NGO Shakti Vahini’s success against Honour Killings!

SC rules against Khap Panchayats, 'Khaps can't interfere in marriages'
NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Tuesday frowned on honour killings and ruled any attempt by informal institutions such as khap panchayats to end a marriage between consenting adults is illegal as it violates their fundamental right to choice and dignity. It ordered authorities to take steps to protect inter-caste and inter-religious couples from honour crimes.
“Assertion of choice is an insegregable facet of liberty and dignity. When the ability to choose is crushed in the name of class honour and the person’s physical frame is treated with absolute indignity, a chilling effect dominates over … the society at large,” a bench led by Chief Justice Dipak Misra said.
The court asked central and state governments to take preventive, remedial and punitive steps to deter khaps from taking the law into their own hands.They must provide protection to inter-caste and inter-religious couples.

The police chief in each district should oversee the safety of such couples and take the assistance of the court to make preventive arrests to save them from harassment, the court said. There should be dedicated courts to deal with honour crimes and 24-hour helplines for couples to seek assistance, the court said, while directing all states to file compliance reports within six weeks.

The ruling will hold till a law is passed on dealing with honour crimes. The top court was dealing with a public interest litigation filed by NGO Shakti Vahini, which drew its attention to honour crimes prevalent in several parts of the country. At least 288 such cases were reported from Haryana, Punjab, Himachal, Delhi, UP and Bihar and other states between 2014 and 2016, the NGO said.

Feudal perceptions such as clan, caste and honour have to melt into oblivion, the court said in its ruling. “…any kind of torture or torment or ill-treatment in the name of honour that tantamount to atrophy of choice of an individual relating to love and marriage by any assembly, whatsoever nomenclature it assumes, is illegal and cannot be allowed a moment of existence.”

N.G.O Scans Heart of Punjab Police.

Punjab Inspector General of Police, Ms. Gurpreet Deo lead his team for a Heart Care Camp organised by NGO Disha – The Harbinger of Social Change & Development in collaboration with Kare Partners heart centre Chandigarh  at the Sector – 9 Police Headquarters. The Two – Day camp concluded here today.

 

Smt. Simrit Joshan, President and Smt. Lata Dua Secretary of Disha NGO along with the team of Doctors and Technicians from Heart Kare Partners including Gauravjit Singh operation head at  kare partners Dr. Ashootosh Bhardwaj, Dr. Gurpreet and Subash Dadwal with his team; conducted E.C.G and other blood tests of over 200 police personnel, during the two days of the camp.

 

The exercise was undertaken as a preventive measure to create awareness of proper care of heart diseases caused due to sedentary lifestyle and precautions to avoid chronic disorders. The good health of a policeman ensures efficiency and better services to the community.

 

Ms. Gurpreet Deo, IG hoped to extend such programs to the other establishments as well, all over the state.

 

World Social Work Day Celebrated at Panjab University.

 

“Professional Social Workers’ primary role is to bring about Social Change”, said Dr. Sherry Sabbarawal, Chairperson of the Centre for Social Work, Panjab University, while Inaugurating and delivering a Keynote address on the World Social Work Day Celebrations, organised in collaboration with NGO Disha – The Harbinger of Social Change & Development at Panjab University today.

Dr. Monica Munjial presented the Historical perspective of Social Work in India. Smt. Simrit Joshan, president of Disha along with the Chief Guest felicitated the volunteers, donors and supporters, associated with NGO Disha, during the year in organizing various activities like Summer Camp for Children, Health Camps, Awareness Programs; Reading and Recording audio books for the blind; and providing a helping hand to the Disabled as support; were distributed Certificates of Appreciation on this occasion.

A large number of students from the Punjab Engineering College University, Research scholars, Post Graduation Students and Students of Indira Gandhi National Open University took active part in the knowledge sharing session on Professional Social Work and Philanthropy.

 

 

Sons-in-law & Daughters-in-law also liable to maintain aged Parents!

A senior citizens’ group in Pune. India has 104 million people over the age of 60, according to the 2011 Census. Anecdotally, the number of instances of senior citizens being abandoned by their children is on an increase.

 

India is considering widening the definition of children and removing the cap on maintenance payable to senior citizens through proposed changes in a law on the welfare of senior citizens.

The ministry of social justice and empowerment has proposed doing away with the Rs 10,000 ceiling currently in place, and wants to link the amount to the sources of income of the senior citizens and their children, a government official familiar with the matter said on condition of anonymity.

According to this person, the ministry has recommended widening the definition of children to include adopted or step children, sons-in-law and daughters-in-law, grandchildren, even minors represented by their legal guardians. Currently, the term includes only sons, daughters, and grandchildren, excluding minors.

India has 104 million people over the age of 60, according to the 2011 Census. Anecdotally, the number of instances of senior citizens being abandoned by their children is on an increase, although the National Crime Records Bureau doesn’t track this.

The proposal will now be sent to the union cabinet for approval. It follows feedback from senior citizens and non-government organisations (NGOs) working with the disadvantaged elderly on the need to revisit the conditions for payment of the allowance under the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens (MWPSC) Act, 2007.

After the MWPSC was enacted in 2007, tribunals were constituted to enforce its provisions including payment of the maintenance allowance.

Senior citizens can file an application before these tribunals to claim maintenance and seek relief if their assets and immovable property are forcibly taken over by their children or other relatives.

Alongside widening the definition of children, the ministry of social justice and empowerment has suggested that any person (whether a child or a relative of a childless senior citizen), who has the means will have to look after the senior citizen or parent, even if they are not in possession of their property.

According to the official cited above, maintenance of such senior citizens has hitherto been the duty of children or other caretakers only if they were in possession of their property or were likely to inherit it.

“The definition of senior citizen itself has been clarified; those who have attained the age of 60 are senior citizens and will be eligible for all benefits meant for the category. This has been specified in the wake of complaints that some airline and insurance schemes were arbitrarily fixing the minimum age,” the official said.

Among the other suggestions made by the ministry are extending the right of appeal against a decision by the tribunal to the respondents. Earlier, only senior citizens could file an appeal against an order.

Commenting on the changes suggested by the ministry, Mathew Cherian, chief executive officer of the NGO HelpAge India said the government should first ensure implementation of the law and help spread awareness of its provisions.

“It has been 10 years since the law was passed, but there are lacunae in implementation. Even the posters or advertisements put out for awareness do not clearly explain the provisions of the Act to senior citizens,” Cherian said.

In January, HelpAge came out with a preliminary study conducted in Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Haryana and Kerala based on 115 petitions filed by senior citizens with maintenance tribunals to show that only 57% of the cases filed, including complaints of abuse of elderly, neglect, forceful possession of property, had been settled while 33% were still pending. The report said repeated visits to the tribunals set up for dealing with these cases was cited as a problem by 42% of the respondents. An equal proportion complained of delays in hearings on the appointed dates.

World Social Work Day 2018

The 2018 World Social Day highlights ‘Promoting Community and Environmental Sustainability’. This is the second and final year of this theme of the Global Agenda for Social Work and Social Development.

World Social Work Day will be on the 20th March 2018. It is the key day in the year that social workers worldwide stand together to celebrate the achievements of the profession and take the theme message into their communities, workplaces and to their governments to raise awareness of the social work contributions and need for further action.

 

 

World Social Work Day was launched by The International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW): in 1983 and later other social work organizations such as the International Association of Schools of Social Work (IASSW) have joined as partners to the event. WSWD has become a highpoint in the social work calendar with social workers all over the world celebrating and promoting the contributions of the profession to individuals, families, communities and wider society. The day is celebrated on the official date every 3rd Tuesday in March.

 

On this date social work organizations throughout the world mark World Social Work Day bringing messages to their governments, communities, and peer professional groups on the unique and signifi-cant contributions of the social work profession. The actions highlight social work’s approach to facili-tating sustainable community outcomes by applying a developmental and capacity building approach coupled with advocating for social justice and human rights.

 

The themes of WSWD are set for two years according to the goals of the Global Agenda for Social Work and Social Development:

2012 – 2014: Promoting social and Economic Equality

 

2015 – 2016: Promoting the Dignity and Worth of Peoples.

 

2017 – 2018: Promoting Community and Environmental Sustainability

 

2019 – 2020: Promoting the Importance of Human Relationships

 

Every year IFSW produces a poster announcing WSWD. It is spontaneously translated into over 45 languages, and presented to governments, political bodies posted on the notice boards of social ser-vices and in social work class rooms throughout the world. The event has become so successful in recent years it is now generally considered as highlight of international solidarity and cooperation of social workers.

 

Furthermore five Regional Observatories have been installed to collect the results and good practice examples of social work and social development practice. The findings are analyzed and set in the context of the actual social, political and economic realities, resulting in a publication which is launched at the biannual World Conference of Social Work and Social Development. (www.ifsw.org/shop)

 

World Social Work Day at the United Nations

 

IASSW and IFSW have special consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) (IASSW since 1947 and IFSW since 1959). Jointly the representatives of both organizations have annually celebrated WSWD at the UN in New York since 1983 and in Geneva since 2012. Sporadically WSWD at the UN has also been celebrated in Vienna, Nairobi, and Santiago de Chile. In 2017 for the first time WSWD shall be celebrated at the UN in Bangkok.

 

Objectives of WSWD at the UN are:

 

– To strengthen existing or to establish new contacts, cooperation and partnership with UN or-ganisations and with allied international NGOs.

 

  • To spread knowledge about social work, its values, principles and methods in practice and theory among UN-organisations and allied international NGOs.

 

  • To highlight social work actions, policies and achievements in the pursuit of common goals.

 

  • To disseminate the knowledge about UN activities, goals, program and campaigns among so-cial workers and social work organisations and schools.

 

IFSW, February 2017