Namaste! Welcome to the Adhikaar community!
Happy New Year 2014!
Since 2005, Adhikaar has been committed to improving the lives of Nepali-speaking communities and getting our voices heard in the social justice movement. We have assisted thousands of individuals and families; trained hundreds of new leaders; and worked in coalitions to successfully change policies and create new laws at local, state, national, and international levels, including the New York State Domestic Workers Bill of Rights and the International Domestic Workers' Convention.
Thank you for visiting our website, and thank you for your commitment to justice. Please feel free to drop by our office anytime Sunday through Thursday (1pm to 6pm), check out our Youtube channel, "like" our Facebook page, and follow us on Twitter.
News & Updates
Narbada Chhetri leads a Nail Salon Health & Safety training by facilitating ergonomic exercises with nail salon workers and beauty salon workers from Brooklyn and Queens.
We are making progress with our Nail Salon Campaign - we have completed almost 200 surveys of Nepali-speaking nail salon and beauty salon workers on health and safety issues at the workplace, as well as focus group discussions. With support from the Data Center, we are analyzing the data and preparing a report. Adhikaar is also collaborating with the Center for Urban Pedagogy and artists from Welcome Workshop as part of the Making Policy Public poster series, in a project using visuals to make public policy issues surround nail salons accessible to the workers and the customers.
As part of the new Justice for Job Seekers campaign, Adhikaar helped organize and participated in a forum in late January where members joined community allies from across the city in sharing stories about employment agency fraud and demanding change. The Justice for Job Seekers coalition represents low-wage workers seeking to reform New York employment agency laws in order to deter employment agency abuse and facilitate enforcement. A group of almost 20 members and staff attended the forum and our Director of Organizing and Advocacy, Narbada Chhetri, shared her testimonial.
Adhikaar members protest in solidarity with Sangeeta Richard, the domestic worker who suffered wage theft and workplace injustice at the hands of an Indian consulate employee. The rally was organized by the National Domestic Workers Alliance on December 19, 2013 in front of the Indian consulate office in Manhattan.
The issue of labor trafficking burst into the spotlight back in December, when news hit the press that Devyani Khobragade, India's deputy consul general in New York, was arrested for visa fraud - allegedly paying her housekeeper, Sangeeta Richard, a mere $3.31 an hour, and lying to the US officials about Sangeeta's real wage and working conditions. While the arrest consequently sparked a diplomatic row between the US and India, Adhikaar mobilized members and allies from the National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA) to organize an online petition that getting over 85,000 signatures, and a rally in front of the Indian Consulate in support of Sangeeta on December 19. More than two dozen domestic workers and allies came out to make sure that the voices of migrant workers are not silenced. With Adhikaar's support, Sangeeta has received assistance and is looking to continue her new life with dignity.
Adhikaar is one of the anchor organizations of Beyond Survival, an anti-trafficking campaign within NDWA. Adhikaar member leaders who have survived trafficking, along with staff representatives, attended a retreat in Washington DC in mid-January. Members also had the opportunity to attend an exclusive meeting with Secretary of Labor Tom Perez to bravely share their stories and ask for policy changes to support trafficking survivors and end trafficking. You can read about the meeting and Secretary Perez' thoughts about our members' stories here: http://social.dol.gov/blog/"in-a-room-with-no-windows-or-doors"/
In September, Adhikaar had a victory in our fight against immigration fraud, where Hit K. Shrestha, a Nepali national who had been arrested and indicted for immigration fraud, finally paid back $50,700 owed to the immigrant workers who she had duped into believing that they would soon be reunited with their families back home. On October 19, Adhikaar held a press conference to announce and celebrate this good news in time for Dashain, where Director of Immigrant Affairs at the Manhattan District Attorney's Office, Rosemary Yu, and New Immigrant Community Empowerment Executive Director, Valeria Treves, spoke on the prevalence of immigration fraud. Themen and women who had been unfortunate victims of Hit Shrestha also attended, and bravely shared their stories to all the community members and press. We take this success as one step forward in our fight to end immigration fraud in our community as well as the larger immigrant community.
On December 17, Adhikaar testified at the New York City Council Committee of Immigration hearing on Resolution Number 1515, calling upon the US Congress to pass legislation to impose criminal penalties on those who falsely represents themselves as immigration attorneys or as an accredited immigration representatives. Prarthana Gurung shared a story of one of Adhikaar's members, a victim of immigration fraud, and shed light on the issue of fraud among the larger Nepali-speaking community in NYC.