Community-based Human Rights Defenders Felicitated – ActionAid India
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Community-based Human Rights Defenders Felicitated

Published on: Friday, 11th February 2022

Author: Priyanka Khullar

On December 9, 2021, ActionAid Association organised an event to celebrate community-based human rights defenders who have been working with the most disadvantaged communities and promoting social and ecological justice. We felicitated several exceptional individuals and the organisations they represent at the meeting held on the eve of Human Rights Day at the India International Centre, New Delhi. We also celebrated their exemplary efforts and achievements through social media as part of our #HaqKiBaat. These human rights defenders have been making vital interventions in different geographies on a wide range of issues, including children’s rights, women’s rights, workers’ rights, land rights, Dalit rights, minority rights, tribal rights, and to advance ecological justice.

The organisations honoured during the programme were Dalit Dasta Virodhi Andolan (Punjab), Gujjar Samaj Kalyan Sabha (Himachal Pradesh), Jan Kalyan Society (Haryana) and Mewat Caravan (Haryana). The individuals awarded on the occasion included Bapatla Sathyavathamma (Andhra Pradesh), Dinesh Prasad (Uttar Pradesh), Jagruti Patel (Gujarat), Jawan Singh Garasiya (Rajasthan), Kailash Chandra Dandapat (Odisha), Kumari Vaishnavi (Bihar), Noori (Tamil Nadu), Sajida Parvin (West Bengal), Sangeeta Kumari (Uttar Pradesh), Shankar Tadwal (Madhya Pradesh), Susheela (Karnataka) and Tseten Lepcha (Sikkim). Ms Maja Daruwala of the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, Sh. Rajagopal PV of Ekta Parishad, Sanjay Kapoor, editor of Hardnews Magazine and secretary-general of the Editors Guild of India, Rahul Ram, musician and activist, Bhasha Singh, a journalist with NewsClick, and Mohd. Ali Shah, actor and former soldier, spoke on the occasion.

These community-based champions have also played a critical role in our humanitarian response to several emergencies, including the COVID-19 pandemic. They are tirelessly sensitising communities on pandemic-related do’s and don’ts, facilitating vaccination, assisting in relief distribution, enabling access of vulnerable families to government schemes and entitlements, and supporting livelihood regeneration to enable them to earn a living.