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Society for Human Development Pakistan

Human Rights Program
Home
Relief Activities
Governance and Democracy
Mobilization of community
A Handicapped youth travels for Peace
HDC 20 years celeberations
Women Empowerment Program
Disaster and Relief
Profile of Toba Tek Singh
Teachers' Resource Centre
Carpetweavers Program
Community in Action
Condition of Brick Kiln Workers
Human Rights Program
Peace Conference
Capacity Building Activities
Development Area

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Human Right Initiative

 

Human Rights Activities:

 

The Human Rights situation is poor in the area of District Toba Tek Singh. The rape cases, murder cases, cases of religious discrimination are common. Class differences often cause the Human Rights Violations in the rural areas. According to HDC experience, four sections of society are most vulnerable. These sections of society are women, children, workers and religious minorities. They suffer in most of the Human Rights violation cases. These marginalized groups do not get justice from the courts or police stations. The situation is going from bad to the worse. The literacy rate in the villages is very low. People feel honor in keeping up the traditions of revenge and kill women in the name of honor.

 

The religious minorities experience problems more than any body else. Unfortunately the identity of the human person in Pakistani society is determined with the religion. The religious minorities generally belong to low-income group and they suffer not only for their low economic status but also because they belong to religious minority group. In the rural areas of Toba Tek Singh, the Christians are landless and they work as tenants or as workers on the lands of the landlords. They experience Human Rights Violations in their day-to-day life not only because they are landless but also because they are Christians.

Our society is male dominated society; most of the women are still oppressed and not able to raise their voice against injustice and discrimination. Especially women are not aware of their own rights and they suffer from domestic violence and cant get rid of this violation. There is a need to give them information and awareness about their rights.

Human Development Centre is working on the Human Rights Violations for the last many years in the Distt TTS.  HDC has done many activities for the rights of the people at the grass roots level.

 

Details of the cases

Name

Place

Nature of case

Party involved

Case won/lost

HDC Role

Sadiq Masih

Chak No. 336 G.B. TTS

Land Grabbing

Muslim land Lord M. Jamil

Lost

Paralegal aid and hired Lawyers

Saleem Masih

Chak No. 333 GB TTS

Charge of Stealing cow

Muslim Land

Won

Hold meetings with landlords

Bushiran Bibi

Chak No394

JB TTS

Rape case

Two Muslim men, M. Nadeem and Unknown

On going

Hired Lawyer, Provide food

Chani Masih

Chak No. 351

Land Grabbing

Muslim man M. Khaliq

On going

Hold meeting

Shameem Bibi (Christian girl)

Chak No. 335 GB

Kind napped

Muslim Man

M. Sajid Shah

On going

Para-legal assistance,

Hold meeting, Registered case in court

Zari Pervie (Christian girl)

Christian Colony Toba Tek Singh

Charged of Stealing jewelry of  the house owner

Muslim Man M. Muzamil

Won

Hold meetings with community and house owners

 

 

 

 

 

 

HDC has carried out the following activities regarding the Human Rights during the last year:

 

            HDC held 3 seminars on Human Rights Education.

            2 Seminars for First Investigation Report (FIR) were conducted for the people who are working upon the human rights issues. They were invited to get knowledge for the future

            One program on the promotion of Democracy.

            2 seminars were held with both male and female union. Tehsil and District Councilors

            Document and follow up human rights violations in the area and provide this information to other groups and networks.

            HDC documented the cases of Human Rights violations and then     10 cases were followed up into courts.

             A network of community organization is formed at district level to work on Human Rights

 

Brick Kiln workers strike to raise the rates:

 

The Brick kiln workers perhaps, are, one of the most vulnerable section so far as the wages concerned in the rural areas where the workers work from morning till evening and they are bound to work according to the wishes of the owners of the kilns. In the district Toba Tek Singh, there are total 128 brick kilns and more than ten thousand people are attached with this industry. The bleak side of the profession is that the whole family is involved in the work but the wages are paid for the number of bricks made by the whole family is at vest one persons wage or a little more. The people are entangled in the clutches of the kiln owners as the poor people take an advance and then they cannot pay it because the owners charge high interest rate on it, so they are entangled in their hands.

 

The Government of Pakistan, issued an ordinance in April 2001, revising the wages of the workers, announcing a package of incentives like marriage, health and education for the workers. Since the package was announced the government also made it compulsory for the kilns to get registered with the governments Labor Department and enable the workers receive the benefits of the ordinance.

 

Human Development Centre (HDC), as it is involved in the rights based approach in the rural areas, started the struggle to get the kilns registered with the government so that the workers get benefits. The owners were always reluctant to get registered because they wont be able to steal taxes if they are registered. The government announced the rate of Rs 184 (US $ 3.22) for one thousand bricks but the kiln owners are paying only Rs 120 (US $ 2.1) for one thousand bricks.

 

The Human Development Centre held meetings with the Labor Department and kiln owners for the implementation of the Government Ordinance 2001 but it was not successful. The workers have been suffering for the ages but no body cares for them. In the meetings with the kiln owners, HDC tried to convince the owners to pay government announced rates to the workers.

 

HDC formed an organization named, Bhatta Mazdoor Ittehad (Union of the Brick Kiln Workers). The workers from almost all the kilns joined the organization. The total membership of the organization at present is 2,600. The move was there to put pressure on the owners to revise the wages. The brick kiln workers, being poor, could not take any daring step because this is their only mean to survive. After a long process of motivation and awareness, the workers of six brick kilns decided to go on strike to demand the new rates from the owners. On July 10, 2003 the workers of the following kilns stopped working and announced that they are on strike unless their demands are not met. The names of kilns are:

 

Name of Company                             Owner                                     Village

 

Mashallah Bricks Company            Mohammad Qasim                   Chak # 291 GB

Karam Din Bhatta Khasht                Ch Karam Din                           Chak # 291 GB

Sher Mohammad Bhatta Khasht     Hakeem Sher Mohammad      Chak # 291 GB

Saadaat Bhatta Khasht                     Mazhar Shah                            Chak # 284 GB

Kashif Bricks Company                    Nazeer Ahmed                          Chak  # 360 GB

 

The district council in it session discussed the strike of the brick kiln workers and also invited HDC and owners of the brick kilns. With the mutual discussion the owners agreed to raise the rate and the district council passed the resolution in favor of the brick kiln workers asking the district government to give Rs 150 (US $ 2.63) per thousand bricks. Despite the owners agreed and the district council passed the resolution, the district government did not issue the notification.

 

The struggle for the rights of the brick kiln workers is continued and they are organized under the Bhatta Mazdoor Ittehad Tanzeem (Brick Kiln Workers Union). 

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Food Security Program

 

Human Development Center started Food Security Program (FSP) in 1997. The main components of the FSP are:

        Revolving fund for the small farmers

        Capacity building of the small farmers

        Skills training and credit program for the women and landless people

 

The Micro Credit Program is being carried out in six villages of Toba Tek Singh Tehsil. Farmers organizations are responsible for the disbursement and recovery of the loan. These farmers organizations also organize capacity building programs for the farmers. The landless people and women groups also get loan in form of groups. The women have successfully run the small business of their own. The landless people and women run the businesses like goat and sheep farming, cows and buffalo rearing, chicken raising, grocery shops and selling of different saleable items in the villages.

 

No

Name of Farmers Organization

Total members

Total loans

Mark up 8 %

Total recovery Balance

1

Chak # 295 GB

    4   

Rs 85,800

Rs  4800

Rs. 81,800

2

Chak # 314 GB

  13

Rs. 181,160

Rs 13,360

Rs.167,800

3

Chak # 291 GB

  31

Rs 435721

Rs.31240

Rs.404481

4

Chak # 319 JB

  25

Rs. 358455

Rs 57196

Rs 415651

5

Chak # 284

  11

Rs 151,200

Rs. 11,200

Rs 151 200

6

Chak # 323 JB

  14

Rs.217080

Rs.16080

Rs 202000

 

Total

98

Rs.1429416

Rs, 133876

Rs.1422932

 

Non farmers

(Female & male

98

Rs.1765100

Rs. 332916

Rs.1360000

 

Total

196

Rs.3194516

Rs. 466792

Rs.2782932

 

Training and awareness program of FSP:

 

Food Security Program organized two days training program for the small farmers. 50 farmers from different areas participated in this training program. The purpose of the training was to provide information on different disease of the crops and to take measures to overcome those problems. The farmers were also told about the different methods of the producing production with the help of old and traditional ways.

 

Last Updated: 7/5/04

By Atif Jameel Pagaan