Invitation to the 9th Monthly Discourse on Human Rights

July 21, 2010

Sichrem in conjunction with the Indian Social Institute are holding the 9th monthly discourse on human rights.

We are pleased to announce that the guest speaker is the eminent journalist Anto Akkara. The topic for discussion will be “Kandhamal-A graveyard of Indian Secularism”. The theme has been chosen to coincide with the upcoming 2nd anniversary of the Kandhamal massacre.  

Date: 30th July

Time: 4.00pm

Venue: “A” Hall, 2nd Floor Ambedkar Block, Indian Social Institute, #24 Benson Town, Bangalore.

The discussion should provide and invaluable insight into the tensions we have in India, between the secular constitution and the growing role of religion in politics.  We look forward to seeing you all there.


8th Monthly Discourse on Human Rights

June 28, 2010

SICHREM in conjunction with the Indian Social Institute held the 8th monthly human rights discourse. The topic for discussion was  “The Psychology of Torture: Democratization for Constructing Cultures of Peace”.

The speaker Nananda Reddy, challenged the audience to reflect inwards and question their own capacity for compassion and selflessness.

Using the film Schindler’s List as the paradigm by which to judge our won morality she asked us to question whether we are the compassionate Oscar Schindler or the masochistic SS guard.

It was a thought provoking talk, which motivated all present to spend some time of introspection and reflection in the hours that followed. We thank the speaker and all those who came. We look forward to seeing you all next month.

Nananda Reddy addresses the audience

Invitation to the 8th Monthly Human Rights Discourse.‏

June 21, 2010

SICHREM in conjunction with the Indian Social Institute will be holding the 8th Monthly Human Rights Discourse:

Date: 25th June 

Time: 4.00pm.

Venue: Volken Auditorium, Indian Social Institute, No. 24, Benson Town, Bangalore 46.

The topic for discussion will be  “The Psychology of Torture: Democratization for Constructing  Cultures of Peace”. The speaker is the eminent campaigner Ms. Nananda Reddy, who is the Director -Development for The Concerned Working Children (CWC). She is also the former chairperson of the International Working Group on Child Labour (IWGCL).

It should prove to be a fascinating discussion. We look forward to seeing you all there.

The Political Economy of the Right to Education in India

June 2, 2010

SICHREM hosted a talk by Dr Niranjanaradya on Friday May 28th. It was part of our ongoing Human Rights Discourse in which SICHREM invites various guest speakers to discuss issues affecting human rights.

Dr Niranjanaradya discussed the Political Economy of the Right to Education Act. He railed against the apparent onset of privatisation in the Indian education system, which he thought the Act precipitated. He also spoke passionately about the need to desegregate the schooling system so that students from poorer backgrounds will no longer be disadvantaged solely because of their background. He strongly advocated a comprehensive education system for all Indian children and argued that education is a social good, which should remain in the public sector.

We thank him for his lively and thought provoking talk and we look forward to seeing more people attend our next Human Rights Discourse event.

Dr Niranjanaradya highlights some of his concerns about the RTE Act

An interested crowd digests some of the criticisms made of the RTE

Srilatha Batliwala’s “Gains and Losses in the Struggle for Women’s Rights”

May 3, 2010

Srilatha Batliwala has worked in the field of gender equality and social justice for over thirty years since graduating with her Masters of Social Work from the Tata Institute of Social Science in Bombay in 1975.

While Srilatha’s early work was based in India, since the mid-1990s, she has primarily worked abroad, including as a Program Officer at the Ford Foundation, a prominent private organisation founded to advance social justice, based in New York, and as a research fellow at Harvard University’s Hauser Centre for Nonprofit Organisations, in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Srilatha is currently a Scholar Associate with the Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID).  AWID is an international organisation that is committed to achieving gender equality, sustainable development and women’s human rights.  Srilatha has been with AWID since 2007.

Srilatha is also a published author on a range of women’s issues.  Her recent AWID publications include “Changing Their World – Concepts and Practices of Women’s Movements” and “Capturing Change in Women’s Realities” – a feminist critique of current monitoring and evaluation approaches.

Srilatha is well-known for her work in large-scale grassroots women’s empowerment movements such as the Society for the Promotion of Area Resource Centres (SPARC) and Mahila Samakhya, the Indian government’s programme for the education and empowerment of women in rural areas, particularly of women from socially and economically marginalised groups.

Srilatha continues to serve on the board of a number of Indian and international organisations and is now living and working from her home in Bangalore.

Srilatha spoke passionately and warmly about what she considers to be the gains and losses in the women’s rights movement in India to an audience of approximately 70 people at the Indian Social Institute on Friday afternoon.

Srilatha closed her presentation with the following, pertinent quote:

“Work with us, not for us. We are the most important activists in the struggle for our rights, for equality in our families, communities, villages. And in this struggle, at first, you must walk in front of us, showing us where we could go; then, walk beside us, so we know you’re still there if we stumble or fall; but finally, you must learn to walk behind us.”

Sundaramma, Mahila Sangha leader, Kudalgi village, Bidar District, 1992

6th monthly HR discourse – women’s rights

April 22, 2010

The Indian Social Institute and SICHREM invite you

6th Monthly Discourse on Human Rights


Srilatha Batliwala

Scholar Associate,

Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID)


“Gains and Losses in the Struggle for Women’s Rights”

Date & time: Friday 30 April 2010 at 4:00pm

Venue: Volken Auditorium, Indian Social Institute, No. 24, Benson Town, Bangalore 46, Phone: 23536189, 23536364

Please do join us next Friday afternoon.

Indian Social Institute 24 Benson Road, Benson Town, Bangalore – 46 Ph: 23536189, 23536364, Email:, Website:

SICHREM I/F, Anjanappa Complex, 35, Hennur Main Road, Lingarajapuram, St.Thomas Town Post, Bangalore – 84 Phone: 25473922, 25804072-73, Email:, Website: www.

For more details contact:

R. Manohar (SICHREM) 9535037596, Vijaya Tilagam (ISI) 9620135138

HR and the RTI Act – Mr Ossie Fernandes

March 27, 2010

ISI and SICHREM hold monthly human rights discourses on the last Friday of each month – yesterday, the topic was Human Rights and the RTI Act, guest speaker Mr Ossie Fernandes, director of the Human Rights Advocacy and Research Foundation in Chennai.

Mr Ossie Fernandes and Father Francis Xavier, ISI, and Manohar R, SICHREM.

Mr Fernandes spoke to an attentive crowd of approximately 40 individuals  about why the RTI Act 1995 is such a radical piece of law – unlike other pieces of legislation which empower the State, the RTI Act disempowers the Government and empowers Indian citizens.  He also went on to explain how the Act is a lifeline for the poor and downtrodden and is an important tool for human rights defenders in India.