NHRC celebrates its 23rd Foundation Day (21.10.2016)


New Delhi, 21st October, 2016

Mr. Ravi Shankar Prasad, Hon'ble Union Minister for Law & Justice and Electronics & Information Technology, lauded the National Human Rights Commission's efforts towards promotion and protection of human rights and expressed the hope that through its intervention, it will become beacon for human rights institutions in different countries. Celebrating the diversity and democracy of India, Shri Prasad said that every model cannot be judged from the point of view of a western model. He remembered the vision of founding fathers of Indian Constitution, which, he said, became a guiding force for the people to be rights conscious.

Mr. Prasad was speaking as the Chief Guest on the occasion of a function organised in New Delhi by the NHRC to celebrate its 23rd Foundation Day. He said that there is need to focus on the rights of people affected with HIV-AIDS. He also emphasized on the need for the legal learning of the marginalized sections of the people, who remain venerable due to the lack of awareness about various rights and legal remedies and said that helping people in distress can be the most rewarding experience for anyone in life.

He said that the government is using information technology for building awareness and as a tool to ensuring good governance. Mr. Prasad also said that there is a need to look beyond the conventional image of police and security forces and to think about the human rights violations of those also give up their life fighting against terrorism.

Earlier, addressing the gathering, Mr. Justice H. L. Dattu, Chairperson, NHRC said that the Commission represents the work, dedication and relentless spirit of freedom, justice and equity. He expressed the hope that by incorporating human rights as way of life a fundamental change can be brought about to eradicate the scourge of poverty, ignorance, prejudices and discrimination based on sex, caste, religion, disability and other forms in society.

Justice Dattu highlighted various activities of the Commission and the new initiatives taken as part of its consistent endeavour to make people aware and engage them towards promotion and protection of human rights. In this context, apart from other activities of the Commission, he particularly highlighted the NHRC's Short Film Award Scheme, which has generated tremendous response reflected through 94 entries received from different parts of the country this year compared to about 48 entries last year.

Justice Dattu also said that in order to strengthen human rights protection mechanism within the country, the Commission has taken numerous initiatives to strengthen and improve the operational capacities of State Human Rights Commissions. It has also proposed to the Government of India for suitable amendments in the PHR Act, 1993 so as to provide for the setting up for human rights Commission the Union Territories as well.

On the occasion Shri Prasad also gave away awards to the four winners of Hindi Essay Competition organised by the NHRC for the persons belonging to SC, ST and Other Backward Communities. Nine children were also given awards for their paintings in three age groups on different theme related to human rights. On the occasion, six meritorious children of NHRC employees, having secured more than 90% marks in class 10th and 12th in 2016, were also rewarded apart from the two best male and female voices of the Commission.

Marking the joyous celebrations of the Foundation Day of the Commission, its officers and staff presented a medley of cultural show followed by an ensemble by the performances by renowned Aamad Dance Centre of Ms. Rani Khanan.