Social Issues

Social and family pressures offer tacit encouragement to domestic violence.


By Faisal Arshad


Chennai, Feb 3: Women bear the brunt of domestic violence because of social and family pressure and some victims do not have any alternative. The only way they survive is by suffering domestic violence silence.

Many Slum women remain desperately caught in a cycle of domestic violence, some women even show signs of psychological trauma but others conceal their agony. But few women have not escaped from abusive mental relationships.



Street Vendors Act: Acting in Good Spirit or Still Exploited

By Usha Rani Das

Selvarani has a difficult selling bags without license. Photo: Anjali Pillay

Selvarani has difficulty selling bags without license.
Photo Credits: Anjali Pillay

Chennai, Feb 5:  “They come and take away my bags,” said 45-year-old Selvarani who sells bags round a corner outside Nungambakkam railway station.

Being a street vendor without a license, living in fear of being exploited every other day by corporation officials and the police has been her life for the past 10 years. With the introduction of the Street Vendors Act which came into force on May 1 2014, formulated to protect the rights of street vendors, their grievances and burdens have not reduced.

“We know about the license strategy, but we don’t know how to go about it. The officials are also not doing anything,” said Selvarani, who has two daughters whom she wants to educate well so that they don’t have to follow her trail of uncertainty and struggle.


One more child is lost

One more child is lost Source:

One more child is lost

Savithri is a sixth standard student in a government run school in the city, but she also begs on Saturdays and Sundays to earn money for her family. Murali Kumar, counselor, Child Helpline, said that he had counselled Savithri and her mother and asked them to refrain from begging but then it was of no use. He also explained that in Savithri’s caste, women were not allowed to go for jobs so the only option left is to beg. Savithri is a prototype of many young children who beg on the streets of ‘Singara Chennai’. (more…)

Has Chennai become more tolerant towards alcohol?

By S.Vishnhu Saaye and Swathi Moorthy

Chennai: Increasing westernisation has dramatically changed the role of alcohol in various sectors of our daily life – concerts, clubs, social meetings and even corporate negotiations as an icebreaker.

“It is an easy way to break ice during client meetings,” said P. Selva, a project manager in a leading IT firm and added that it has constant presence in informal meetings as well.


Curious case of women alcoholics

15 day De-addiction facility at VHS

15 day De-addiction facility at VHS

Chennai: Alcohol consumption in India has almost doubled in the last decade. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports recorded an increase in per capita consumption of pure alcohol from 1.82 litres in 2000, to 2.46 litres in 2010. The WHO predicts the consumption to swell up to 4.9 litres by 2050 in India. Alcohol consumption among women is also on a sharp rise.

In Tamil Nadu, the Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corporation (TASMAC) revenue continues to be one of the major sources of income for the state government. A PTI report recorded a 19.91% increase in liquor sales in 2012-13, earning revenue of about Rs 21,680.67 crore.


Surrogacy in India: Debate of Ban or Regularise

Usha Rani Das

Surrogacy Source: G-Smart

Source: G-Smart

Chennai, Oct 29: With the recent appeal of Catholic Conference of Bishops of India (CCBI) Commission for Theology and Doctrine in the Supreme Court and to the Centre to ban surrogacy in India, most people are against it. A. J. Hariharan, Director of G-Smart, an NGO working for the rights of global surrogate mothers said that banning surrogacy is not a solution as it has its own benefits for society.

“Surrogacy is a big advancement of medical services. It is a big advantage for childless couples. Banning it will be a big disadvantage for them and for advancement in related medical fields, In-Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) field,” said Hariharan. (more…)

A story untold: the people of ‘Oriya Basti’ near the Ennore Thermal Power Plant

By Theja Ram

Chennai, Oct 30: A small distance away from the Ennore Thermal Power Plant is a community of immigrants from Odisha who have been living there for more than 5 years now. The area, now unofficially known as the ‘Oriya Basti’ hosts unemployed and forsaken laborers who came from parts of Rourkela in hopes finding work at the power plant.

Ennore thermal Power Plant

Ennore thermal Power Plant

During the construction of the plant, the laborers were living in temporary houses built outside the premisis of the plant and continue to live there even today. “We were put up here when we worked as construction laborers for the plant. After we were let go, we continued to stay here and the plant officials too didn’t have a problem with it. We have had no electricity since almost five years now and we fish in the nearby pond for our meals,” said Madhumati Ponda’s husband, who is unemployed but occaisionally works as a construction laborer.  (more…)

Exploitation of surrogate mothers in Chennai

Usha Rani Das

Plight of the Surrogate Mothers Source: The Hindu

Plight of the Surrogate Mothers
Source: The Hindu

Chennai, Oct 29: Chennai will become the largest hub of surrogacy in Asia by 2020, according to A.J. Hariharan, Director of G-Smart, Chennai based NGO serving to protect the rights of the surrogate mothers in India,  But Chennai has a long way to go to make it a properly legalised business, ensuring the protection of the rights of everyone involved, without any irregularities. With surrogacy being legal and cost-effective in India, it has become a commercialised industry, increasing the scope of exploitation. (more…)