Sunday, April 20, 2008

Voice of a weaver in Lohta area

I Rahmat Ali age 43 years old son of Mohd. Ismaile residing in Dhamariya (Lohta), Varanasi Uttar Pradesh. I have two children-
• Haider Ali age 10 years old
• Sadab Alam age 8 years old

I am physically so weak that always I am unable to do work. Due to weaving it is worst condition and now I am not finding work. I am suffering from tuber closes from last 5 years. I have already expensed 1000 Rupees for treatment of tuber closes in Jamia Hospital in Pilikoti. I get some relief but know I am suffering a lot. I have yellow (Above poverty line card).

I went for the treatment on weaver’s health card in Saint Mary hospital in karoutha. Dr. Navin Kumar Singh chief of Saint Mary said he will admit me in IPD and all other expenses will be borne by me. Approximately 5,000 Rupees was expensed in the treatment.

Doctors said after x-rays and blood test treatment will be start. I have no money for the diagnosis. Doctors of Saint Mary hospital call for several times then they prescribe for the x-rays and blood test and my money is spending in traveling.

I get the tablet of DOTS but this medicine is harming me, as I am not getting full nutrition diet. If I have to go out of station for many days then doctors are not giving more tablets of DOTS then required.

Due to economic poverty, running several times to hospital and not good behaviour of doctors are the reason that’s why I am not getting the proper treatment of tuber closes. Some time I have to buy medicine of Tuber closis from myself, every day morning blood come out with phlegm. I am suffering from cough from long time. My wife Ajgari is also suffering from tuber closes she is suffering from Tuber closis from last nine years. She also gets treatment in Ram nager and now she is not getting treatment any more due to economic poverty.

Monday, April 7, 2008


Thursday and Friday, 13 to 14 September, 2007.

Venue: Eklavya education center Ayer (Mushar ghetto), Varanasi

PARTICIPANTS: over 41 people participated, who were living in Ayer (Mushar ghetto. All participants were on leave.

Morning Session: 11:30am- 2 pm
Lunch Session: 2 pm – 2:30 pm
After noon Session: 2:30 pm- 4pm
Tea Session: 4pm – 4:15 pm
Evening Session: 4:15 pm- 6:30 pm

The purpose of Folk school is to share and uncensored the victims of police torture, caste conflict and village head do things with his own wishes etc in front of each other and tries to find out the common solution & strategy.


Chandra Devi: Chandra Devi about 55 years old lady. Her whole family is suffering from police torture. She said her younger third son Umesh is naughty and 15 years back he ran away from his house. We have no information about him that where he is, what he is doing. Police daily come and torture us and take any male from our family to police station.

My second son Paharu was bathing than police came and take Paharu with himself. Police gave him drug material and clear that he is smuggling drugs and kept him 8 days in jail. It was not under his right; Police can only keep for 24 hours in jail. He works in brick making factory Second times in Gyanpur police gave 12-canvas bag and took him to illegal factory. Police involve him in fake case; Paharu was send to Mirzapur jail.

Till now Chandra Devi family didn’t know that his son Paharu is involved in fake case. Chandra Devi went to Cholapur police station to know about his son. Policeman said I am not in charge of this police station but my duty is in another police station, she said policeman was saying wrong. Chandra Devi said to policeman that you people have disappeared my son policeman was silent. She wrote missing report in police station. After hard labour and spending 13,000 Rupees she find her second son Paharu. Now this family is not finding work in brick making factory and result of this is that Chandra Devi family is suffering from starvation. Than also policeman is threatening them. Villager threats Chandra Devi family in the name of police, Kotedar sells their ration of Chandra Devi and don’t give ration to them. Chandra Devi family is living their life under the of terror and hunger.

Once collector sahib came to our village and calls me. He said that how son you have born. She replies that when I was pregnant that I don’t know my child will be like this. They become like that after coming on land. Listening this entire collector sahib was silent. At last collector sahib gave 49 Rupees and said inform police after finding Umesh.
Than chandra Devi said that from 15 years I have no information about him than how can I find him in just only 40 Rupees. She said that mine caste makes bricks, we make mahal of others but we have no proper mud to lives in. than also this old women alone went to police station, court and set her son free without any body assistance. Because leader and policeman ask money in return of assistance.
How can we live in this land when society and policeman have jealousy with us?

Sudama Devi: She cried after describing 15 years back incidence. His relative did wickedness, policeman daily come and threat Sudama Devi family. After six month Police came and arrest her husband for eight days. As he was the only earning person in the family? In between Sudama Devi son fall sick, she took debt for her son treatment after working in brick making factory she pay the debt. For 8 days she daily went to police station and she have to prove that her husband is not thief. In evening policeman said to victim, “go home” than victim said after arresting innocent person you are saying, “go home or outside”.

Gita Patel: After remembering her childhood days she said that in 1985 her three-generation threat in fake case in court. Every day police abuse to women because men live outside in fear of policeman. Her family set free from village panchayat.

Asha: She said that villagers have conspiracy with our community people, they want to make road in my land. Road go from elite people land. They want to build road in my land and plough on Government land.

Somaru Prasad: he said, “No conflict is possible without courage”. Five years back the son of Singh fire holika of chamar ghetto one day before. When we Protest than Singh children beat us. After knowing this incident angry Chamar ghetto people went and ask reason why their son beat our people. Justice talk was done with police officer and Singh. Singh people accept their mistake.

Dharma Devi: Aura road is always full of water. In the gallery of village drainage is dig and which was left in-between. Condition is these children came outside from house and bath in the drainage water. Villagers talk to village head that they want to get rid of this problem. Than village head said that till now no budget came for the construction of drainage. Due to less budget construction of drainage stopped in between. SHG scheme is running in Ayer and the responsibility of sister Manju is to keep the record but she lost the register of SHG. So Income and expenditure of 4 and 5 month is not getting clear. Toilet facility is also not provided.
Kalawati: Few years ago at 6 am people from Kurmi caste and fired Mushar ghetto. The result of this fire was the entire utensil, bed sheet, and ration was burned in fire, only clothes which were worn by us was safe. Till now we are not unable to make home or nor they get form Indra Awas yojana.

The result of this incidence is when these Mushar people went to take dry wood to cook food than some young generation people from Kurmi came and start fighting with us.
In fight one Kurmi Bachanu died, we have no intention killed him. Next day before 6 am Mushar people were sitting in front of fire than Kurmi people came and informed that Kurmi Bachanu died. All Mushar people ran to police station getting chance Kurmi people lit fire in Mushar ghetto. The results of this fire was19 house were burn in this fire and with the assistance of fire brigade the fire was off. 6,000 Rupees were announce to be paid as compensation, till now they didn’t get single Rupee.

No allotment of home under the scheme of Indira Awas Yojana. She don’t have below poverty line card, only two or three person have below poverty line card. She has only one son and he died some years back. She grievance to village head that there is no facility of drinking water, widow and old age pension is not provided to needy person. She works in brick making factory, when she makes 1,000 bricks than after labour she get 120 to 140 Rupees in three days. Other wise she gets 20 Rupees by making hundred of plates from leaves. Her livelihood is maintained by selling this plate in Varanasi by expensing fair. The cost of per kg leaves is 2 to 3 Rupees. Now she fined less leaves to make plate. She gets complete food (rice, roti, dal and vegetable) in a week.

After lunch Sushila, Urmila, and Radhika sing group song- “to keep our village in front, and decorate with the development”. Again discussion start-

Daya Bhai: is grass root activist in police torture. He gave information how to prevent from police protection. He told when police came to arrest that you ask, in which case are you arresting etc. you should also point at what time police man came, date, were they in uniform or not, vehicle no, give this information to any organization. So, that query should be done from police station. Immediately do telegram to DM and S.P after arresting.

Dr. Lenin: inform villager that only ladies police can arrest ladies. No police can arrest women’s in night. He asked how many people know that police have no right to beat, than three women said that they know. Gradually we people start knowing all these thing and policeman have no courage to beat us. Some women’s said that police always beat lenient person. Than Dr. Lenin explain that police have no right to beat lenient person and policeman cannot keep in his custody more than 24 hours. After 24 hours he should be called in front of District Judge. Police beat and take statement. Under article 162, but this is not the perfect evidence and court will not take it as evidence. Under article 164, confessing in front of court is the main evidence.
After Dr. Lenin explanation slogan was given “one for all and all for one”.

The curriculum of First day folk school finished and again tomorrow at 11 am again all people will gather in eklavya education center.

Tomorrow at 11 am all people get together at Eklavya education center Ayer (Mushar ghetto), again after introduction and Rajendra sing song and all people follow his song, discussion on folk school start.

Vijay Ji: Told villager about the importance of birth registration, and give Example- Confounded in Birth registration of a boy Kaju of Bagwanala and he was minor in age but in jail he was kept with adult. Birth Register is very necessary. So, this is first Government process of a person.

Manju Yadav: I am widow, but village head is not consciousness about us. I have above Poverty line (APL) card and on the card I get only kerosene oil. I am not getting family benefit scheme due to enmity behavior of village head. I went many times to village head and now I am very tired.

Kamala Devi:
When my husband died 4 years earlier, due to aids. Village head ask two rupees and photo, didn’t tell why he was asking for these things. Village head gave family benefit scheme to 4 to 5 people and departing us from this facility. I belong to lower caste (Rajbhar); went for caste identification certificate of my daughter. But village head not prove it and now I don’t go to village head for any work. I have above poverty line card and my son is ill. Village head allot land of village panchayt and house to land owner. We land less have not allotted barren land. Village head not listen our problem and he ignores us.

In between the discussion types of doctors and tell difference between wallet and learned doctors. Discussion on the function and the facility provided in Government hospital. Villagers get information about aids. Detail work function of Aanganwadi and Asha worker was told to the villager.

Urmila: in Haruha health center a delivery of a mother was done, doctor gave only 900 Rupees out of 1400 Rupees given by the Government during the time of delivery. When she ask about Rupees than doctor said that 500 Rupees was spend in the medicine that were used during the time of delivery. She also describes the work performance of two Aanganwadi center running in there area. They give coarse meal, halua of sattu and guava of cheaper rate to eat. When villager ask Aanganwadi worker they said only dose of 20 children come, villagers start crying than they give dose to 31 children. They only give 40 gram to children and 80 gram to women’s, the dose came is just doubled what they give. When villager uproar than Aanganwadi worker start doing properly.

Aanganwadi worker said when supervisor take 1500 Rupees to 2000 Rupees, CDPO maidam take 5,000 Rupees. How they will manage in 8,000 Rupees.

Gita Ji: Post office of shivrampur is in thakur ghetto; postmaster of this post office is thakur. My money order came from Delhi and he irregular distribute it. When I with my daughter went to post office than post-master behavior was not good with us, he threat that his son will beat you people. Postmaster spends the money for his own purpose and gave after 4 or 5 days, after giving money order Rupees postmaster ask commission.
She said that if post office from shivrampur thakur ghetto came to ayar, because people from general cast threat dalits people and postmaster should be also change. When I went to post office to take money order than we are wretched by them, call me “Devi of Delhi”

After discussion we hear the story of Sabbri from people of mushar ghetto. As, they worship Sabbri. Some people said that still we are not allowed to enter in ahirowli temple due to caste system. Like this many example are in this area. Upper caste people or people who belonged to developed class do not want that our child should educate. If we will educate than we will know their rights. An upper class person wants to keep the difference of caste system.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Spreading Love, Humanity, Hugs


Monday, 10 September, 2007.

Venue: In the ground of Haji Lallapura, Varanasi

PARTICIPANTS: over 41 people participated, who were living in weaving industry in Lallapura. All participants were on leave.

Morning Session: 11:30am- 2 pm
Lunch Session: 2 pm – 2:30 pm
After noon Session: 2:30 pm- 4pm
Tea Session: 4pm – 4:15 pm
Evening Session: 4:15 pm- 6:30 pm

The purpose of Folk school is to share and uncensored the victims in front of each other and tries to find out the common solution & strategy
Aftab Alam: First Aftab Alam explains the purpose of folk school by explaining the aim of word hidden in folk school banner. Victims means hunger, illiteracy, and due to not finding work. Somewhere the above problem is in its worst condition and in some place these problem have less effect, he also insist that the voice of victims should be raised. Fight for the victim and margined because these people always keep their legs back. It is necessary to uncensored the victims in front of each other and find common solution to the problems.

Siddique Hasan: Siddique Hasan told that PVCHR and we are not doing any politics. We are raising the voice of weaver’s problems, come forward and fight for the problem. So, weavers can keep their problem in front of Government officers, Government representative. He also add it is yours problems and you people should be in front. You have to stand against problem like corruption, bribery and traitor etc.


(A) Basir-ud-din: I am weaving sari from last twenty-five years. In ADI office in Rathyata weavers have to submit 50 Rupees for the preparation of Weavers identity card and Gandhi health insurance.

When I went to ADI office and paid 50 Rupees for Weavers identity card. From than to till now many times I went to ADI office, but I didn’t get Weavers identity card. Officers said that after survey you will get the Weavers identity card, after few days not eligible candidate gets Weavers identity card and needy weaver are marginalized from the facility.

Submitting the entire document than also they are not preparing identifying card of weavers and harassing us in the name of survey. If we people go in-group of weavers than they call us leader or mediator and ask to come alone. The head clerk of office bribe money and make Weavers identity card

(B) Mohd. Soaib: I am working as weavers for 17 years. He get ICICI health card by paying 60 Rupees. My daughter (Noor Jahan age 14 years) She is suffering from cold and problem in nose bone. For her treatment I went to Javed Iqbal clinic in Aurangabad, Varanasi, and her name is also mention in the card.

Doctors said this card is useless. Free medical facilities are provided by ICICI health card by paying 200 Rupees, but in weaver card 25% reduction in medicine and 50% reduction in doctor’s fees. Doctors not agreed with him in reduction in weavers card and prescribe his own medicine and said some percentage of reduction will be given during her operation. From one month we are eating less food and getting treatment of my daughter.

He said that every weaver should get below poverty ration card (BPL) and health card. If card will be made than atleast we will get food otherwise, for 10 Rupees treatment we have to sleep with empty stomach. I am wearing single clothes from seven years.

(C) Mohd. Asraf: I am also engaged in weaving from last 10 years. The main reason of our society backwardness is illiteracy and lack of awareness.

(D) Mohd. Ekram: I have worked as weaver last 20 years. From last 12 years I am pulling rickshaw, police man sit in our rickshaw and whole day room from here to there. When we ask money he abuse us and sometime and hold stick to beat us, like me other rickshaw pullars are facing this problem. I don’t have money to get license and we are fined and pay fine to municipal cooperation by taking debts. I have five daughters including me and my wife seven people. Two of my daughters are married and third one marriage will take place October. I don’t know from where I will manage the expense made in marriage.

When weaving occupation was in profit than we get three times food and now it is difficult to get one time proper food. I live alone in rent house in Lallapura by paying 200 Rupees per month and my family lives in my mother- in- law house. If export of handloom sari start than weaving occupation will rise. Weaving industry revive than he will leave rickshaw pulling. I am sick from many year suspecting tuber closes, I went to Shiv prasad Gupta hospital and didn’t get medicine from there.

(D) Mohd. Kausen: I am working as weaver in 15 years. Government should give subsidy in electricity. Government should direct buy sari without interference any middleman, suitable amount should paid to weavers directly and Government should also give other benefit.

(E) Karim-ud-din Ansari: People from electricity department take 2000 Rupees from us for electric meter, again they are asking 2000 Rupees for electric meter. We have no money to take food and the employee of electricity department is threatening us. We weavers are helpless what to do.
Secondly discrimination in Aanganwadi center here five Aanganwadi center without any signboard. These center are not properly cared by Aanganwadi workers but are cared by neighbors girls. The population of Lallapur is approximately 6000 in which 60 % people are weavers. Not even 1% of people know about Aanganwadi center. In this center only immunization of children is done not pregnant women. Instead of protein diet sattu and toffee is distributed and they did not go home to take children from home, no ANM come to visit Lallapur.

(H) Asarfi: I left weaving 10 yeas ago. I took loan of 2500 thousand Rupees from bank in which he have to pay 1600 thousand Rupees and till now only 6000 thousand Rupees are paid. From last one year my shop is not running good and I am unable to pay the debt. Bank officer threat him that they will close their shop.

(I) Gular Ahamed: I run ngo of handicapped. When I go to Shiv prasad gupt hospital for certificate of handicapped than doctors ask bribe. Who bribe get certificate of total handicapped and who does not give get certificate of partial handicapped. Handicapped assistance pension 2500 per year is not given. Weaver’s children are more handicapped. In Lallapura 300 children of weavers are handicapped

(G) Baktiyar Alam: I am weaving since 15 years. Four month back I have claim on health insurance card and till now I did not amount.

At last in meeting many weavers demands are given below—

1. In Varanasi Government market should be provided.

2. Government should directly buy handloom items from weavers not by mediator.

3. Government should promote export of handloom sari.

4. Government assistance and facility should be directly given to weavers not

5. Every weaver should get health cards.

6. One weaver organization should be made so; welfare of small weavers should done.


Essentially, the folk school approach is to improve equality in a society by improving the speech capacity of the poorer and the weaker section of the society. Improving their capacity to talk back and thereby creating a two-way discourse in the society is the way the concerns of the weak are brought to social discourse. The more silent the poor and the weak are, the less they will get from society.
Matters of justice depend very much on the capacity of concerned people to un-censor themselves and to speak out constantly. Normally there are many unwritten rules through which people censor themselves. For example, some topics may be considered taboo in some societies or sub sections of societies. For example, as an effect of feudal culture it is often observed that families of hunger victims hesitate and have subjective reservation to express themselves in respect of their acute poverty and hunger situations to which they have been going through. For example it may be an unwritten rule that some "lower class people" do not talk back to "higher class people". It may also be that some unwritten rules of censorship are enforced by punishments. For example some groups of people, if they talk about themselves and the wrongs that they bear they will be punished either physically or by other means. In all these instances the capacity to un- censor is an essential component of seeking justice. When a small group of people begins to un- censor themselves others watch and soon begin to un-censor themselves as well. In this manner taboos invariably dissolve. The initial stages of un-censoring require:
1. Location from which you can break the rules of censorship while assuring protection for yourself.
2. The will to break such rules of censorship.
3. Creating an audience for you, which may at the beginning, is small.
4. Keeping at it day in and day out until taboos slowly begin to dissolve.
Accumulate information and protect documentation. This is a very important area of trying to create a discourse on justice and human rights issues related to caste discrimination.

ALRC, a sister concern of Asian Human Rights Commission(AHRC) and People's Vigilance committee on Human Rights (PVCHR) organized a folk school for Musahars at Belwa village of Varanasi,India for three months.

In Belwa village Mushars ghetto till now only 8 malnourished children are identified and they have lost their lives against death. Till now they didn't see any thing in there life and fall in the hand of the death.

Mushars always kept away from the Government scheme because with the help of Government scheme their economic standard will improve and they will became self- independent and get release from the slavery of feudal landlord.

Under the planned politics they are kept untouchable for many years and called them as dalits of the village. Thousand of years Belwa Mushars are practicing the slavery system they will take some time to get rid of it.

Now this family engages with the elegance in folk school education. They are daily wages worker from 12 to 1 pm they come home to take lunch they directly come to folk school. Those who did not find work get ready earlier and sit on the platform.
Women's also leave their work of making plate with leaves, women's take 1 hour more to learn and they are learning faster. Imitating elder, children also start going to PVCHR School, according to their own knowledge they are guiding their parent.

Folk school start every day with pledge, every people repeats pledge. E very people of folk school sign on the pledge. Their teacher is Sri Virendra Singh, Sri Lottu Prasad and Sri Subedar Prasad.

On 8/8/07 NDTV do recording of folk school to broadcast. In folk school conversation asked that in this age you people are getting education how you are feeling about it? Then Kismatti Mushar said that since my childhood I did not get the chance to go school, now we get the chance to learn and know about our law, right, we can also educate our child and not be further depend on any body for any information. If any paper come from Government is not of our use then we will return it.

Gaharu Mushar said that in my childhood once time I went to school, one same day I hit a Singh boy on his head and from that date I never went to school, there is also a feeling of castesim, but now I get the chance and to be self- independent. I want that now our life should be away from the danger of leave plucking, this work is very dangerous. Now I am bored with this work if we find any new work we are ready to do it.

Raj Kumar Mushar said that we are facing caste discrimination, now we are reading then we will know about our right. Now I can read and write.

On every Sunday they will gather and get knowledge about laws like-- Bonded Labour, Sc and St, Child Marriage, women's right, Sexual harassment, so they can us this act for their own protection, in between they informed about dalit revolutionary like –Baba Bhim Rao Ambedkar, Jyoti Ba Phule, Savitri Ba Phule, Kabir, Raidas, Gautam Buddha etc.

These pretend to seem that Mushars are very much optimistic about their study and want to know about every laws and rights. Now they start thinking about their future generation.

First time all male and female of Mushars ghetto look in full confidence.