Consultation on Food Security Act 2009: Possibilities and Constraints

May 29, 2010

ISI Bangalore, SAPI, Caritas India and JRS South Asia, Actionaid, SICHREM, Open Space, Sahayi – Kerala along with many individuals and organizations working on Food Security are organizing a 2-day consultation on the Food Security Act 2009.

This is a South India level consultation and in this, an attempt is made to bring together individuals, activists and organizations and forums working on right to food and food security issues to examine the act and critique the gaps and propose measures for corrections. This is also an attempt to lobby for a pro people and pro-poor food security act.

Key people will deliver  lectures:
Ms. Kavita Srivastava, (General Secretary) PUCL Rajasthan
Ms.Anne Raja , National Federation of Indian women and Others

Click here to see the two day programme – Food Security consultation -Time table.

Date: 5th and 6th June 2010 – Saturday and Sunday
Venue:Indian Social Institute, Bangalore

Around 70 participants are expected to participate.  You are specially invited for this consultation. Please be prepared and kindly let us know if it is possible for you to participate. Conform your participation by the 30th May.

Correspondence:C.S. Saravanan (Coordinator)
Indian Social Institute – Bangalore
24, Benson Road, Benson Town
Bangalore 560-46
Tel : 080-23536189,2353664,23536364
Fax: 080-23537700

SICHREM summer camp for scool children and teachers: spreading the message of human rights

May 26, 2010

SICHREM’s annual summer camp for school children and teachers took place last week. Over the 5 days many activities were arranged and the message of human rights was delivered in an exciting manner, which saw the children thoroughly engaged with the program.

The children listen intently to another important message

The aim of these summer camps is to tackle prejudices and educate from an early age. It is hoped that by training teachers about the importance of human rights the next generation of Indian children will be able to break free from the hereditary passage of prejudices. We thank everyone involved and look forward to next summer.

The children and teachers involved in the programme

The children and teachers pose for the camera

Talk by Prafulla Samantara on Issues in Orissa 27th May 2010 at SCM @5.30pm‏

May 26, 2010

We are glad to inform you that Prafulla Samantara, the well known activist and intellectual ,who is connected with most of the people’s movements in Orissa will be here in Bangalore on 27th.

We feel it is a good opportunity to listen to his views and be involved in a discussion on the growing repression against peoples movements in Orissa.

Prafulla will speak about POSCO,Vedanta, Kalinganagar and other major issues in Orissa.

We are glad to invite you to participate in this meeting which will take place at:
Venue: SCM House, Mission Road, Bangalore
Time: : 5.30 pm
Date: 27th May, 2010

We request you to participate in the meeting and inform all your friends.
People’s Solidarity Concerns

Northeasting the Mainstream: A discussion with Prof Ramachandra Guha

May 26, 2010

A great opportunity to be involved in a discussion with the eminent author Professor Ramachandra Guha. The topic for discussion is Northeasting the Mainstream. It should provide the platform for lively and interesting debate led by one of India’s most prominent authors.

It is on Saturday 29 May between 6.45-7.45 pm.

 The discussion will be held at The Ants Cafe, Indiranagar, Bangalore.

Please try and confirm you attendance in advance as seating will be limited. To RSVP email

An invitation to the 7th monthly human rights discourse on 28th May

May 25, 2010

SICHREM along with the Indian Social Institute are holding the 7th monthly human rights discourse on Friday 28th May at 4.00pm. It will be held in the Ambedkar Block at the Indian Social Institute in Benson Town.

The topic of discussion will be “The Political Economy of Right to Education in India”.

The speaker will be the eminent Dr .Niranjanaradhya.V.P, (Fellow, Centre for Child and Law, National Law School of India University (NLSIU)).

It should prove to be a fascinating discussion. We welcome all that are interested to join in.

SICHREM complete the Bangalore Marathon. Well done to all those involved.

May 24, 2010

Our 76 runners braved the scorching temperatures yesterday afternoon to complete the Bangalore marathon. We thank each participant for giving up their time for the cause. It was a hugely enjoyable day and we hope that SICHREM’s presence at the event helped spread its message.

We also give special thanks to all those who were generous enough to sponsor our runners. Your donations will be invaluable in helping SICHREM pursue its quest of helping those who are disempowered and making human rights a household concept.

Many NGO’s took part, but we hope that our inventive costumes and boundless enthusiasm made us stand out:

Some of our runners promoting SICHREM in typically colourful style

SICHREM runners enjoy their day out

Spreading the message of human rights

Employer exploitation and insufficent government support: the plight of domestic workers

May 24, 2010

For years domestic workers have been subject to exploitation and systematic abuse, with their employers seemingly emboldened by the fact these transgressions are occurring behind closed doors. There have been many instances of child labour, sexual harassment,  and emotional and physical abuse committed by employers.

Furthermore, Government assistance for these workers has proved to be insufficient. The minimum wage is a pitiful Rs 150 per hour, there is no social security provision, maternity leave or educational opportunities provided for the workers’ children.

Therefore, SICHREM along with other civil society groups are campaigning for an end to violations perpetrated by the employers. We also seek greater government involvement in helping the advancement of these workers.

The Social Security Bill is in the process of being passed, but in the long run we need to be able to foster better relations between employer and employee. For example, employers should allow leave on public and religious holidays. The employer should also initiate better communication and try and engender a strong personal and professional relationship with the worker.

Moreover, the government should help the situation with much more comprehensive social security provisions for these workers. At present the domestic workers have no significant safety net and are therefore vulnerable to illness, unemployment and other unpredictable events.

Much needs to be done to improve the situation and cooperation between employer, employee and government is essential if we are to succeed.

These issues have been discussed in the press. See below for a couple of examples of the discussions.

SICHREM files complaint to Lokayukta regarding sub standard food in Anganwadis and breach of Supreme Court rulings

May 22, 2010

SICHREM have filed a complaint to the Lokayukta against several senior members of the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) of the Department of Women and Child Development which uses the ICDS to supply food to the anganwadis.

Complaints were also filed against the Director of Defence Food Research Laboratory (DFRL), and the Industrial Project Officer and Managing Director of Karnataka Council for Technological Upgradation (KCTU).

The complaints concern the fact that the Karnataka State Government has violated a 2001 Supreme Court ruling, which compels the ICDS to purchase food-grains from village communities, self-help groups and Mahila Mandals, so as to empower them. Instead it has chosen to award the contract to Christy Friedgram Industry of Andipalayam in Tiruchengode of Tamil Nadu.

This award is not only “ignoring directions” set by the Supreme Court in 2001, according to Matthews Philip Executive Director of SICHREM, but it has also resulted in the anganwadis being supplied with poor quality processed food. The sub standard quality of food is likely to increase malnutrition in the state.

Moreover, there are apparent irregularities in the process that led to the award of the contract.

SICHREM say that “the complaint has been filed on behalf of the children in the anganwadis”.

The Lokayukta continues with its investigation.

To read more about the issue follow this link:

SICHREM in the press: The public hearing on the violation of child rights in Anganwadis discussed.

May 20, 2010

SICHREM’s recent participation in a public hearing regarding child violations in Anganwadis has generated some press coverage. Here are a few examples of the media’s reaction.

Press article discussing the public hearing

Another article discussing the public hearing

Move or we will shoot: forcible displacement and police brutality in Orissa.

May 20, 2010

On May 12, 2010, police lathi charged and fired on 300 villagers who refused to be evicted from their homes in Chandia, Kalinganagar. One person was killed and about thirty were injured-some critically. The purpose of the police operation was to clear land for the proposed Tata Iron and Steel project. This project will displace upto 20,000 people and effect upto 1 lakh more.

On May 15, 2010, police lathi charged, tear gassed and fired on protestors who refused to be forcefully evicted by the State in Balithutta, Jagatsinghpur. Again this was motivated by commercial considerations. This time it was the POSCO steel plant project which will displace at least 40,000 people, largely from the forest lands that the State Government is trying to illegally clear for this development project.


· Whose interests does the State represent?
· What/who endows the State the power to carry out horrific acts of violence against the people it is supposed to protect?


· Withdraw all police forces from the areas of civil occupancy
· Give immediate medical attention for the injured
· Give financial compensation to those killed and injured
· Initiate a judicial inquiry into these two incidences
· File criminal charges against the authorities that ordered these police attacks and ensure their immediate removal from official responsibilities.
· The withdrawal of TATA and POSCO projects from Orissa and any other areas of the country where the costs of a project have become indefensible in terms of the loss of lives, freedom and democratic choice.

NO LONGER must we tolerate the criminal behaviour of the State machinery who act in the interests of major corporations while trampling on citizens civil liberties.

Protestors, organised by the Campaign for Justice and Peace (Karnataka), show opposition to the proposed POSCO project