MANW) - the major constituent of the CNDP from Chennai, and also the Movement for People’s Union (MPU). RG was actively engaged with the CNDP, as one of its major props, from its very inception in November 2000 in its determined fight for a nuclear weapon free India, South Asia and the world in his very own incredibly self-effacing and completely unselfish manner.
He was ever unflagging in his determination to actively engage with the promotion of the cause despite heavy commitments of his professional career as a very senior journalist working with a major media house in India.

He fought nuclear militarism in India and South Asia without ever compromising in his opposition to the major nuclear warlords of the world. Similarly, he opposed communal fascism in India, without ever mocking at the simple faith of the common people. The CNDP conveys its heartfelt condolences to his wife Geeta, daughters Bhuvana and Saranya and all other members of his family. Achin Vanaik

Abhaas new project
Lucknow: A local NGO, Abhaas, realsiesd that there is a need to carry out HIV tests on girls and
women living in protection homes, who are mostly trafficking victims, . Undertaking this first-of-its- kind project, Abhaas has started organising HIV check-up camps at various protection homes and orphanages across the state capital.The first such camp was organised at the Leelavati Munshi Balgrih at Moti Nagar. Similar camps will be organised at other homes where trafficking
victims are sent. Pre-marriage tests in Assam

Guwahati, : The state government has decided to introduce a law that will make it mandatory for couples to undergo an HIV test before marriage. The decision came with a scheme for the rehabilitation of orphans whose parents have died of the AIDS virus as well as incentives for those who undergo anti-retroviral treatment (ART).

This was announced by chief minister Tarun Gogoi at a meeting of the Legislative Forum on HIV/AIDS, of which he is the chairman. The objective of the proposed law is to control the spread of AIDS in the state.

Speed post FP
Jharkhand: The Jharkhand postal department has decided to step into the family planning programme and has started delivering condoms and contraceptives to people, especially in remote areas. The department has tied up with Hindustan Latex Family Planning Promotion Trust in this initiative, which helps those hesitant to buy condoms from shops to get them at home.
"The idea is to promote family planning. Through post offices we deliver 16 products, including condoms, contraceptives, sanitary napkins and nappies, to people in remote areas," said Anil Kumar, director of the head post office in Ranchi. "We (postal department) will get 30 percent as commission on the products sold," Kumar said.

The postmen who carry out the innovative idea are enthusiastic about their additional responsibility. Said Deendayal, a postman: "We interact with people and make them aware about the importance of using condoms."

World environmental day

“World Environmental day” was celebrated on June 5th it was by Maher children and staff in a very special and meaningful manner.. Each child was welcomed with a plant instead of flowers The 300 women and children who stay together when it come to bathing, washing, sanitation, drainage and cooking channelize the water. Peels of vegetables and fruits are fermented for vermiculture, which is chemical free manure. This is being introduced to all the village. Even the human excreta is being used as bio gas for cooking besides cow dung and the residue goes as manure in the fields. The goal is to have a ‘Plastic Free Zone” where every tiny waste is turned into something useful.

Voices from the Waters (pix)

Bangalore: The 2nd International Film festival on water got off to a flying start a Guru Nanak Bhavan from June 7-11. Inaugurated by Nandita Das and Girish Karnad, there were house-full shows every morning for school children, followed by screenings for the public in the afternoons and evening. In between there was a public discussion in the lobby led by NGOs who spoke of their experiences on the field. The festival organized by the Bangalore Film Society, Films for freedom, FLEFF, Water Journeys, Urban Resource Centre and sponsored by Arghyam showcased 3 feature films, 27 documentaries, 32 short films and an exhibition of photographs in the lobby that showed Water in drought, flood, rain and relief. The last day featured a conference focusing on Water ecology and equity held at Ashirwad.

Paraplegic Sports

Mumbai: The Paraplegic Foundation organized Wheelchair sports on March 18 with cricket in the morning and throw ball and basketball in the afternoon. This was followed by a cultural programme and prize distribution. The finals was won by Laxmi Narayan Club, with Nina Foundation reaching the semi-finals. (Nina Foundation newsletter May 07)

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