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D’sala slum demolition was inhuman, insensitive, irresponsible act and contempt of SC orders: Report




MCD violated of the Supreme Court ruling against evictions being carried out during the monsoons. Landmark Judgement in Bombay pavement dwellers case affirms the right to shelter as a part of the Constitutional right to life and livelihood. Labeling evicted community as “outsiders”, “dirty people”, “petty criminals” and “drug addicts” is unjustified, said report. 

SHIMLA- Nearly a month after inhumane act of Charan Khad slum demolition by newly formed municipal corporation headed by first Mayor, Rajani, fact finding team has submitted its report National Human Rights Commission. Surprisingly, the Mayor saheb writes Women Rights Activist with her name, but protecting rights of slum women didn’t match her standards.

In response to disturbing information about the eviction of a long-standing slum settlement in Dharamshala, WSS (Women Against Sexual Violence and State Repression) and Delhi Solidarity Group on 27-28 June 2016 carried out a fact-finding mission to investigate and ascertain if violations of law and human rights had taken place.

Read/View Photos: Dharamsala Slum Demolition : 300 families kicked out, left on roads in pre-monsoon rains with absolutely no rehabilitation

The team visited Dharamshala and met with the affected community, concerned officials and civil society activists in Dharamshala and Palampur. The report prepared by the team , which has been sent to the NHRC, condemns the eviction as

an inhuman, insensitive and irresponsible act.

The report points out that, as the local face of the state government, the municipal corporation and the district administration are legal duty-bearers who cannot sidestep their accountability for the welfare of citizens regardless of their economic or social status or their place of birth.

Also Read: Dharamsala Slum Demolition: Apathetic Mayor & civic body take U-turn on rehabilitation, leave dwellers homeless

The report also points out that the authorities allowed 35 years to go by without notifying the area as a slum, and without making even token gestures towards improving the miserable living conditions. This suggests a deliberate attempt to render the residents invisible and deny their humanity while continuing to take advantage of their labour.

Also Read: Homeless for 8 days, Dharamsala slum dwellers hold protest march seeking shelter

The fact-finding team finds reason to conclude that the decision to summarily “clean up” the Charan Khad area was taken to sidestep the comparatively humane provisions of the HP Slum Act (2005). The report also charges the MCD with violation of the Supreme Court ruling against evictions being carried out during the monsoons. This ruling in the Bombay pavement dwellers case is a landmark judgement affirms the right to shelter as a part of the Constitutional right to life and livelihood. The eviction also violates the guidelines laid down under international agreements to which India is a signatory.

View Pictures/Videos: Dharamsala Slum Demolition : 300 families kicked out, left on roads in pre-monsoon rains with absolutely no rehabilitation

The report has come down hard on the stigmatisation and labelling of the evicted community as “outsiders”, “dirty people”, “petty criminals” and “drug addicts” is unjustified. It points out that the Charan Khad residents are working people who have been providing their labour to the city, without any form of social or economic security. The fact-finding team has strongly condemned the prejudice and contempt displayed by some officials in their dealings with the evictees.

These individuals seem to have forgotten that, as public servants, they are duty bound to stand aside from social prejudice at least while acting in their official capacity

says the report.The fact finding team examined various public documents and has raised serious questions about the mode of functioning of the newly-formed Municipal Corporation of Dharamsala, which has scored an early success in getting funding under the Smart City Mission. The report points out that the Smart City proposal was submitted and cleared almost immediately after the formation of the corporation, suggesting a hurried process based on weak data and an incomplete understanding of the needs and priorities of various segments of the population. The report calls on the authorities to provide immediate relief and redress to the evictees in rebuilding their lives.

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Credits: Video and Editing: Sumit Mahar, Himdhara Collective

Meanhwile, the affected people have formed a Charan Khad Basti Punarwas Samiti to dialogue with the administration on the rehabilitation. Close to 20 members of the Samiti met the DC and Joint Commissioner, MC Dharamsala to submit a memorandum asking to initiate proceedings of allotment of housing for the displaced. “The DC has directed the JC, MCD to examine the matter and both have assured some action. We will meet them next week to follow up”, said Nazuki Devi of Charan Khad Basti Punarwas Samiti.

The entire incident suggests what Himachal’s present government think of poorest section of our society. It is noticeable that opposition BJP remained completely silent on this inhumane and illegal act, thus, share the same opinion on poverty stricken people as the ruling Congress party. Also, the residents of Dharamsala must reflect on their role in rendering 1,500 poor people including infants, kids, elderly, pregnant women, and school going children.

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Campus Watch

Bahra University and Siemens to run engineering course jointly




SHIMLA- Solan based privately owned Bahra University has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with industrial giant Siemens Industry Software India Private Limited (SISW). The tie up will enable University to set up Siemens Certified Professional Learning Center at its campus.

Suman Bose, Managing Director & CEO for Siemens and Dr. SK Bansal, Vice-Chancellor Bahra University signed the MoU at University campus.

Elaborating on the benefits of the MoU Dr. Bansal said the University will start a new batch of 4-year integrated B.Tech, Mechanical with specialization in Design and Development program at their campus.

Dr. Bansal said the above course will be driven to produce industry ready engineers around broad specializations in industry 4.0 and Smart Factory, design and development, manufacturing and computer aided analysis. He said

Students successfully completing the course per stipulated guidelines will be awarded B.Tech Mechanical degree through the University and Certificate of Merit for the opted specialization in Design and Development through Siemens Industry Software India Private Limited,

Suman Bose assured to provide assistance to arrange for internship for students of University and also promised to assist in arranging industry projects for the students and endeavor to conduct conference and seminars in the University.

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Creative Corner

Himachal’s award winning filmmaker Ajay Saklani shares his journey with Himachal Watcher




SHIMLA- It is often said, every great dream begins with a dreamer. One must always remember that one has within self the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.

Keeping in mind the same talented Ajay Saklani hailing from a remote village Sihan, district Mandi of Himachal Pradesh, made the state proud not at national but even at international level by bagging two international awards during screening of his film Saanjh – a Himachali feature film at THE BORREGO SPRINGS FILM FESTIVAL (held in California, USA) where it was chosen as the Best Feature Film among 750 other entries from around the globe was and “Award of merit” at Accolade Global Film Competition.


Ajay hails from a very humble background and showed people that one should be the flame and not the moth as having passed out from a government school his dream to achieve recognition not just for self but even for state and country.

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Sharing his journey to fame he with Himachal Watcher’s Community Member, Ritanjali Hastir, Ajay said,

My father was in army and he dreamt about me too following his footsteps. However, I was more inclined towards filmmaking that led me to taste the magic of theatre world.

As they say follow your passion, be prepared to work hard and sacrifice, and, above all, don’t let anyone limit your dreams so without any knowledge and guidance on filmmaking, Ajay shifted to Delhi in 2005.


There he joined RGB 4:3 Productions and learned the basics of filmmaking from Surender Sagar. He started his career as an editor and worked with some more production houses and few TV channels like Shakti TV, MH One Music, PTC Punjabi, Day & Night News to name.

His first documentary ‘Dyalee – a fading glory’ in 2006 in my village which helped him learn filmmaking basics. His second documentary ‘Upaasmar – The Taste of Hunger’ in 2011 was shot in the tribal areas of Maharashtra raising the issue of Malnutrition deaths in India and finally in 2014 after coming back to Himachal his own production company Silent Hills Studio in Hamirpur came into existence.

“With ‘Saanjh’ production I wanted to make a technical sound film that can compete with other films in the cinema halls. I hope that my work can inspire other filmmakers too and together we can promote Himachali cinema by providing with the quality work in future,” he shared.

“I feel that it was a film that fell in Art as well as Entertainment genre that made it touch hearts at the international level. As normally if we talk about Himachali Cinema, there is no such Cinema as of today in Himachal. Only a few films were produced till now and because of poor technical and creative work, those films could not make it to cinema halls or any film festivals around the country or world”, he expresses.

“Many people outside the state felt embarrassed considering the sad quality of music videos which fail to ravish visual or hearing senses; as they are also judged with the same rod. Recently some singers have given a ray of hope as they came forward with different music and quality videos. Many other singers from the state but they are all focused on Hindi and Punjabi music”, Ajay added as he contemplated on the situations one has to face considering the previous track records.


He further feels, “Cinema on the other hand is still untouched. As in 2011 Sanjeev Rattan’s ‘Dil Ch Vaseya Koi’ even won the National Award but due to the technical issues, the film failed to make it to cinema halls.Some filmmakers are coming up with great ideas for short films but again they are also focused on Hindi language. I believe until all these people don’t start making Pahari(Himachali)language films, there is no support for any kind of cinematic development in Himachal. Recently Siddarth Chauhan made a mark with his latest work and I feel happy that his next project is in Himachali language. It seems like a beginning of a new era for Himachali Cinema that has been neglected from a long time.”

“There is a great potential in Himachal and I receive a lots of calls everyday where people want to enter into acting or filmmaking and looking for guidance. But to their eagerness alone won’t do wonders we do need government support as well like in other states. The only exciting announcement is the financial support upto 10 lakh for filmmakers but only for short films and documentaries which again needs running from pillar to post and I can say is a herculean task. Exempting new cinema halls from tax for first three years is not taking filmmakers anywhere but support for film production in the state is better option which will also help in generating more and more tourism revenue.”

“Talking about my experience while making ‘Saanjh’ was a very difficult journey. Finding a producer or financier for a film in Himachali dialect was most difficult part. On the other hand our Himachal government doesn’t provide any kind of support for filmmaking in the state but expect a lot for the youth. Making people believe in me our project wasn’t easy,” shared Ajay as he keeps his view on talent promotion.

“As per his message he says My upbringing gave me deep insight into our culture and after coming back I realized a drastic change people in my village were trying to talk to in Hindi and the kids were being taught the Hindi and English words and were given punishment for talking in their own language. All our festivals were in disappearing stage and people had surrendered their traditions in the name of development. Actors feel ashamed to work in a Himachali film so very few actors turned out for auditions and they are happy to become part of crowd when a director from Mumbai.”

“I feel that as we don’t have a recognized language and we don’t have our own script to preserve the sounds of our language so there seems no way for the development of literature in our state. But yes, Cinema and Music can help in development of language & culture and it can take forward our traditional heritage. So this is very much important for us to have our own cinema and quality music. In all these years I learned the cinema, music and literature play a significant role in the development of language and culture and so we need to come forward and give Himachal its due respect,” he concludes.

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Himachal now ahead of Kerala in quality education in Govt schools: ASE Report 2016




SHIMLA- Annual Status of Education Report (ASER)-2016 in its 11th Annual Report released in New Delhi confirmed that Himachal Pradesh now stood ahead of Kerala in the field of quality education in schools. The survey indicated that government schools of the state were leading and doing better than other states in terms of learning outcomes.

State Project Director of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan and Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan,Ghanshyam Chand said that ASER was the largest annual household survey of the children in India that focused on status of schooling and basic learning. ASER visited almost 15,630 government schools in rural India. In Himachal Pradesh 283 schools were visited during the survey. As many as 15 organizations participated in ASER-2016 across the state.

The report ASER-2016 found enrolment rate of students in the age group 6 to 14 in Himachal Pradesh to be 99.8 per cent. The State secured first rank in achieving learning outcomes in basic reading and mathematics across the country.

In language category the achievement level of government schools of Himachal Pradesh was 65.3 per cent as compared to the national level of 41.6 per cent. In mathematics the achievement level of the state was 47.4 per cent as compared to the national level of 21.1 per cent. The government schools have performed better than private schools throughout the state in mathematics.

In learning of English language, significant improvement was observed in the State. At national level the achievement status is 15.3 per cent whereas it is 44 per cent in case of Himachal Pradesh. In English the State stands at 5th position.

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