The Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi today released a commemorative postal stamp and cover marking silver jubilee of the National Human Rights Commission, India at a function organized at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi. He also launched the new version of the NHRC website.
Addressing the gathering on the occasion, the Prime Minister lauded the role of the Commission in building awareness towards the promotion and protection of human rights in the country. He said that the protection of human rights has been an important part of our culture. He said that after independence, elements such as an independent and impartial judiciary; an active media; an active civil society, and organizations such as NHRC are in place to protect human rights.
The Prime Minister said that human rights should not be merely a slogan, but also a part of our ethos. He said that the government is committed to working for a just and equitable society ensuring people’s welfare and protection of their rights. He said that in the last four years or so, a lot of serious efforts have been made to improve the quality of life of the poor. He said that the Government’s focus has been to ensure that all Indians have access to the basic needs of human beings. In this context, he mentioned the achievements of schemes such as BetiBachao, BetiPadhao, Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan, Pradhan MantriAwaasYojana, UjjwalaYojana, and SaubhagyaYojana; and the transformation that has been brought about in the lives of the people as a result of these schemes. He said that the construction of more than 9 crore toilets, has ensured sanitation, and a life of dignity, for crores of poor people. He also mentioned the recently launched health assurance initiative – PMJAY – under Ayushman Bharat. He also spoke of the financial inclusion initiatives of the Union Government. He said that the law which provides relief to Muslim women from triple talaq, is also part of this series of steps taken to ensure basic rights for people.
The Prime Minister mentioned steps taken to improve ease of access to justice, such as increasing the number of e-courts, and strengthening of the National Judicial Data Grid. He described Aadhaar as a technology-based empowerment initiative.
The Prime Minister said that the success of these initiatives has also been because of Jan Bhagidaari – public participation. He said that along with awareness of human rights, citizens should also be aware of their duties and responsibilities. He said those who understand their responsibilities, also know how to respect the rights of others.
The Prime Minister said that the role of NHRC is also crucial for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
Earlier, the Union Home Minister, Mr. Rajnath Singh said that the NHRC holds a very important position in the institutional frame work of India. He said that the awareness about human rights has increased in the country but one is at pains to understand why there is so much clamour for the protection of human rights of anti- national and anti social elements when strict action is taken against them who violate the rights of others? Why even an action against illegal migrants is viewed as an act of human rights violation.
The NHRC Chairperson, Mr. H.L. Dattu said that the Commission’s constant endeavour over the last 25 years has been to make itself as accessible to the people as possible. It has developed a wide range of mechanisms to oversee the human rights situation in the country. The phenomenal increase in the number of complaints received each year reflects the extent of its reach across the country.
Justice Dattu said that the Silver Jubilee of the Commission provides an occasion to re-dedicate ourselves to achieving a just and equitable society by upholding the principles and ideals enshrined in our Constitution. He lauded the various government welfare schemes, including Jan Dhan, Mudra, Ujjwala, Skill India, Digital India, Swachh Bharat and Make-in India programmes etc. aimed at empowering the economically and socially vulnerable sections of the society.
The NHRC Secretary General, Mr. Ambuj Sharma gave an insight into various initiatives taken by the Commission to take the message of human rights among the common people make its silver jubilee even more meaningful and memorable. These include, among others, online Human Rights Pledge which has already been taken by nearly one lakh people, starting a toll free helpline (14433), on line registration of complaints through Common Service Centres at district level across india, besides expanding its expert core groups by setting up two more on “LGBTI” issues and “Business Environment and Human Rights” respectively, making a Documentary Film on NHRC, organizing Human Rights Mela and Human Rights Street Play Festival and Human Rights Walk as part of the Silver Jubilee events.
The Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Communications, Mr. Manoj Sinha was also present on the occasion in addition to the NHRC Members, Mr. Justice P.C. Ghose, Mrs. Jyotika Kalra, former Chairperson, Members and senior officers, besides a host of other dignitaries including judges, diplomats, academicians, civil society members, representatives of State Human Rights Commissions and other National and State Commissions, media as well as senior government functionaries.