Mangaluru: Bandhavya on account of their decennial celebrations organised a shanthi jatha (peace rally) on human rights from Milagres Church grounds to St Agnes Special School grounds, Bendur here, on January 16.
The jatha was inaugurated by Mayor Jacintha Vijay Alfred and consisted of members of 18 NGO’s of Bandhavya federation. After the jatha, human rights convention was held at St Agnes Special School grounds. A street play was organised to spread awareness on human rights by the MSW students of Roshni Nilaya, The School of Social Work.
Convener of Bandhavya, Fr Vinod Mascarenhas welcomed the gathering. Secretary of Bandhavya, Fr Oswald Monteiro explained the social work done by the federation.
MLA JR Lobo congratulated Bandhavya for 10 years of social service and said, “If we read history we will see that human rights have been violated from a very long time. Violation of human rights cannot be completely stopped, but can certainly be reduced.” He said that human rights were violated due to many reasons but prominently due to religion and corruption. During the elections, voters sell their right to vote by receiving money from the candidates.
Lobo further said that a sound conscience was needed to stop violation of human rights. “When exploited people come to power, they exploit the human rights of others. Religious harmony is required for the survival of democracy. We must sensitize people around us on this issue so that the violation of human rights is reduced,” he added.
Resource person, Professor, Shailaja Santhosh said, “Everyone has the rights to live a dignified life. Human rights are our birth right and nobody can take them away from us. Of all the rights guaranteed by our constitution, right to life is the most important one. There are only two groups of people, those who are exploited and those who exploit others.”
She further said that when one right is exploited, it is equal to exploitation of all the other rights. People including well educated ones, are not aware of the rights the Indian constitution has guaranteed them. “The most vulnerable population to human rights exploitation is, women, HIV/leprosy patients, patients suffering from life threatening diseases, children, elders, backward class community and people with mental disorders. In India, about 28% minor girls are married off and face life threatening situations during pregnancy,” Shailaja said.
Shailaja also stressed on education for women but said that women of Dakshina Kannada were well off when compared to the women of other places. She congratulated all the students of social work for choosing social work as their subject and a ‘profession in social work is a human rights profession’.
Former Lokayukta, Justice Santhosh Hegde said, “Lokayukta had conducted many investigations against corruption which were linked to human rights violations.” He said that there were instances when a doctors receive huge paychecks and still violate the human rights of the patients by refusing to treat them without receiving bribe. “Human greed has no medicine. When we show humanity to others, then only we become qualified to be called as humans,” he said.
Bishop of Mangaluru, Dr Aloysius Paul D’Souza also spoke on the occasion.