December 19, 2008

Times of India dt.19th Dec, 2008
Law changes to aid rape victims
RS Nod to CrPC Bill Amendments To Ease Sexually Abused Victims’ Agony

New Delhi: The Rajya Sabha on Wednesday approved much awaited amendments in the Code of Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), providing for a number of path-breaking measures in the existing law to lessen the agony of rape victims.
Completion of trial of rape cases within a period of two months from the date of commencement of the examination of witnesses, hearing of the cases by woman judges (as far as practicable) and questioning of rape victims in the presence of her parents or a social worker of the locality are some of the provisions of the CrPC (Amendment) Bill.
The Bill was passed by voice vote along with certain minor amendments pressed by CPM member Brinda Karat.
It also has povisions of commuting of capital punishment of a pregnant convict to life imprisonment, victim’s rights to appeal against acquittal, beginning of a “victim compensation scheme” (to compensate the victim or his dependents who have suffered loss or injury as a result of crime in any part of the country), audio-video recording of statement of witnesses and trial of cases through video-conferencing. Winding up the discussion before the Bill was passed, home minister P Chidambaram said: “The effort is to make the Bill more humane to law-abiding citizens and more difficult for those who try to violate the law.” The Bill was introduced in Rajya Sabha in August 2006 and subsequently referred to the Standing Committee of the Parliament. Chidambaram said that the Bill was brought to the House after giving due consideration to the recommendations of the Standing Committee.
As far as bringing changes in the law concerning rape victims is concerned, the Bill also provides for investigation of a case at the residence of the victim and as far as practicable by a woman police officer. These provisions will spare the victim of the agony of visiting the police station and answering inconvenient questions in front of unidentified persons. Certain changes have also been approved for the speedy disposal of such cases without leaving scope for postponement or adjournment of proceedings. The amendment provides that the trial, as far as possible, will be completed “within a period of two months” from the date of commencement of the examination of witnesses. Once the Bill is passed by the Lok Sabha, the new legislation will provide for asking all the states to initiate a “victim compensation package” in coordination with the central government with a corpus of a fixed amount. The amendment also has provision of right to appeal for victims. Currently, the right to appeal lies with the state which directly fights the case with the accused. Under the proposed change, the victim can independently hire a lawyer and go in for an appeal in addition to what the state does.

December 16, 2008

DNA / Hindustan Times
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Every hour, 2 women raped in India : Report
Rape cases reported last year / 20,737
Cases registered in M.P alone, making it the rape capital / 3010
Cases in W.B / 2106
Cases in U.P / 1648
Cases in Bihar / 1555
Cases in Rajasthan / 1238
Cases in Delhi / 598
Sexual harassment cases registered in A.P, the highest for a state / 3316
Cases in which family members were involved / 405

Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Grant, Waters are back with new Anchorage
British nationals ,Duncan Grant and Allan Waters, who were acquitted in a paedophilia case in July, are now running a hostel for “young working men” in Cuffe Parade. And like the shelter the duo previously used to run for street children, this too is called Anchorage.

Located in a slum opposite the Badhwar Park Railway Colony, the hostel comprises a small room (about 800 sq ft) with a mezzanine floor. There are 24 inmates, all aged between 18 and 25.
“Most of these youths had once lived in the Anchorage Shelter Home, Colaba, which has now shut down completely. The Cuffe Parade shelter was started in 1997. We have refurbished it after being acquitted in the case. This hostel has always housed older boys, while the younger ones stayed in the Colaba shelter,” Grant, 65, told DNA.

The appeal challenging the acquittal of both Grant and Waters by Bombay High Court is pending in the Supreme Court. The HC acquitted the duo on July 23, disbelieving the same set of evidence, which, in 2006, had led a sessions court to convict the Britons of sexually abusing young boys at the Colaba shelter.Grant has already sold the Colaba Anchorage for Rs50 lakh.

When asked where they got the funds from, Grant said that UK-based charitable institutions, like Rotary International and Siroptimists, had donated for the cause

Hindustan Times / DNA
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
India registers third most rape cases in the world
Ahead of India (with 18359 rape cases during the first quarter of this year , are the US and South Africa with 93394 and 54926 cases respectively. Least were in countries like Jordan, Latvia, Bulgaria and Finland.Germany, Thailand, Sweden and Argentina too registered a high humber of rape cases.

Hindustan Times
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Faith silences abuse victims
Strong religious beliefs make sex victims a helpless pawn in the hands of their abuser. eg. a child, sodomised by her father, felt she had to forgive him or burn in hell. The common thread is that religion is an important resilience factor in abused children. Jean - Guy Nadon, professor of theology and religious sciences at the Universite de Montreal, says, " A child's God can be kidnapped and exploited by an adult, often by the very adult who taught the child about God in the first place."

December 15, 2008

Arpan's office opening

Arpan office! : ' )

Pujya Bhaishri being greeted by Pushpa Venkatraman (Arpan's Trainer - Counselor) and Anita Kumar (Arpan's Admin. Asst.)

The samai is lighted by Pujya Bhaishri, Pooja Taparia's (Arpan's Founder - CEO) relatives, parents and Pushpa and Anita.

Pooja showing Pujya Bhaishri photos of Arpan's activities.

Pujya Bhaishri perfoming the puja
Pujya Bhaishri giving his blessings

Pujya Bhaishri seeing our articles published in the media

Pujya Bhaishri with Arpan Team - left to right (Pooja, Pujya Bhaishri, Harshal (Arpan volunteer), Anita, Pushpa and Natasha Agrawal (Arpan's Executive Asst.)

Pooja addressing all

Pujya Bhaishri addressing all of us

Pujya Bhaishri giving out prasad to all, Arpan team members, Famycare Ltd. staff, etc.

Pujya Bhaishri blessing Pushpa, Anita and myself