Dalit Human Rights Defenders Training has been a regular event conducted annually to train the young human rights defenders in the various processes involved in defending the human rights of Dalits, such as fact finding, the situation of human rights, monitoring cases, filing appeals with the rights commissions and the procedures. This year’s training was conducted at hotel Viceroy, Guntur town on 28th October 2020. About 30 activists in human rights from various districts participated in the event. All norms concerning Covid-19 were taken and the participants were seated at safe distance and were wearing masks.
The Chief Guest at the event was Prof. K. Sudhakar Babu, Principal, JC College of Law, Guntur while other speakers were, Prof. Farahad, Professor in Engineering College, Sri. Vijaya Kumar, Retd. Manager of Andhra Bank,Ms. Jhansi Geddam, National Convener of DSS, Ms. Bhagya Lakshmi, State Coordinator of Telangana State, Ms.Hemalatha, State Coordinator of A.P. State, Sri. N. Sateesh, Advocate, Guntur.
Prof. K. Sudhakar Babu, highlighted the importance of human rights education in general and to the human rights defenders in particular.He explained the importance of various international human rights and how they are incorporated in the Indian Constitution.
. He analysed the working of the courts in issuing various writs in protecting the fundamental rights and the role of human rights organizations in defending the rights of the marginalized section through Public Interest Litigation.
He felt that there is equality among animals and no animal kills or injures its own species. But among human beings, some people feel they are superior and subject others to torture and humiliation for their ego satisfaction, thereby violating human rights. Further, a few humans exploit others for their comforts. In the course of social evolution, we have created many institutions like family, marriage, caste, religion, etc but these institutions instead of promoting equality and unity created various inequalities. Many problems of the society are due to the lack of values in the institutions of State and education system. Further, the market relations everywhere contributed for the deterioration of values resulting in violation of human rights. The He called upon the activists to utilize the institutions like NHRC and other rights commissions in protecting the rights of the poorer sections. He explained various provisions of law relating to bail, legal aid etc in getting a fair trial. He advised the activists to monitor the cases till the end to get justice.
Ms. Jhansi Geddam,explained the role of DSS in defending the human rights of dalit women and girl children.She drew the attention of the participants to the important laws such as SC/ST (PoA) Act in protecting the rights of Dalits.Though the Acts are there, they can be
realized only if the activists keep continuous vigilance. Further, she insisted on the importance of education and inclusion of human rights in the curriculum forspreading awareness among the youth. She stressed the importance of translating the important laws into easy Telugu so that the semi-literates and illiterates also can get equipped with the knowledge of various provisions of special enactments. In this context she pointed out how DSS has been continually bringing out in Telugu various laws concerning dalit human rights whenever they were enacted. She cited; the compendium of laws published in Telugu by DSS titled “Mana Chattalu:(Our Laws).
Dr. Farahad,appreciated DSS for working to promote the rights of women and girl children. She pointed out that it is only DSS that is concentrating on the rights of dalit women and girl children. She stressed the need for all women to educate and improve awareness of their rights so that they can transform the society. She felt that unless the women take active participation in the society there can be no progress in the country.
Mr. Sateesh, touched upon the role of advocates in assisting the human rights defenders and how to move the human rights court at the district level for immediate relief in case of illegal arrests. He cited the great poet Joshua who advocated equality of women when none else was talking about women’s rights.
Mr. Vijaya Kumar, highlighted the Covid-19 situation and how human rights are protected during such a situation. There is no possibility to protest or organize public meetings during the past 6 months and he hoped that shortly we will come over the situation and would be able to work as before.
Ms. Bhagya Lakshmi and Ms. Hemalatha spoke on the topics of fact findings, addressing the grievances of dalit women, approaching the district officials and monitoring the cases.