PUCL UP Team Tours Gharwal Region of Uttarakhand


The State level team of PUCL (UP branch) made an extensive tour 'Jan Jagran Yatra' of Gharwal region of Uttarakhand from 12th June to 21 June. The team was headed by its State President, Shri Ravi Kiran Jain and it comprised of Om Dutt Singh, General Secretary PUCL, Dr. KN Bhatt, social scientist, GB Pant Social Institute, Allahabad and K.K. Roy Organising Secretary, PUCL UP.


The purpose of the visit was to spread the message and awareness amongst the people that that right to development is an inalienable human right by virtue of which every human person and all people are entitled to participate in, contribute to and enjoy economic, social, cultural and political developmental achievements.
The PUCL, UP carried the message that the first task of the people of Uttarakhand after its creation should be to exercise their collective 'Human Right to Development' contained in part IX and IX A of the Constitution under which by 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendments Acts. Institutions of local self-government has been created in rural and urban areas, which are meant for decentralized planning.


The PUCL team held well-attended meetings at Tehri, Srinagar, Karn Prayag, Gopeshwar, Joshimath and Gainsain. The people attending the meetings were advocates, journalists, shopkeepers, teachers, women, peasants, government employees, unemployed youth, and students. The people raised the issue that the human rights of the people of Uttarakhand can not be achieved unless people have control over their water, land and forest resources, health, education and rural development programmes. There was extreme anger against Tehri dam, Vishnu Prayag Power Project and other big centralized production units.

The PUCL team was immensely assisted by Sri Sunder Lal Bahuguna, Kamla Pant, Usha Bhatt, S.P. Sati, Purshottam Asnora, SS Bhandari, and Vijay Laxmi Gusai. -- K.K. Roy

Excerpts from the Approach Paper drafted by Shri Ravi Kiran Jain, President, UP-PUCL for the above tour:
Human Right to Development:
Human Rights can be classified in the following three categories: A Civil and Political Rights; B. Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; C. Collective Rights of self-determination and Right to Development.

The first categories of these rights are contained in the part III of the Constitution of India under the heading of 'Fundamental Rights' which are enforceable through courts. The second category of rights are contained in Part IV under the heading of 'Directive Principles of State Policy' which "shall not be enforceable by any court, but the principles therein laid down are never-the-less fundamental in the governance of the country and it shall be the duty of the state to apply these principles in making laws". The third category of these Human Rights are contained in Part IX and IX A of the Constitution

Constitutions of India enacted by "WE, THE PEOPLE OF INDIA" who have solemnly resolved to constitute India into a sovereign, Socialist, Secular Democratic Republic" secured to ourselves; JUSTICE, social, economic and political. The Sovereignty lies in "we the people of India", who were to be the masters of our own destiny. The constitution promised re-build a new socio, economic and political order in which people could enjoy real JUSTICE, social, economic, and political. The promise was contained in Preamble and Part IV that was to be redeemed by legislature we would elect. But there has been a breach of faith by those who were elected by us to redeem this promise. Politicians have held no other nation to ramson as relentlessly as India has been by its politicians by concentrating power in their hands.

The politicians of this country are selling out this country's natural resources to the Multinationals. With a nexus of political leadership of this country, the World Bank, the International Monetory Fund and World Trade Organisation are killing livelihoods, environment and democracy in India. These forces have their evil eyes even on the creation of the Uttarakhand/Uttranchal. The Himalayas, which are one of the World's major Eco belts, are already in irreversible danger of damage and this majestic mountain chain can become barren very fast unless something is done by the people of Uttarakhand immediately after its creation.

The first task of people of Uttarakhand after its creation should be to exercise their collective Human Right to Development contained in Part IX and IX A of the Constitution, under which, by 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendment Acts, institutions of local self governments have been created in rural and urban areas. These institutions are meant for decentralized planning.
What should be the model of development? The people themselves at local level can now answer this question. The right to development encompasses within its ambit all human rights and fundamental freedoms including right of self-determination. The right to development is an inalienable human right by virtue of which every human person and every people are entitled to participate in, contribute to and enjoy economic, social, cultural and political development, in which all human rights and fundamental freedoms can be fully realized. Thus, the right to development is of multi-dimensional character incorporating all civil, political, economic, social and cultural right necessary for the full development of the individual and the protection of this dignity. The principal goal of development policy is to create sustainable improvement in the quality of life for all people. The sustainable development is the key to a social order based on quality, prosperity and security. It is a process in which development can be sustained for many generations to come. The phenomenon provides for improving the quality of both the human life and nature surroundings. It thus aims at harmonizing and maintaining the carrying capacity of the life supporting Eco system. 'Sustainable Development' is a development that meets the needs of the present without comprising the ability of the future generations to meet their own needs.

The UP PUCL has been active in protecting and defending the 'Civil and Political Right' of the people of Uttarakhand since 1994. Now the UP PUCL seeks to make an humble suggestion to start a campaign to create awareness in the people of Uttarakhand about their economic, social and cultural rights and the Right to Development through the Institutions created by 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendment Acts. We have prepared in a note in Hindi to put our point of view in this regard, which is being circulated among various sections of the people of Uttarakhand.

In this paper we are reproducing the relevant parts of the Constitution. These are recommended to be read by each and every citizen in Uttarakhand, and then a debate in whole of Uttarakhand should be started for people's participation in the development of the proposed State. Democracy implies people's participation not only in decision making about preparation of plans for economic development and social justice but also in execution of such plans

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(PUCL Bulletin, Aug 2000)