Mangaluru: School of Social work, Roshni Nilaya and Karnataka State Human Rights Commission (KSHRC) Bengaluru, jointly organized a two-day International Conference on Human Rights Education for Social Work Practice which was sponsored by UGC at Roshni Nilaya here, on March 4.
The programme began with an invocation by the students of Roshni Nilaya. Organizing Secretary Dr Rameela Shekhar, welcomed the gathering and narrated the highlights of the conference.
Chairperson of KSHRC, Meena Saksena and Commissioner of Police M Chandra Sekhar inaugurated the conference by lighting the traditional lamp along with other dignitaries.
In her inaugural speech Meena said, “I am associated with Roshni Nilaya from a long time. Nowadays social workers make use of the electronic format only, which is both financially cost efficient and environmental friendly and I am happy to say that the present youth are participating in the social work activities with great enthusiasm. Social work needs a lot of inputs from Human Rights, where we have to use a personal approach rather than a welfare approach. I wanted to have a career in environmental law but destiny took me somewhere else and I pursued my law career in Human Rights. We need a lot of progress in human mentality as in a few remote areas people still practice superstition, violate rights of a woman and so on. Even parents and families exploit children at times, these are the usual complaints we receive.”
She further said, “Human Rights are not easily accessible to disabled persons. Though there are special laws for special people, they are always been considered as second citizens. Therefore we must protect the laws meant for them. Then we have sexual minorities in the society too, why should we look at them differently? We must look at them in the same way we look at people who speak different language or practice different religion.”
“Nobody chooses to be a sexual minority. Many times we see that the authorities treat a transgender in a very bad manner. Every individual of the society has the inherent right to be treated with dignity in all situations including arrest and detention by the police. It has happened a lot of times that the innocent people are victims of false allegations. The public fears the police as they feel they might be victims of false allegations or beaten up badly in custody. I understand that the police are under pressure too, as they may face political interference in crime investigation or the pressure from media for a speedy investigation are certain reasons why violations of human rights take place in police custody. I wish that the human rights are protected in India and everywhere else.”
Commissioner of Police Chandra Sekhar said, “Usually the police shy away from the situation when they face criticism. I may disagree with what others say but I certainly stand with this trend. I am not going to defend my department in any way and say that we are not violating any rights or everything is going smoothly in the department. There are many human rights violation cases and it is our department which accounts for most of the human rights complaints. There should be a particular study as to what makes a particular person violate human rights. The pressure of the public or the media may be a factor for imperfect investigation and lack of public co-operation. But I must say that the public view towards police must change.”
He further said, “Every coin has two sides and both the sides should be projected to the public. I will not defend any illegal acts. It is our moral, social and constitutional responsibility to ensure the progress of the citizens by providing them with equal rights and opportunities.”
Senior Advocate Pramila Nesargi and Director of School of Social Work Roshni Nilaya Philomena D’Souza were also present at the conference.