Archive for October, 2009

Andhra Pradesh Mothers-in-law Protection Association – Press Release

October 14, 2009
PRESS RELEASE

Launch of Andhra Pradesh Mothers-in-law Protection Association (APMPA)

Venue: Public Gardens, Opposite Jubilee Hall
Date and Time: 18 October 2009, 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Mothers-in-law in our country are being severely discriminated against, neglected and subjected to all forms of domestic abuse over the last decade. Unless provisions are made to protect mothers-in-law from discrimination, domestic violence, and legal harassment, and unless steps are taken to ensure their welfare during their post-menopausal years, we will witness serious deterioration in the health conditions of aging women in the country, and reduction in their life span.

Andhra Pradesh Mothers-in-law Protection Association (APMPA) is the first ever social forum created to protect the rights and interests of mothers-in-law in Andhra Pradesh. APMPA is the Andhra Pradesh chapter of All India Mothers-in-law Protection Forum (http://www.aimpf.org) which was launched on 6 September 2009 in Bangalore, followed by the launch of local chapters in Delhi, Nagpur and Lucknow.

Mothers-in-law have historically been portrayed as evil and bloodthirsty by media and popular culture. However, it is a scientifically and also statistically established fact that mothers-in-law are unnecessarily maligned and subjected to discrimination by the society.

The National Family Health Survey (NFHS) (http://www.nfhsindia.org Vol-1 Page 500) has conclusively established that a woman in the age group of 15-49 years of age faces 8 times more violence from her own mother compared to her mother-in-law. 13.7% women have faced violence from their own mother as compared to 1.7% women who have faced from their mothers-in-law.

Recent Research has shown that “daughters-in-law are programmed to hate mothers-in-law”. This is one of the most important causes of the stereotyping of mothers-in-law in the society.

Mothers-in-law are being discriminated against in spite of their generosity just for the sin of giving birth to sons and getting them married. They are being forced to part with their earnings, savings and inherited wealth and they are being thrown out of their own property at the behest of a disgruntled daughter-in-law. They are losing their mental peace and health, and many a time even their husbands and sons to untimely death or suicide when daughters-in-law indulge in making false allegations and defamation of the husband’s family. In many instances, the mothers-in-law themselves commit suicide.

Mothers -in-law in India face severe abuse from daughters-in-law:

• Physical harassment including assault, locking up the mother-in-law in a room, denying food and medication etc.
• Mental harassment including taunts, allegations, caustic comments, threatening to file police cases, disallowing communication with her son, grandchildren, defaming her and her family etc.
• Verbal harassment including name calling, insulting, abusing, etc.
• Economic abuse including extorting her money and wealth, throwing her out of her own house and forcibly occupying the house, etc.
• Legal harassment including inciting the police to threaten her, filing false cases under Dowry Prohibition Act, IPC Section 498A, Domestic Violence Act, and other related sections, sending her to jail or forcing her to run around the court for years together.
• Driving mothers-in-law to commit suicide.

The National Family Health Survey, conducted by the Ministry of Family Health and Welfare only counts women between the ages of 15-49 as women. Mothers-in-law who fall in the age bracket above 49 do not count as women, and their health and welfare is not a matter of concern for the Government of India.

While there are close to 15 laws that provide protection to daughters-in-law, mothers-in-law do not have any societal support or legal protection from any form of discrimination or abuse.

In the last four years, over 1,23,497 women, most of them being mothers-in-law, have been arrested under IPC Section 498A alone, without evidence or investigation, not for committing any crime under law, but only because they were related to a man.

Noted women’s rights activist Madhu Kishwar acknowledged that IPC Section 498A is heavily misused, and that a significant proportion of individuals who approach “Manushi” these days are mothers-in-law and husbands who are falsely accused of marital cruelty and dowry harassment.

Renowned IPS officer Kiran Bedi admitted that many poor and illiterate mothers-in-law, who are falsely charged under anti-dowry laws, are languishing in prison every year.

Several elderly women, falsely accused under IPC Section 498A (for the only crime of mothering sons and getting the sons married) approached the National Commission for Women, seeking justice. These women have long heart-rending accounts of how they are being harassed by their daughters-in-law. The NCW’s short, yet prompt and candid response to these mothers was, “Your matter does not fall under the mandate of the Commission”.

Similarly, in June 2009, a 45 year old mother-in-law was arrested in a dowry harassment case filed by her daughter-in-law. The poor lady was allegedly gang-raped in police custody, in Bhopal. The news, which was reported in leading newspapers, went completely unnoticed by the NCW or any other women’s organization that harps about fighting atrocities against women. No panel was set up. No probe was initiated and no action has been taken against this brutality perpetrated against a mother-in-law.

On 8 October 2009, a news report described the gut-wrenching tale of a 75-year-old mother-in-law, Jiwan Devi, who is another victim of societal and legal bias against mothers-in-law. Holding back her tears, here is what she said to the journalist who visited her:

“What is the point?…I and my sons were in jail for four years before we were acquitted. And my grandchildren were at the mercy of our neighbours and distant relatives. Why?… My granddaughter is 19. While all her friends are in college, she is still in class 11. This happened only because there was no one to take care of them while we were in jail. They were also in deep shock”’

There are thousands of Jiwan Devis in this country, whose lives have been destroyed, just for having given life to sons. These are the women whose woes do not fall under the agenda of the Ministry for Women and Child Development, the National Commission for Women, or any other related women’s organization, and they have nowhere to go to seek help and support for problems specifically affecting them.

APMPA will work towards the protection and welfare of such mothers-in-law in distress by creating awareness, giving them moral support and counseling. We will also urge the government to reform the present “wife-centric” domestic violence laws and demand equal protection for mothers-in-law from domestic violence.

The helpline numbers of the Andhra Pradesh Mothers-in-law Protection Association are 9704683163, 9753605415. Mothers-in-law facing harassment from their daughters-in-law can contact these numbers.

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Photos – Launch of AIMWA

October 14, 2009

Please follow the link below:

http://picasaweb.google.co.in/challa.uma/AllIndiaMenSWelfareAssociation#

News Coverage – Launch of AIMWA

October 14, 2009

We received excellent media coverage on the occasion of the launch of All India Men’s Welfare Association.

Eenadu, Andhra Jyothi, Vaartha, Andhra Prabha, Sakshi, Praja Sakti and TV5 published a total of 9 articles on the event. The translations will be posted here soon.

News of the launch of AIMWA was shown on Gemini TV, NTV, Saakshi TV and TV5.

All India Men’s Welfare Association – Press Release

October 6, 2009
PRESS RELEASE

Launch of “All India Men’s Welfare Association (AIMWA)”
11 October 2009
Venue: Public Gardens, Opposite Jubilee Hall
Date and Time: 11 October, 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. India is observing this occasion for the first time this year, and four organizations in Hyderabad – Save Indian Family Foundation, All India Forgotten Women, Rishtey and Children’s Rights Initiative for Shared Parenting – launched a month-long campaign on 2 October, the International Day of Non-Violence.

The campaign aims at educating the Indian public about how the problem of domestic violence has, for decades, been misrepresented, how domestic violence has been commercialized, and how Indian laws claiming to prevent domestic violence are actually promoting domestic violence and human rights abuses against men, women and children. We will also urge lawmakers and the Government to make appropriate reforms in laws and policies and push for gender neutral provisions to end domestic violence against men, women and children.

As part of this campaign, we are launching an “All India Men’s Welfare Association (AIMWA)”, a National level organization based in Hyderabad, on 11 October 2009.

Why do we need an “All India Men’s Welfare Association”?

Welfare of boys and men has been seriously neglected in India over the last two decades. While proudly championing the cause of women’s rights and women’s empowerment, the government and society tacitly approved the propagation of anti-male sentiments, condoned the resultant diminution in value of men’s lives and supported blatant violation of men’s rights through discriminatory laws and policies. The growing apathy of the government and society towards the sufferings of men has necessitated the formation of an All India Men’s Welfare Association.

It has to be noted that while men still perform some of the most risky and challenging jobs in the society, and while the Government of India collects 82% of its tax revenue from men, not a single rupee has been allocated in the name of men’s welfare in the country’s budget in the last 60 years.

The National Family Health Survey, conducted by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, does not consider men’s health and welfare important. Enormous focus on women and children, and the mention of men only in relation to how they should contribute to the health and welfare of women and children, clearly indicates the apathy of the Government towards men.

The homepage of the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) cites Vardhamana Mahavira, the sage of total non-violence, who said, “All beings are fond of themselves, they like pleasure, they hate pain, they shun destruction, they like life and want to live long. To all, life is dear; hence their life should be protected.” While Mahavira’s teachings seem to have inspired the Indian Government to assign a separate ministry to look after issues of Animal Welfare through AWBI, the same Government did not see any necessity to establish a Ministry for Men’s Welfare.

Several laws have been passed in the last 60 years in the name of protection of women and their empowerment. However, there are no laws to protect boys and men from any form of abuse or harassment within and outside the home. Men are being subjected to severe discrimination under law, and their basic human rights are being violated every day in the name of more and more legal provisions that claim to empower and protect women.

Thousands of men are becoming victims of “legal terrorism” unleashed through laws like Indian Penal Code Section 498A, Protection of Women Against Domestic Violence Act, adultery laws, laws against rape and sexual harassment, and even divorce, maintenance and child custody laws.

While society is applauding more and more women getting educated, entering the job market and challenging their traditional roles within the family and society, men are still being shackled to their traditional duties of protecting and providing for women, children and the aged.

The growing disregard and hatred against men in our society is forcing more than 56,000 Indian men to end their lives every year. According to statistics obtained from the National Crime Records Bureau, every year, twice as many married men, compared to women, commit suicides unable to withstand verbal, emotional, economic and physical abuse and legal harassment. Deaths of these men make for the brief stories we often read in newspapers stating that a certain man “killed himself due to family issues or financial problems”. While every death of a young married woman is converted into a case of dowry death leading to immediate arrest of the husband and in-laws, accompanied by media-hype, male-bashing and breast-beating, large-scale suicides of men do not cause any outrage in the society.

Domestic and social harmony will prevail only when women AND men are ensured their rightful, honorable place within and outside the home. In addition, when we ensure true gender equality under law, litigations will be reduced, legal terrorism and extortion through misuse of the law will be eliminated, and our human and financial resources can be employed for betterment of the society and the country.

The aim of AIMWA is to work towards providing protection for men and boys against gender discrimination, domestic violence, sexual harassment and other forms of abuse. The organization will also focus on related issues like physical and mental health of men, and the need for social changes, policy reforms and legal solutions to men’s problems.

News Coverage

October 4, 2009
(Translated from Telugu to English)

Saakshi Newspaper – 3 October

Hyderabad pullout Pg 14

Following Gandhi’s path…
Non-Violence Day Celebrations in every town
Rallys against Domestic Violence

(A FULL PAGE article. First 3 reports are on activities on the theme “Stop Violence Against Women and Children”, and then contrasting report).

Domestic Violence is not a gender issue

Sundarayya Vignyana Kendram, Newsline: “Domestic Violence is not a gender issue. Along with women, men and children are also victims of domestic violence”, said Challa Uma, President of All India Forgotten Women and Kirshna Prasad, Representative of Save Indian Family Foundation. They spoke at a Press Conference held on Friday at the Basheerbagh Press Club. “Organizations which make a big hue and cry about domestic violence against women treat domestic violence against men as something to be amused about” they criticized. They expressed concern that there are close to 15 laws in our country to address domestic violence against wives but there is not even one law to address domestic violence against husbands. They said that in order to spread awareness about how domestic violence has been commercialized and how laws that have been introduced in the name of protection have gone awry, they are observing this month as “Domestic Violence Awareness Month” and conducting various events. They said that they are launching an “All India Men’s Welfare Association” on the 11th of this month and an “Andhra Pradesh Mothers-in-law Protection Association” on the 18th of this month. They said that they were going to observe 25th October as Black Day and conduct a Nationl Rally in Bangalore. They said that each and every person should make efforts in order to save the Indian family system. Children’s Rights Initiative for Shared Parenting representative, Parthasarathy and Rishtey represrentative Satish Reddy also participated in the event.

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Vaartha Newspaper – 3 October
Hyderabad pullout Pg 8
October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Saifabad, October 2 Prabhaata Vaartha

On the occasion of International Day of Non-Violence, a number of NGOs have declared that they are going to conduct “Domestic Violence Awareness Month – India – 2009” throughout the month of October, all over the country.

Respresentatives of these organizations said that this year, for the first time, India is joining hands with International men’s rights and fathers’ rights organizations to conduct this event. Speaking at a Press Conference held at the Basheerbagh Press Club on Friday, Uma Challa (All India Forgotten Women), Krishna Prasad (Save Indian Family Foundation), Satish Reddy (Rishtey), and Parthasarathy (Children’s Rights Initiative for Shared Parenting) announced that they are launching the event today. They said that they are launching an All India Men’s Welfare Association, a national level organization, on October 11, in order to provide protection to men and boys against gender discrimination, domestic violence, sexual harassment and other forms of abuse. They said that, on the 18th, they are organizing a cultural program to spread awareness on the truth about domestic violence, and also launching the Andhra Pradesh Mothers-in-law Protection Association (APMPA) to protect mothers-in-law from social discrimination, domestic violence, misuse of laws against them, and other forms of abuse. They said that they will be observing 25 October as Black Day and conducting a National Rally in Bangalore on the occassion of the third anniversary of the inhuman, ill-conceived Domestic Violence Act. They alleged that Indian laws against domestic violence are irrational and discriminatory and violate the provisions of the Indian Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. They demanded that every accused person should be treated innocent until proven guilty in compliance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. They said that according to Article 21 of the Indian Constitution “no person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law”, and expressed concern that every year, over 1 lakh innocent persons (one innocent person every 5 minutes) are arrested under IPC Section 498A, including 4,000 innocent senior citizens (one innocent elderly person every 2.5 hours) and 350 children (one child per day) without evidence or investigation.

They said that The Universal Declaration of Human rights states that “all are equal before the law, and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law”, and urged the Government to treat all citizens as equals and provide equal protection under law according to Article 14 of the Indian constitution.They demanded that laws should be same for men and women.

(Right below this article is an article about violence against women).

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Surya Newspaper – 3 October
Hyderabad pullout Pg 3

Domestic Violence laws violate human rights

Nampally, Major News: A number of people opined that Indian laws against domestic violence are irrational and discriminatory, and violate provisions of the Indian Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. A conference, Domestic Violence Awareness Month -India – 2009, was held on Friday at the Basheerbagh Press Club under the aegis of Save Indian Family and a number of other NGOs. On this occasion, Uma Challa – President of All India Forgotten Women, Parthasarathy – Hyderabad Co-ordinator of Rishtey and Children’s Rights Initiative for Shared Parenting, Krishna Prasad – Chairperson of Save Indian Family Foundation said that women have 16 laws whereas men do not have any laws, that laws should provide equal protection for men and women, and that law should be the same for everyone. They said that Domestic Violence Awareness Month 2009 is being launched on October 2 by national and international men’s and parents’ rights groups. On the occasion of the International Day of Non-Violence, the NGOs said that they are conducting the campaign for two reasons – to spread awareness on the truth about domestic violence and Indian domestic violence laws, and to urge lawmakers and the Government to reform the present discriminatory laws, and make gender-neutral provisions for the benefit of men, women, children, families and the society.

(Right below this is an article about violence against women).

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Andhra Prabha Newspaper – 3 October
Hyderabad pullout Pg 9
“We Will Observe October As Domestic Violence Awareness Month”

Hyderabad, October 2 (KNN): All India Forgotten Women President, Challa Uma, Save India Family Foundation representative, Krishna Prasad, and Children’s Rights Initiative For Shared Parenting representative, Parthasarathy, said that they will be observing October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month. They participated in a Press Conference held on Friday at the Basheerbagh Press Club under the aegis of Save Indian Family Foundation, All India Forgotten Women, Rishtey and Children’s Rights Initiative for Shared Parenting. Speaking on this occassion they said that their month-long campaign will focus on educating the Indian public about how many lies have been spread on the issue of domestic violence, how domestic violence has been commercialized, and how Indian laws claiming to prevent domestic violence are actually promoting domestic violence and human rights abuses against men, women and children.

They said that along with women, men and children are also victims of domestic violence. They said that women’s organizations are spreading myths about domestic violence, and that according to their propaganda, men are always the aggressors and women are always the victims. Owing to the fact that men are not given protection from domestic violence, every year, over 56,000 married men commit suicide due to emotional, economic and physical abuse. As if this is not enough, in the last four years alone, over 1,23,497 women have been arrested under IPC Section 498A alone, without evidence or investigation, only because they were related to a man.

They said that domestic violence has become an industry thanks to women’s organizations, law enforcement machinery, legal fraternity, politicians and bureaucrats. In an effort to save the Indian family system, events will be conducted all through the month, including the launch of All India Men’s Welfare Association (AIMWA) on the 11th of this month for protection of men and boys against gender discrimination, domestic violence, sexual harassment and other forms of abuse, launch of Andhra Pradesh Mothers-in-law Protection Association (APMPA) on the 18th of this month for protection of mothers-in-law against discrimination, domestic violence, legal harassment and other forms of abuse, cultural programs, and a National Rally in Bangalore on October 25, marking the third anniversary of the Protection of Women Against Domestic Violence Act (PWDVA) as BLACK DAY.

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Andhra Bhoomi Newspaper – 3 October
Hyderabad pullout Pg 14

Awareness Meets On “Domestic Violence”

Nallakunta, October 2: Representatives of four NGOs have announced that they will be conducting awareness meets to enlighten the public on the issue of Domestic Violence. Speaking at a Press Conference held at the Basheerbagh Press Club on Friday, All India Forgotten Women President, Challa Uma, Children’s Rights Initiative for Shared Parenting Co-ordinator, Parthasarathy, Save Indian Family Foundation Co-ordinator, Krishna Prasad, Rishtey President,
Satish Reddy said that on the occasion of International Day of Non-Violence they are organizing a month-long awareness program.

They said that several organizations will be observing Black Day on the 25th of this month, in Bangalore, on the occasion of the third anniversary of introduction of the Domestic Violence Act. They said that they are conducting a National Rally against the inhuman Domestic Violence Act. They declared that they will be launching an All India Men’s Welfare Association (AIMWA) on the 11th of this month for protection of men and boys against gender discrimination, domestic violence, sexual harassment and other forms of abuse. They said that they will be conducting a special cultural program on the 18th of this month to educate the public about the misuse of the Domestic Violence Act.They said that they will be doing a massive flyer campaign for a month.

(Right beside this article is an article about violence against women).

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Prajaa Sakti Newspaper – 3 October
Hyderabad pullout Pg 8

Domestic Violence Law Neglects Men’s Rights

Prajaa Sakti, Alwal: Challa Uma, President of All India Forgotten Women, stated that the Domestic Violence Law neglects men’s rights. She spoke at the Press Conference held at the Basheerbagh Press Club on Friday. She spoke against the Domestic Violence Law, and said that the law is causing harm. She stated that men and children are also victims of domestic violence. She stated the women commit domestic violence as often as men do. She said that 26th October will be observed as Black Day. She said that they are conducting activities to spread awareness on domestic violence all through the month. Members of the organization Parthasarathy and Krishan Prasad participated in the event.

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Andhra Jyothi Newspaper – 3 October
Hyderabad pullout Pg 7

Awareness Programs on Domestic Violence

Barkatpura, October 2 (Online): Representatives of four NGOs announced that they will be conducting various activities for a month to spread awareness among people about the domestic violence law. Save Indian Family Foundation Coordinator, Krishna Prasad, All India Forgotten Women President, Challa Uma, Children’s Rights Initiative for Shared Parenting Coordinator, Parthasarathy, Rishtey representative, Satish Reddy spoke at a press conference held on Friday at the Basheerbagh Press Club. They said that on the occasion of the third anniversary of the Domestic Violence Act, they will be conducting month-long public awareness programs beginning 2 October. They said that they would be observing the 25th of this month as Black Day and that several NGOs will be organizing a protest in Bangalore on that day. They said that they will be launching an All India Men’s Welfare Association on the 11th of this month to protect men and boys from gender discrimination, domestic violence, sexual harassment and other forms of abuse. They said that they will be conducting special cultural activities on the 18th of this month to help people understand the truth about domestic violence.

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Eenadu Newspaper – 3 October
Hyderabad pullout Pg 7

Awareness on Domestic Violence Laws

Basheerbagh, October 2 (Newstoday): Save Indian Family Foundation, All India Forgotten Women, Rishtey and Children’s Rights Initiative for Shared Parenting alleged that domestic violence laws are promoting violence against men and children and human rights abuses. They said that they will be conducting various activities for a month with the goal of spreading awareness among the people about domestic violence laws. They launched the campaign on Friday. Subsequently, representatives of the above organizations, Challa Uma, Parthasarathy, Krishna Prasad and Satish Reddy participated and spoke in a Press Conference organized at the Desoddharaka Bhavan. They said that they would be launching an All India Men’s Welfare Association on the 11th of this month to provide protection to men and boys against gender discrimination, domestic violence, sexual harassment and other forms of abuse. They said that they would be conducting a cultural program on the 18th of this month. They said that they will be launching an Andhra Pradesh Mothers-in-Law Protection Association to protect mothers-in-law from social discrimination, legal terrorism and other forms of abuse. They said that they will be observing the 25th of this month as Black Day and conducting a National Dharna in Bangalore.

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News from other cities

Nagpur
http://www.saveindianfamily.org/about-us/siff-news/784-2009-10-02-15-50-19.html

Chandigarh
http://www.saveindianfamily.org/about-us/siff-news/782-harassed-men-kin-to-hit-streets.html

Lucknow
http://www.saveindianfamily.org/about-us/siff-news/779-2009-10-02-03-24-41.html

Bangalore:
http://www.saveindianfamily.org/about-us/siff-news/772-harassed-hubbies-go-gandhian.html


Press Conference – 2 October 2009 – Hyderabad

October 2, 2009

Please click on the link below for photos of the Press Conference held in Hyderabad on the launch of Domestic Violence Awareness Month 2009.

http://picasaweb.google.co.in/challa.uma/DomesticViolenceAwarenessMonthPressConference#