People's Vigilance Committee on Human Rights
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 in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. It was founded in 1996 by Dr. Lenin Raghuvanshi, his wife Shruti Naghuvanshi and the Sarod Maestro Vikash Maharaj. Nowadays the PVCHR has about 50,000 members including 3,000 former torture victims.
The PVCHR works on the eradication of caste based injustices that prevail in India though prohibitted for more than 60 years now. The organisation therefore takes manifold action as for example:
- Promoting the concept of Jan Mitra Goan (Hindi - people friendly village) for which Lenin Raghuvanshi became Ashoka fellow in 2001
- fighting police torture and creating public awareness in the 'Project on Preventing Torture in India', (Project of the European Union),which leads into a new initiative as developing the testimonial model for survivors of torture and organized violence with support of Danish organization Rehabilitaion and Research Center for Torture Victims(RCT)
- imparting elementary education to Dalit children in several villages in Varanasi district (funded by Dorabji Tata Trust, India)
- working in the Right to Food campaign