Human Rights

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.


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…)

Clean Streets: Behind the Scenes

Street cleaners happier not using equipment Credits: The Hindu

Street cleaners happier not using equipment
Credit: The Hindu

Chennai, Oct. 30: Efforts to keep the city clean of roadside garbage are now more visible after Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched his Mission Cleanup last month in Bangalore however, without an improvement in the conservancy worker’s conditions.


Street cleaners work in two shifts – from 6 am to 2.30 pm and 9 pm to 4 am. They are paid a monthly salary ranging from Rs. 5500 to 7000, and are given consumer items including air conditioners and television sets.