Friday, April 29, 2011

Are you PREPARED (April 14th 2011)







I     PRAY

  • Pray without ceasing
  • Read, pray and meditate on Mt 25:1-13
  • Organize special prayers in our parishes / institutions
  • Keep our churches / chapels / prayer halls open for prayer
  • Pray with our Christian brethren (also in their churches)
  • Conduct / join  inter-faith prayer (Sarva Dharma Prathna)
  • Be sensitive (our prayers and other programmes need not be "jarring"/ "blasting"/ a nuisance to others
  • DO NOT "FIRE CRACKERS" nor use high decibel speakers - specially after 10.00 pm (remember that many of our neighbours are little children or elderly persons and perhaps even sick)

(cfr. the Supreme Court rulings on these matters)

  • What does Jesus say about "praying?"





  • Keep avenues of dialogue always open with all
  • Do not get co-opted or provide legitimacy in any way to fascists / fundamentalists
  • Do not be naïve...dialogue is always in the context of respect, equity and dignity.
  • Participate in Festivals / Prayers of others and invite them to ours
  • Strengthen areas that unite / connect (search for commonalities / connections)
  • Take a stand against divisiveness

·         Network and collaborate with other secular / like-minded individuals / groups





  • Study-analyze the situation
  • Study the ideology of Fascists; know how they operate ("divide and rule")
  • Do not limit yourself to issues involving Christians only; get involved in ALL Human Rights issues, sp. in the defence of dalits, tribals, women, children, differently - abled persons, other minority / vulnerable groups.
  • Collect "Patrikas" and other relevant literature (sp. derogatory ones)
  • Document Newspaper / Journal articles on topical / sensitive, relevant  issues
  • Video / audio record inflammatory speeches / proceedings
  • Write articles / letters to the Editor in national / local / vernacular newspapers / journals  on crucial  issues
  • Use "The Right to Information" Act to get information from / of the Government (Govt. officials / spending)











  • "Today too, in an increasingly globalized society, Christians are called, not only through their responsible involvement in civic, economic and political life but also through the witness of their charity and faith, to offer a valuable contribution to the laborious and stimulating pursuit of justice, integral human development and the right ordering of human affairs."  (Pope Benedict XVI, Peace Day message, 1st Jan.  2011)
  • Fear ONLY God and no one else; stand up ALWAYS for Truth and Justice.
  • Join / support other initiatives like the PUCL, INSAF, MSD, CJP, ANHAD,  etc. (contact us for details)
  • Participate also in the activities / initiatives of  other like-minded individuals / NGOs / groups
  • Publicize secular efforts / initiatives in our churches / institutions
  • Screen films on social issues like "Parzania", "Final Solution", "Dharm", "Well Done, Abba!"
  • Be visible on important issues :  speak out; participate  in campaigns / dharnas / rallies;  sign online petitions
  • Beware of getting involved in issues which make us sectarian / fundamentalist / exclusive
  • Denounce Communalism, Corruption, Casteism,  Consumerism, Criminalisation of society / politics
  • Organize programmes / seminars / workshops on human rights / relevant issues / legal literacy / topical issues
  • Constitute village / mohalla / Parish Justice and Peace Committees (JPCs)
  • Initiate Human Rights Education in your Schools / Institutions
  • Celebrate UN  / special  days like Women's Day (March 8th), Day for Elimination of Racial Discrimination (March 21st),  Oscar Romero Day (March 24th), Ambedkar Jayanti (April 14th), Environment Day (June 5th), Indigenous People's Day (August 9th), Day of Non-Violence (October 2nd), Human Rights Day (December 10th)
  • Identify  trouble makers / peace breakers / rumour mongers / divisive persons
  • Stop rumours / gossip (try to authenticate things)
  • Propagate the Right to Information (RTI), the Right to Education (RTE), and the  Right to Food (RTF)
  • Promote and defend Constitutional Rights / Freedoms and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.




  • Maintain and update ALL official documents (land records, building permissions, registrations, licenses) and

personal identity cards

  • Keep copies of these always at hand / filed / laminated / secured –  with your ORIGINALS in a Safe Deposit
  • Adhere to strict accounting / accountability procedures
  • BE ALWAYS Open and Transparent
  • Never indulge in any corrupt practice for whatever reasons (taking / giving bribes etc)
  • Ensure timely payment of all taxes (income, building, land etc)
  • Know and adhere to requisites of the Govt. / Charity Commissioner / Registrar of Societies / FCRA etc.
  • Register Medical Personnel with the Medical / Nursing Council
  • Provide the requisite bio-medical waste treatment / disposal facilities in hospitals / dispensaries
  • Refrain from physical and / or other types of abuse on any one
  • Pay just wages; have service conditions, give appointment letters (cfr. Labour laws)

Ø               ( THEY  HIT  WHERE  WE  ARE  VULNERABLE )




  • Provide prior and authentic information/ meet your JPC
  • Contact / alert your focal / nodal point immediately, if you sense trouble
  • Contact the authorities, wherever possible (preferably in writing) – with a proof of submission
  • Inform the police (know your local police / station); request protection (ONLY if desperately needed)
  • Remember "providing security" is also an official way of them keeping tabs on us! (Don't be NAÏVE)
  • Never panic / DO NOT give in to fear




  • Do not get provoked (whatever the reason)....Be cool
  • Seek the support of others (like-minded individuals / groups)
  • Protect / provide shelter for the weak (old / women / children / infirm)
  • Inform the police / authorities (always be courteous / polite to them)
  • Be careful on how and what information you provide about others
  • Photograph / video / audio record the trouble / trouble makers
  • Douse out flames
  • Do not destroy / alter / change / remove the evidence
  • Do not underplay / exaggerate the reality
  • File an FIR / complaint (name people / be accurate).  You can write your complaint in English / Gujarati / Hindi and have it attached to the FIR
  • Go to a higher authority (with full details) if you have problems with your local police
  • In case the police have written the FIR / recorded your statement, you MUST read it carefully before you sign it with the date and time clearly mentioned
  • Make sure that the copy is signed and sealed by the concerned police official / station
  • Request a copy of the FIR / complaint  for yourself (you MUST get it)




·         "Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty !   – Wendell Phillips

·         Remember, that police / official interrogations in a police station and / or our institution, must normally take place only during working hours, on working days.  Police / Government officials should officially NOT visit any institution which house women between 1800 hrs to 0900 hrs.

  • DO NOT GIVE ANY INFORMATION to people who approach you, who do not have an official identity and  a written authorization (signed and sealed) or if it is NOT within their PURVIEW
  • Check who the APPROPRIATE AUTHORITY is…..Some officials demand information even when it does not come under their purview
  • Study carefully the official / actual RULE / ACT / LAW
  • Request full particulars of the person concerned (name, designation, address, telephone / mobile nos. etc)
  • LISTEN to what is being asked - NEVER be in a hurry to ANSWER ORALLY
  • Request that the questions are written  and a signed copy is provided to you
  • In normal circumstances, DO NOT PROVIDE any official information IMMEDIATELY
  • Tell  the person concerned that you MAY provide the information after some days
  • No one has the right to inspect any of our registers / documents / records / premises unless there is a written warrant  from a Magistrate / Court to do so
  • Meanwhile, contact a higher authority / nodal agency for further steps and before providing any information
  • Remember that very often, those who seek information come to you on the dictate of individuals / groups who are hostile / inimical to us and our institutions
  • A community/ institution must have only ONE spokesperson (preferably  someone conversant in the vernacular)
  • Study the law / be legally literate
  • Take legal counsel / be in touch with human rights lawyers.  Buy legal booklets published by the Indian Social Institute, 10 Institutional Area, Lodi Road, New Delhi – 110 003. These booklets have been translated into Gujarati by Ashadeep, Vallabh Vidyanagar, Anand Dt.. 388 120
  • Contact a JESA institution in your area if you need some help. JESA Gujarat groups are: BSC (Ahmedabad),   SXSSS (Ahmedabad),  Sangath (Modasa),   LAHRC (Songadh),   RSSS (Rajpipla),    Navsarjan (Surat),   Ashadeep (Vidyanagar), Nyay Darshan (Vadodara)
  • Circulate and popularize relevant books / documents / clippings / films by other agencies






  • Share with others what is happening / has happened
  • Develop good Public Relations / Perception Management skills
  • Befriend the media: give them your point of view; let them highlight the good works done by / through your institution.  Keep a data bank of Media personnel
  • Contact immediately (phone / fax / email) any focal point that could take up your problem
  • Send to an appropriate authority / us COMPLETE – AUTHENTIC DETAILS (FIR copies, press clippings, photos, audio / video tapes) QUICKLY (pay someone to carry them…. hire a vehicle)   BUT DO NOT DELAY!

·         Send a written complaint by Registered Post / Courier  to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) at  : 


National Human Rights Commission,

Faridkot House,    Copernicus Marg,   New Delhi – 110001  

Tel. No. (011)  23384012      Fax No. (011)  23384863    E-Mail:  /

Website:      Telegraphic address: HUMANRIGHTS



 and / or to the National Commission for Minorities (NCM) at :



National Commission for Minorities,

5th Floor,  Lok Nayak Bhavan,  Khan Market,  New Delhi 110 003
Tel. No. (011) 24615583   Fax No. (011) 24693302, 24642645, 24698410  (Toll free Number 1800-110-088)



X    PRASHANT will be happy to

o        assist  you in addressing the reality / problem

o        provide you with legal counsel / assistance

o        send independent teams for on-the - spot studies / investigations

o        receive from you news clippings / Patrikas / photos / other materials / evidence which can be documented

o        send you periodic information / communications by email


Prepared and Issued by:   

                                           PRASHANT (Centre for Human Rights, Justice and Peace),

                                          Hill Nagar,  Nr. Kamdhenu Hall, Drive-in  Road, Ahmedabad 380052.

                                         Tel: 079 – 27455913, 66522333   Fax: 079 – 27489018   Mobile: 9824034536 

                                        email:       website:          



"  Peace will not come out of a clash of arms, but out of justice lived and done "

                                                                           -Mahatma Gandhi


(  Kindly circulate / translate this document .  No permission is required but  an acknowledgement and copy would be appreciated  -  Thanks!  )


( SIXTH   Revised   EDITION )


April 14th, 2011

Ambedkar Jayanti


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