Shakti Vahini visions, aspires and strives for Just, Free and Equitable society. We consider it a duty of every citizen to have social concerns and strive for the progress and development of society. In our efforts and struggle to achieve the above, we draw our inspirations from our rich civilization, plurality of culture, spirit of our Democratic Constitution, National Movement for freedom struggle, lives and teachings of our great leaders.
My heart aches to think of the conditions of the poor and the low in India. So long as millions live in hunger and ignorance, I hold every one a traitor, who has been educated at their expense and pays not the least heed to them. No amount of politics can be of any avail until the masses of India are well fed, well educated and well cared for.
A small body of determined spirits fired by a unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history
ACCESS TO JUSTICE
Access to justice is a vital part of the SHAKTI VAHINI mandate to strengthen democratic governance. Within the broad context of justice reform, SHAKTI VAHINI’s specific niche lies in supporting justice and related systems so that they work for those who are poor and disadvantaged. Moreover, this is consistent with SHAKTI VAHINI’s strong commitment to the Millennium Declaration and the fulfilment of the Millennium Development Goals. Empowering the poor and disadvantaged to seek remedies for injustice, strengthening linkages between formal and informal structures, and countering biases inherent in both systems can provide access to justice for those who would otherwise be excluded.
SHAKTI VAHINI is committed to using a human rights-based approach in its programming, guided by international human rights standards and principles. Access to justice is a basic human right as well as an indispensable means to combat poverty, prevent and resolve conflicts. Justice is closely related to SHAKTI VAHINI’s mandate — poverty eradication and human development. There are strong links between establishing democratic governance, reducing poverty and securing access to justice. Democratic governance is undermined where access to justice for all citizens (irrespective of gender, race, religion, age, class or creed) is absent. Access to justice is also closely linked to poverty reduction since being poor and marginalized means being deprived of choices, opportunities, access to basic resources and a voice in decision-making. Lack of access to justice limits the effectiveness of poverty reduction and democratic governance programmes by limiting participation, transparency and accountability.
In achieving Access to Justice Shakti Vahini focuses on core issues related to Children , Women and Right to Information.
Access to Justice – Children
Indians constitute 16 per cent of the world’s population, occupying 2.42 percent of its land area. India has more working children than any other nation, as also among the lowest female-male ratios. Despite Constitutional guarantees of civil rights, children face discrimination on the basis of caste, religion, ethnicity and religion. Even the basic need for birth registration that will assure them a nationality and identity remains unaddressed, affecting children’s rights to basic services. India is also home to one of the largest illiterate citizenries in the world. Little children, barely able to stand, are married off flouting all laws. Little ones are sacrificed, trafficked and sold; as others are locked, abused, sodomised – the list is endless. And there are all those realities that never make the news. Therefore, any understanding of human rights of children cannot be confined to some children – ‘poor children’, ‘working children’ and ‘marginalised children’. Such categories only help us to remove ourselves from the problem. Violations of children’s rights are not limited to the poor and downtrodden. They happen in middle class and elite homes too, albeit in different forms, and the silence around these is even deeper. Also, any analysis on the situation of children must be understood within the context of the economic and political changes in the country. Of particular importance are globalisation and liberalisation, and the gender, caste and religious attitudes that prevail today. All these add to children’s vulnerability and affect any action that may be taken for them.
Access to Justice – Women
It is a paradox of modern India that a section of women are placed in powerful positions at the topmost level, yet large sections of women are among the most underprivileged. The status of women in the contemporary context is reflected in the state of their health, education, employment and life in society. The Indian women’s movement started with addressing the problems that women faced, like violence, property rights, legal status, political participation, minority rights, reproductive rights etc. Today, they have won several victories against an oppressive way of life and are poised to raise pertinent questions that will make their lives more emancipating. The Government has also amended several laws relating to women.
Access to Justice – Right to Information
Right to Information is a part of fundamental rights under Article 19(1) of the Constitution. Article 19 (1) says that every citizen has freedom of speech and expression. The Supreme Court Of India has held in several cases that RTI is implicit in the constitutionally enshrined rights. It empowers citizens to secure access of information from public authorities in order to ensure transparency and accountability in Government administration. Access to information ensures a participatory democracy, tackles the malaise of corruption, strengthens people’s trust in the government, supports equitable, just and people – centric development. Freedom of information lies at the root of the rights discourse. Failure of the State to provide access to information to the realization of rights as well as effective democracy , which requires informed participation by all.
STRATEGIES FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF VISION STATEMENT
SHAKTI VAHINI PROMOTES AND DEFENDS THE RIGHTS OF PEOPLE THROUGH
1. CAMPAIGNS to promote awareness and sensitization among
- Govt. officials/Administration
- Judiciary and Advocates
- Peoples Representatives
2. PUBLIC ACTION & EFFECTIVE INTERVENTIONSto secure and defend the Rights of individuals and communities through
- Mass mobilization
- Media Reporting and events
- Legal Aid & Action
- Effective Interventions through administrative instruments
- Financial, infrastructure and moral- Support & Assistance
3. CAPACITY BUIDING through
- Training and workshops
- Leadership Creation
- Alliance building & network formation
- Creation of Youth Volunteers & promotion of Voluntary Action
- Media advocacy
- Lobbying for Policy Decisions
- Influencing for law formation and amendments
5. RESEARCH & DOCUMENTATION
- Studies, Research, Analysis and Reports of the situation and facts
- Guidance, support and assistance for research and documentation