The People's Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR) is an Indian non-governmental organisation that fights for the rights of marginalised people in several North-Indian states, especially the grassroots level in the city of Varanasi and in around 200 villages situated in Uttar Pradesh and 5 other states in India. The organization was founded in 1996 by Dr. Lenin Raghuvanshi, his wife Shruti Naghuvanshi and the Sarod Maestro Vikash Maharaj. To date, PVCHR has about 60,000 members including 5,000 former torture victims. To provide basic rights for all, the organization work by eliminating situations which give rise to exploitation of vulnerable and marginalized groups and to start a movement for a people friendly society (Jan Mitra Samaj) through an inter-institutional approach. The goal of our activities is two-fold: First, to have a strong grassroots organization to work for democratic rights of those in marginalized communities and second, to create the structure and dynamics to receive the assistance of a national and international institutions.
- Accurate investigation and documentation of human rights violations connected with advocating, publishing and networking for the cases of human rights violations on a local, national and international level.
- Creating models of non-violent and democratic communities (people friendly villages, torture-free villages.)
- Linking local and international human rights together Linking grass roots activities and international human rights networks and institutions together.
- Building up local institutions and supporting them with active human rights networks
- Creating a democratic structure for the ‘voiceless’ enabling them to access the constitutional guarantees of modern India
- Providing psychological support through testimonial therapy
- Empowering marginalized communities through education and access to information Promoting a human rights culture
".........the work of the PVCHR began as an advocacy group for low-caste peoples it has grown to include intersectional initiatives working against neoliberal capitalism, nationalism, and fascism, towards supporting justice for women, Muslim minorities, children's rights to education and food, labour groups such as auto-rickshaw unions and weaver's cooperatives, and victims of police torture, to name a few (PVCHR 2011). The PVCHR are just one example of grassroots organizations around the world working to enact change where the official avenues fail to deliver justice to marginalized groups. While I remain skeptical about some of the “official” mobilizations of human rights discourse I believe that the language of human rights can offer a framework for grassroots social justice struggles." from Inequality and the Caste System in India,Thomas Seibel