Jharkhand is a relatively new state and was carved out from the state of Bihar in the year 2000. Jharkhand was created to be able to address the unique issues of the adivasis / tribals, (the indigenous people), as they faced much discrimination in the larger state of Bihar. However, this has not elevated their status, as they continue to be a minority. In the present state, 28% of the population consist of adivasis or indigenous people, 12% scheduled castes and 60% others
It has the highest child marriage rate in India (76%). Moreover, witch hunting is prevalent and convictions in cases of witch hunting are negligible. The state is facing serious governance problems: the panchayat (local government) elections were held for the first time only in 2010. Furthermore the Maoist insurgency has been on the rise in the State. In this context, women’s rights are side-lined. There are many NGOs working with women but not necessarily using the human rights framework. AALI with its experience of working with women from marginalised communities can collaborate with local organisations to do more effective intervention in cases of violation of women’s rights. AALI can collaborate with the local organisations to make government institutions more accountable.
AALI’s headquarter in Lucknow has been receiving and intervening in cases from other States and was therefore keen to network and work with local community based organisations. In the last couple of years, AALI has initiated contact with organisations dealing with issues related to women’s rights in Jharkhand. It has conducted preliminary perspective building and legal trainings with the NGOs and with advocates. The response to these interactions was very encouraging. The NGOs and the lawyers in a feedback meeting said that the human rights training have given them a new focus, enabling strategic interventions. It has supported their case filing as well as helping building in case strategies. In fact, a lawyer shared the manner in which he intervened to prevent a woman being sent to protective custody against her will, due to the training he had received; even though he was not the lawyer in that matter.
AALI hence was keen to consolidate on this and work in a sustained and in-depth manner in Jharkhand. In 2013 AALI established a regional office at Ranchi and initiated its work in Jharkhand. An important component of this effort, apart from direct case intervention, is capacity building of other organizations, linkages between local, national, regional and international forum on concerns of Women’s human rights and work with local and national media to ensure accountability and transparency on India’s international commitments and national action.
AALI’s in-house expertise enables the centre to provide:
To contact AALI’s Jharkhand Unit, please click here