Vigil India Movement

June 14, 2011 at 10:28 am Leave a comment

Vigil India Movement (VIM) is a grass roots level non-governmental human rights organization committed to the protection and promotion of human rights and democratic principles in India. The Vigil India Movement was founded during the dark years of India’s authoritarian dictatorship and Emergency Rule (1975 – 1977) in which all democratic institutions were paralyzed, constitutional and judicial machineries were controlled by the authoritarian leaders of the country, freedom of the press was suppressed and gross and systematic human rights violations were the hallmark of the days. The VIM was officially registered and structured after the lifting of the Emergency Rule in 1977.

Ever since the VIM was formed, it has been striving to promote human rights education and human rights advocacy, mostly at the grass roots levels in India where human rights violations are rampant. The VIM has been developed and grown as a people’s movement in several areas in India through its constant efforts to strive for the furtherance of a truly democratic, secular and just society in India, where human rights and human dignity of every individual is respected and protected and where human values are taken seriously. It endeavours to create awareness in the minds of the people, especially at the lowest economic level, about their rights, and encourages them to struggle to secure them.

Starting from 1977, the Vigil India Movement formed more than 900 Vigil Groups in various parts of India, among those there were about 300 groups worked exclusively on rights of women.

The VIM has its strong roots in States such as Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgrah, Gujarat, West Bengal, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry and Kerala.
Vision

“Vigil India Movement strives to insist HOPE in the minds of the people, make them FEARLESS and equip them to STRUGGLE for the realization of a truly democratic and egalitarian society.”

Aims and Objectives

1.  To strive for establishing and promoting a truly secular, egalitarian, democratic and just society.

2.  To promote human rights and human dignity and values that embraces every sphere of life.

3. To take steps and measures to make democracy in India meaningful to the people and improve their economic and social condition.

4. To inculcate and promote among the people of India respect for democratic institutions and higher values of life.

5. To support measures calculated to prevent oppression and exploitation by whatsoever means or by whosoever of the poorer and weaker sections of the community.

6. To take steps for the amelioration of the rights of women, children, tribals, dalits, minority communities and other persecuted and marginalized sections in society.

7. To strive for people’s participation in the decision making process at every level of society where people can raise their voices on concerns, especially relating to protection of their human rights

For more information:  kindly visit www.vigilindia.org

Contact:

Vigil India Movement, 61, Charles Campbell Road, Cox Town

Bangalore – 560005, India

vigil@vigilindia.org, vigilindiamovement@gmail.com

Entry filed under: vigil india movement.

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The Founder

The Rev. Dr. M.A. Thomas was the founder of Vigil India Movement. He came under the influence of national leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and Jayaprakash Narayan, and identified himself fully with the freedom movement during his student days.

In 1963, he founded the Ecumenical Christian Centre in Bangalore and developed it into a meeting place of people of all religious and political views. The Rev. Dr. Thomas served as the President of the India Section of Amnesty International and Association of Christian Institutes for Social Concern in Asia.

It was the Emergency rule of 1975 that galvanized the Rev. Dr. M.A. Thomas into action. The denial of democratic rights by the administration and the failure of the people to react strongly against it caused him great anguish. After much deliberation, he launched the new national level human rights organization Vigil India Movement in 1975.

Vigil India Movement was officially inaugurated in 1977 after the lifting of the emergency rule. He passed away on June 25, 1993. The Board of Trustees of Vigil India Movement instituted the M.A. Thomas National Human Rights Award in 1993 to honour the memory of this practical ecumenist and humanist.

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