NHRC, India celebrates its 26th Foundation Day (12.10.2019)

New Delhi,12th October,2019

The National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, India celebrated its 26th Foundation Day on the 12th October, 2019 today and organized a function in New Delhi to mark the occasion. Addressing the gathering as the Chief Guest, Mr. Amit Shah, Union Home Minister lauded the efforts of the Commission towards building awareness for the promotion and protection of human rights. He reiterated Modi government’s continued resolve to work for the promotion and protection of human rights of all by ensuring basic amenities to them.

He said that seventy years after the independence, the Modi government’s massive work to provide more than 70 crore people with basic amenities like toilets, cooking gas, electricity, houses, health insurance within a span of five years needs to be brought at international arena as a major achievement towards protection of human rights He said that the concept of human rights violation is not limited only custodial torture or deaths; we also need to focus on elimination of poverty and lack of basic amenities, which result in grave human rights violations.

He said that all the stakeholders including the government, civil society, NGOs, NHRC should work and promote the concept of Sabka saath- sabka vikas, which will result in protection of human rights. The definition of human rights needs to widened by adding Indian perspective to them. International norms would not be sufficient to describe the concept of human rights in India. He said that terrorism and Naxalism are the biggest threat to human rights. Forty thousand people lost life due to terrorism in Jammu & Kashmir. Several districts were deprived of development due to Naxalism. We need to talk about the human rights violations of the victims of terrorism and Naxalism.

Mr. Shah said that India has a long inbuilt tradition of rights protection in families, which required no external force or laws to practice. This suo motu effort of the people ensuring protection of rights needs to be promoted by the NHRC by encouraging people to nurture those values. This practice flows naturally and needs to be promoted by bringing in harmony between the laws and traditions. He said that there can be no bigger human rights charter than Narsi Mehta’s “ Vaishnav Jan Tote” Bhajan so endearingly sung by Mahatma Gandhi. He said that Gandhiji ideas of working with a rights based approach are like eternal truths and remain relevant even today when the country is celebrating his 150 birth anniversary.

Earlier, Mr. Justice H. L. Dattu, Chairperson, NHRC, India said that the 26th Foundation Day of the Commission marks an era of a new beginning of NHRC with energized vigour towards the protection of human rights of all, especially the most vulnerable groups.

He said that the presence of the Union Home Minister, Mr. Amit Shah on this occasion, reflects his concern for and commitment to ensuring an effective realization of human rights for all the people of India. His dedication and dexterity makes him represent the emerging New India, which believes in result oriented performance in every field.

Acknowledging Mr. Shah’s support to the efforts for further strengthening of the National Human Rights Commission and State Human Rights Commissions, Justice Dattu said that the recent amendment to the PHR, Act is an affirmative step bringing the Women, Children, Backward Class Commissions in the decision making process of the National Human Rights Commission to encourage wider participation of all sections of society.

The NHRC Chairperson highlighted various activities of the Commission and the new initiatives taken as part of its consistent endeavour to make people aware of the importance of the promotion and protection of human rights. He said that the Commission has cleared almost all cases registered prior to 2016. He said that the enormous increase in the number of complaints is indicative of the awareness of Human Rights among the people and as also their growing faith in the Commission. It is a matter of great satisfaction that in almost all cases, Government authorities have complied with the Commission’s recommendations for providing relief and initiating action against errant officials.

Justice Dattu emphasized that a true commitment to human rights requires concerted efforts by all sections of the society to nourish and treasure the rich diversity of all people and sustain mutually-enabling relationships. He expressed the hope that all the people of the country along with the State will collectively work towards to creating an environment where there is no fear and discrimination of any kind.

Mr. Jaideep Govind, Secretary General, NHRC, in his welcome address, highlighted some of the key initiatives taken up by the Commission this year to expand its outreach for the promotion and protection of human rights. In this connection, he said that the Commission has further enriched its website by making it more user friendly, launched HRC Net portal for filing online complaints to for promoting quick disposal. It has also linked SHRCs with it to avoid duplication. He Commission has started video conference with state authorities so that disposal of cases could be expedited. Mr Govind said that the Commission has also linked its online complaint filing system with over 3 lac Common Service Centres to facilitate peoples file their complaints easily. He also highlighted various activities of the Commission in the field of research, training and investigation of cases.

On the occasion, Mr Shah also gave away awards to the winners of different competitions. Nine children of the officers and the staff of the Commission were given awards for their paintings in three categories on different themes related to human rights.

Winners of the Painting Competition

Category-I : Children upto Class-III

1st Prize : Samridhi Rai, cash prize Rs. 5,000/-

2nd Prize : Vedant More, cash prize Rs. 4,000/-

3rd Prize : Vaishnavi Gosain, cash prize Rs.3,000/-

Category-II : Children from Class-IV-VII

1st Prize : Tavishi Talwar, cash prize Rs. 5,000/-

2nd Prize : Krishna Rawat, cash prize Rs. 4,000/-

3rd Prize : Rashi Bathmi, cash prize Rs.3,000/-

Category-III : Children from Class-VIII-XII

1st Prize : Yashvi Kumar, cash prize Rs. 5,000/-

2nd Prize : Ashish Kumar, cash prize Rs. 4,000/-

3rd Prize : Mathangi Saji, cash prize Rs. 3,000/-

Apart from them, the six NHRC officials were given awards for their excellence in the vocal music competition. In female solo singing competition, Ms. Mehak Acharya, Ms. Sunita Antil and Ms. Shrilekha got the first ,second and third prize of Rs.5,000/-, 2000/- and 1000/- respectively. In male solo singing competition, Mr. Pradeep More and Mr. Bhaskar Bhalodi got joint first of Rs 5,000/-, Mr. C. Sasidharan and Mr. Arun Tyagi received the second and third prize of Rs.2000/- and Rs.1000/ respectively.

The NHRC Members, Mr. Justice P.C. Pant, Mrs. Jyotika Kalra, Dr. D. M. Mulay and several other dignitaries, including the judges and senior government functionaries, civil society members were present.

An exhibition pictorially covering the activities of the NHRC throughout the year was also mounted on the occasion. 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 of performances by artists from the Song and Drama Division. The well attended programme was prominently covered in media, including the public broadcasters, Doordarshan and All India Radio.