Participation in Peoples Struggles

Excerpts from reports of Vigil India activities and achievements in people’s struggle  

1975 – 1986

  1. 1975 – 1977 – Several consultations were organized during India’s emergency rule on the theme “Vigil and Eternal Vigilance in the Prize of Liberty”. These consultations and meetings were organized at ECC with the participation of people from different parts of India.
  2. 1977 - Efforts were made to form vigil groups and hundreds of  people were trained.   In Kanayakumari district in Tamil Nadu more than 3000 women were trained to address local issues.
  3. 1978 - Along with other organizations, Vigil India Movement raised a voice against Preventive Detention Act and organized consequent mass campaign across the country.
  4. 1978 – Mass campaign was conducted to protect the rights of Catamaran fishing community from mechanized boat owners in coastal Chennai .
  5. 1978 – At the Tamil Nadu State Conference Vigil India activists made case studies on caste exploitation.  At the Andhra Pradesh State Conference Vigil India activists protested against Harijan oppression in rural areas. The Kerala state unit demanded immediate commencement of elections in the Panchayats in the state.
  6. 1979 - A nation-wide signature campaign was organized to press the government for the ratification of the Optional Protocol of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights as given in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
  7. 1979 – The Vigil group in Delang, Orissa raised a voice against the mismanaged public distribution system and made the authorities to follow the regulations.
  8. 1980 – At the Orissa State Conference the group chalked out a strategy for the future of “Dadan Labourers”.
  9. 1981 – Campaign on reformation of election process at national level. Please
  10. 1982 & 1983 – A study team visited a tribal settlement in Agasthiyakoodam mountain ranges in Kerala.  The study team brought out a detailed report on the atrocities against Kani tribes and inspired the community to approach the government for their rights.
  11. 1983 – A national level opinion campaign was organized to address the Assam people’s liberty and freedom.   2000 letters were sent to Prime Minister for quick decision on restoring democracy in Assam.
  12. 1984 – Vigil India approached the government authorities to issue proper Patta for 59 Harijans in Marankur.
  13. 1986 – A peace march was organized in North India to call for communal harmony. Several peace marches were organized at the state level in UP, Bihar, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Punjab and several other states in India.
  14. 1985 - a study team visited Madumalai in Tamil Nadu to study the problems of the farmers there and a report was published. 
  15. 1985 - The year1986 was declared as the year of Communal Harmony and badges depicting this theme in various languages were distributed. 
  16. 1986 – Inter-religious peace team made a visit to Chottanagpur, to ease the communal tension between the Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh (RSS) and the Church in the Chhotanagpur tribal belt of Bihar. Vigil India found a possible solution to unite the people in harmony.

1987 – 1996

  1. 1988 - A team from Vigil India Movement visited Nadapuram taluk of Kozhikode district, Kerala on October 30, 1988.  Nadapuram was going through unprecedented clashes in which six people were killed, several wounded, many shops, houses and other property were burnt down or damaged due to communal clashes.
  2. 1988 – A campaign was conducted to protest against the displacement of tribal community in Madhya Pradesh.
  3. 1989 – A door to door campaign was organized by forming 6 groups to pacify the people during the communal tension caused by bomb blasts in Utter Pradesh.
  4. 1989 – A post card campaign was organized  throughout the country to reduce the widespread communal clashes instigated  by   religious fundamentalists.
  5. 1990 – A five week study was conducted to trace out illicit liquor trade and deforestation and to put a ban on this trade in the interior forests in Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
  6. 1990 - Under the initiative of Vigil India Movement, the Adivasis of Agasthyakoodam in the Trivandrum district of Kerala organized a Dharna in front of the secretariat in Trivandrum on April 16, 1990 demanding a permanent solution to their problems and submitted a memorandum to the ministers concerned.
  7. 1990 - Signature campaigns were organized at different educational institutions and departments in all the states as Citizens Appeal to bring amicable solution for the Ramjenmbhoomi and Babrimasjid issue in the early 1990s.
  8. 1990 – A campaign was organized in support of 33% reservation for women in parliament.
  9. 1991 - A workshop to study some of the provisions of our Constitution was organized with eminent legal people as members.  It was completed in 1993 and the recommendations were presented to the President of India in November 1993.
  10. 1996 - A high level consultation was organized by Vigil India Movement on preparation of a text book on human rights .

1997 – 2006:

  1. 1997 - The Board of Trustees of Vigil India Movement gave its approval for a proposal to establish an Institute of Human Rights, to mark the organization’s twentieth anniversary.  The idea of a human rights institute was mooted by the Hon. Director, Dr. Mathews George Chunkara at the national consultation held in Hyderabad in August 1996.
  2. 1998 - The Institute of Human Rights, a special project of Vigil India Movement, was launched on July 12, 1998.
  3. 1998 – Support was extended to save Cubbon Park in Bangalore in order to create awareness on Environmental Rights.
  4. 1999 – Vigil India Movement extended support to a village community living on the banks of Chaliyar river in Kerala  and joined in the agitation for the closure of  Birlas’ Grasim factory at Mavoor, near Kozhikode, which was polluting the river and  the air.
  5. 1999 - Vigil India Movement has been releasing Human Rights Year Book since 1999.
  6. 1999 - Mr. Arun Kumar Singh from Bagaha reported that under the auspices of Vigil India Movement, Bihar unit, a National Defense Fund (NDF) committee was formed and a sum of Rs. 1,45,100/- was collected from various sections of society.  An inter-religious awareness campaign regarding national solidarity was also conducted. Four processions were organised with the participation of school children. The amount was sent to the Prime Minister's Relief Fund.
  7. 2000 – Vigil India established Research and Documentation unit to start publishing books, periodicals and newsletters as and when required.
  8. 2000 – A campaign on Adivasi land rights was organized in Kerala.
  9. 2001 – A campaign was organized against sexual harassment in the work place. Vigil India Movement groups conducted awareness programmes on Women’s Rights and Sexual harassment.  
  10. 2001 – A protest against Prevention of Terrorism Ordinance (POTO) bill was organised.
  11. 2001 – A campaign was organized against using banned drugs on Cancer Patients and a petition was submitted to the Chief Minister of Kerala to take necessary action.
  12. 2001 – Vigil India Movement was actively involved in the fact finding team to study and to ascertain the facts, where a Dalit woman was reported to have been paraded naked in Bellary district in Karnataka.
  13. 2001 – Campaign on Adivasi women rights and monitoring socio – economic rights. A series of meetings were organized to highlight the plight of Kani adivasis and to educate them. Also a large procession was organized to protest against the assault on an Adivasi worker in Kerala.
  14. 2002 - The Vigil group at Bagaha in West Champaran district of Bihar helped two tribal women who were almost burnt to death in Barathapur village after being accused of practicing witchcraft.  The Vigil group helped in filing a complaint in the Magistrate’s Court at Bagaha.
  15. 2002 – 10 new vigil groups were formed in Nagarkoil municipal area in Tamil Nadu.
  16. 2003 – Vigil India Movement along with other human rights organization studied and ascertained the facts in connection with the police atrocities on tribals in Muthanga Wild Life Sanctuary in Kerala.
  17. 2003 – A campaign was conducted to stop violence against women in Channapatna, Karnataka.
  18. 2004 – A nationwide campaign was organized for the withdrawal of POTA bill.
  19. 2004 – A campaign was organized at national level against Death Penalty.
  20. 2005 – Vigil India Movement was involved in the fact finding team to study the encounter killings of naxalities in Karnataka and the allegations of police harassments to the people and to civil society organizations in Kudhermukh  area in Karnataka.
  21. 2005 – Regional consultations were organized to strengthen the Vigil groups and also to analyse human rights situations in the respective regions.
  22. 2005 – Organized  nation wide campaign against Anti-felony law and urged the Prime Minister to stop the bill.
  23. 2005 - The National Office appealed to the National Minority Commission to intervene and prevent harassment of Christian institutions in Rajasthan.
  24. 2006 – Oranised a national level seminar on Overcoming Corruption in Public Life in Bangalore.

2007 – 2009

  1. 2007 – Organised Human Rights Training programme at Chennai and at Lucknow for Human Rights Defenders.
  2. 2008 –  Organised a seminar on Right to Water is Right to Life at Lucknow
  3. 2009 – A month long programme was organized for the Canadian Law Students from Queens University to conduct a research on “The Separation of Powers in India: Judicial Activism through the Entrenchment of Social and Economic Rights as Compared with the Canadian Experience”. 

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