On December 14, 2022, ActionAid Association organised an event to celebrate community-based human rights defenders from across states working with the most marginalised communities and promoting social and ecological justice. Several exceptional individuals and the organisations they represent were felicitated at the meeting held on the occasion of Human Rights Day at India International Centre, New Delhi.The programme was graced by Shri Devendra Kumar Singh IAS, Secretary General, National Human Rights Commission; Dr Lalitha Kumaramangalam, Former Chairperson, National Commission for Women; Dr Shantha Sinha, Former Chairperson, National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights; and Shri Shivaji Sarjerao Dhavale, Chairperson, Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority.
The organisations honoured during the programme were Eklavya Sanghtna and Manavi Haq Abhiyan from Maharashtra. The individuals awarded on the occasion included Arun Housrao Jadhav, Bajrang Sahebrao Tate (Maharashtra), C Anand Raj (Tamil Nadu), Chandrika BT (Karnataka), Gamchi Timre R Marak (Meghalaya), Hari Singh Meravi (Madhya Pradesh), Jayshree Janjar (Gujarat), Kadudas Haribhau Kamble (Maharashtra), Kanchan Bala (Bihar), Khima Jethi (Uttarakhand), Laxmi Solanki (Madhya Pradesh), Manas Ranjan Pradhan (Odisha), Pepa Ram (Rajasthan), Rizwan Saifi (Uttar Pradesh), Sharddha Kashyap (Madhya Pradesh), Subhash Kanchukatla (Telangana), Sunil Minj (Jharkhand), Sunita Eknath Bhosale (Maharashtra) and Vijiaya Nicholas (Tamil Nadu).
Addressing the gathering, the speakers commended ActionAid Association’s initiative of felicitating community-based human rights defenders. They appreciated the efforts and achievements of these community leaders and encouraged them to continue their work unitedly and fearlessly.
These human rights defenders have been making vital interventions in different geographies on a 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. Read more about the programme here.