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Saturday, May 29, 2010

never give up in life

Never Give Up in Life...
Click here to join us to get Inspiring and Motivating Stories daily

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One day a young lady was driving along with her father.
They came upon a storm, and the young lady asked her father,
What should I do?"
He said "keep driving". Cars began to pull over to the side,
the storm was Getting worse.

"What should I do." The young lady asked?
"Keep driving," her father replied.
On up a few feet, she noticed that eighteen wheelers were also pulling over.
She told her dad, "I must pull over, I can barely see ahead.
It is Terrible, and everyone is pulling over!"

Her father told her, "Don't give up, just keep driving!"
Now the storm was terrible, but she never stopped driving, and
soon she Could see a little more clearly.
After a couple of miles she was again on Dry land,
and the sun came out.

Her father said, "Now you can pull over and get out."
She said "But why now?"
He said "When you get out, look back at all the people that gave up
and are Still in the storm, because you never gave up
your storm is now over.

Lesson from Inspirational Story:

This is a testimony for anyone who is going through "hard times".
Just because everyone else, even the strongest, gives up.
You don't have To...if you keep going,
soon your storm will be over and the sun will shine
Upon your face again

Author: Unknown

Composed by Kasimi Nafees

Monday, May 10, 2010

NSS-TORC of Tata Institute of Social sciences org 48th Refresher Course for NSS Prog Off-Aasra is resource person for Anger Management module

NSS-TORC of Tata Institute of Social sciences org 48th Refresher Course for NSS Prog Off-Aasra's Johnson Thomas was resource person for Anger Managementfor Suicide Prevention module held on 27th March 2010, saturdau 10 am to 1 pm. for a batch of 25 NSS program Officers. The entire workshop was themed as 'Stress Management and Suicide Prevention amongst the Youth'

The workshop was well received by the participants as it was interacive and completely participatory. Sai Geeta the co-ordinator from TISS was very complimentary about the module and it's effect on the participants.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Section 309 of IPC (An overview)

Section 309 of IPC (An overview)-- Author unknown

MENS REA (guilty mind) is the basis for every penalization .Section 309 of the Indian Penal Code punishes attempts to commit suicide and any act towards it. The attempt to commit suicide also needs a guilty mind, because mens rea has to be read into, unless specifically excluded, for penalising.
Foisting a criminal case alleging attempt to commit suicide on Medha Patkar is nothing but the misuse of law by the state for political purposes. Was she ending life unnaturally? She never expressed any intention to die. Her avowed purpose of fast was to pressure the government on issues concerning the Narmada. Any attempt to resolve a social problem cannot be treated as an invitation to death.
Even British rulers did not resort to section 309 against fasting national leaders. History is replete with incidents of Mahatma Gandhi and others launching fast unto death. While on fast, Potti Sriramulu died for Andhra Pradesh during the 1950s. Neither the British nor Indian administrators implicated them for this crime. Now section 309 is a misused weapon in the state's armoury against agitations.
Invoking this penal provision is basically wrong. If the state's response to peaceful fast is the foisting of section 309 it will amount to an invitation to violent movement.

Penal consequences

Ramsundar Duby who was on fast (AIR 1963 All 262) was prosecuted and convicted for an attempt to commit suicide. The Allahabad High Court set aside the conviction as the evidence fell short of the crime. He never declared that he was on fast unto death. There is no apex court verdict on this question. But at least in Uttar Pradesh, where the Allahabad verdict is law, the judiciary is inclined to consider a declared fast unto death a crime. Not so in New Delhi.
Suicide as such is not a crime under the code. The U.K. made a law declaring completed suicide as no crime. Prescribing the duty of self-preservation is the purpose of penalising suicide attempts. Only intentional self-destruction of life should be brought under the frame of this definition.
In Queen Emperor v Ramakka (1884) ILR 8 Mad 5, it was held that those attempting to end their lives because of family discord, distraction, loss of near and dear relation or any other cause of like nature overcoming the instinct of self-preservation, should not be held guilty. Renowned jurist Tej Bahadur Sapru in his Indian Penal Code (at page 258) said they deserve sympathy, indulgence and consolation instead of prosecution.

Does it have deterrence effect?
Justice P.B. Sawant in the Maruti Sripati Dubal case (1987) (Criminal Law Journal 743 Bombay) saw no justification in using section 309 as a deterrent. He said: If the purpose of the prescribed punishment is to prevent the prospective suicides by deterrence, it is difficult to understand how the same can be achieved by punishing those who have made the attempts. No deterrence is further going to hold back those who want to die for a special or political cause or to leave the world either because of the loss of interest in life or for self-deliverance.
The constitutional Validity of the very legal provision!

The Supreme Court in 1994 struck down section 309 as unconstitutional on the ground that it amounted to punishing the victim-accused twice. This verdict was, however, reversed in 1996.
Deriving a discriminatory power from section 309 for selective prosecutions is dangerous. The section should be reframed to specify a clear intention as prerequisite to charge.
If not, it will continue to remain a weapon in the hands of the police to intrude into the privacy and liberty of any person or family on mere suspicion. Without granting the right to die, this section should be amended to make only intentional attempts to end life punishable, so that social agitations such as the one by the NBA may not be interpreted as `suicidal.

Workshop for teachers of Naresh Wadi Learning Center, near Dhanu, for addrssing administrative lcunae and proactive decision making

30th April 2010 Workshop for teachers of Naresh Wadi Learning Center, near Dahanu, for addrssing administrative lacunae and facilitating proactive decision making conducted by AASRA

Resource person Johnson Thomas batch size 35 time 10am to 5pm.


Nareshwadi Learning Centre (NLC) comprises the Primary and Secondary School, the General Hostel, the Children’s Home (Balakashram), and Vocational Education & Training (VET).

The staff are as followers:

1. Principal and Primary School Supervisor
2. Teachers
3. Nurses
4. Office Staff
5. Hostel Rector
6. House parents
7. VET trainers
8. Civil supervisor

In 2009-10 there were 528 children on the school roll and 478 children lived on campus. There are about 25 staff, including teaching and house parents. It is the continuous effort of NLC to sensitize staff to the needs of the children and to create an environment conducive to learning and happiness.


In a meeting of the staff on April 21 2010, Patricia Gokhale stressed the need for self-assessment as a tool for enriching one’s self. She said that she expected the staff not to be satisfied with just doing average work but to be leaders and innovators in the work they do. It was mutually decided that a workshop would be held on April 30 2010 to engage in this process of self enquiry and to prepare for the next academic year.

Workshop Objective:

To design milestones for self improvement and to integrate these milestones in the school academic calendar.

Workshop Outcomes:

* Each individual has a plan of action for 2010-11
* Each individual identifies three significant aspects of their work for quality improvement
* A common understanding on NLC’s goals for 2010-11

Resource Persons:

* Johnson Thomas, Director Aasra
* Dr Vasundhara Padmanabhan, Principal, K J Somaiya College of Comprehensive Education & Research

Workshop Facilitator: Dr Patricia Gokhale

Venue & Time:

Nareshwadi- Big Banyan Tree. 10.30am to 4.30pm

All staff will join the children for lunch in the school dining hall.

Workshop at Army school for 12th std students conducted by AASRA

Aasra conducted two workshops on 3rd and 17th april 2010 for the benefit of 12th std students of Army school colaba. The title for the workshop was 'Identifying Coping skills for suicide prevention'
Johnson was the resource person on the 3rd of April batch size 25 students

Johnson and Reena from AASRA were the resource persons on the 17th batch size 30 students

All India Railway Mazdoor Union, Panvel Branch AGM Aasra Suicide Prevention Exhibition

10th April 2010, Aasra conducted a poster exhibition and gave a talk on Suicide Prevention at Panvel station where the Annual Gen eral Body Meeting of the all India Railway Mazdoor union was held. Volunteers Johnson , Vijay and Venkat represented AASRA.

Streetplay at Phoenix Mills, Photo story

The Law on Suicide

The Law on Suicide by Shreyas Rao

if a person commits suicide, he cannot be tried. but, if he or she makes an attempt to commit suicide, the offender is hauled up and faces trial for violating section 306 of the indian penal code.
but the moot question is whether along with the person who made an unsuccessful suicide attempt, the abetter named in the offence could also be tried. in fact, abetment to commit suicide is an unusual offence, unparalleled in criminal law.
recently a married woman became handicapped after she made an abortive bid to end her life by throwing herself before a running train. she accused her in-laws and husband of harassing her.
the husband and aged in-laws were tried and sentenced by the trial court and the high court on the charge of cruelty over dowry. but, the accused got a reprieve from the supreme court which acquitted them.

section 306 says:``if any person commits suicide, whoever abets it, shall be punished with imprisonment ... upto 10 years ...''. under the ipc, the person who attempted to commit suicide is guilty of the offence whereas the person who committed suicide cannot be reached at all. section 306 renders the person who abets punishable with the condition precedent that suicide should necessarily have been committed. it is possible to abet the commission of suicide but it would be preposterous if law could afford to penalise an abetment to the offence or mere attempt to commit suicide.
a bench, comprising justice k t thomas and justice s n variava, said, if there is no abetment there is no question of the offence under section 306 coming into play. ``it is inconceivable to have abetment of an abetment'' , the court said. it also failed to understand as to how the accused could be sentenced for cruelty when there was dearth of evidence to link the demand for dowry with the women's suicide attempt.
after all what is dowry? section 304b of ipc defines `dowry' as any property of valuable security given or agreed to be given either directly or indirectly by one party to marriage or by the parents of the party or by any other person to the other party at or any time after the marriage.
but dowry does not include `mehr' in cases relating to marriages solemnised under the muslim personal law (shariat).

sometime ago, the then apex court judges justice k ramaswamy and justice b l hansaria (now dead) said it was a crime to demand dowry before marriage, at the time of marriage and after marriage.
``greed being limitless, the demands become insatiable in many cases, followed by torture on the girl, leading to either suicide in some cases or murder in some,'' the court noted. a large number of aged men and women accused of murdering their daughters-in-law over dowry are reportedly languishing in jails across the country.
should the charge of ``dowry death'' be liberally accepted? or should the charge, howsoever grave it is, stand the test of certain guidelines? these include: death of a married woman should be by burns or bodily injury; second, it must have occurred within seven years of her marriage; third, soon before her death, she must have been subjected to cruelty or harassment by her husband or by his relatives ; last, such cruelty or harassment must be or in connection with dowry demands.