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�Poverty greatest impediment to human rights�

By Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, Nov 12 - The Pabindra Nath Sarma Memorial Award for Investigative Reporting on Human Rights and the Kunjabala Devi Memorial Award for Investigative Reporting on Women Issues for the year 2015 were formally presented to Sanjoy Ray of The Assam Tribune and Kulapradip Bhagawati of Dainik Agradoot, respectively, at a function held at the Bishnu-Nirmala Trust Auditorium at Latasil this evening.

Presenting the awards, educationist and social activist Dr Udayon Misra, who was the chief guest on the occasion, said that poverty and the resultant lack of economic empowerment of a vast magnitude of people had been the greatest impediment to human rights in India.

�The Constitution of India, which is a wonderful document and is better than many of the world�s constitutions, has given us rights in good numbers. But the irony is that these rights are not available to a fairly large number of the countrymen. Poverty, hunger and malnutrition have continued to haunt these people, which is a matter of serious and continuous violation of human rights,� he said.

Pointing out that the criterion that puts a man above the poverty line (one who can spend Rs 20 a day) was ridiculous, Dr Misra said that all the tall talks of economic liberalization and GDP growth meant very little when a large segment of the populace remained out of bound of the supposed benefits accruing from it.

Citing prevalent inequalities embedded in social structures as another factor behind the depressing human rights scenario, Dr Misra said that poverty apart, hierarchical violence sanctioned by social structures had been hitting at the core of human rights in the country since ancient times.

�The idea of social equality is central to human rights� the violence emanating from social structures is not always physical. The desired change is slow to come because the privileged few always resist attempts at change,� he said.

Dr Misra said that any assault on the idea of India that had prospered throughout centuries as a pluralist entity with many voices in peaceful coexistence would prove to be dangerous.

Writer, critic and educationist Dr Tilottama Misra, in her address as guest of honour, said that women�s rights and human rights were two sides of the same coin, as women invariably happen to bear the brunt of any adverse and conflict situations.

�Throughout the centuries women have had to sustain movements to get their share of civil and political rights. Disturbingly, there has been a tendency to trivialize women�s rights as a battle of the sexes,� she said. Dr Misra added that proper orientation of young male children at home by the parents was critical to inculcating in their mindsets a sense that did not differentiate between a man�s and a women�s work.

�Moreover, invisible forms of human rights violation of women are encountered even at the highest level where competent woman are marginalized by men. In Assam, rightful recognition eluded women of substance like Chandraprabha Saikia and Amalprabha Das,� she said.

The awardees, Sanjoy Ray, a Staff Reporter of The Assam Tribune and Kulapradip Bhagawati, a Sub-editor of Dainik Agradoot, in their acceptance speeches, gave an account of their reporting on the issues of human rights and women�s issues. Ray, who had reported on the plight of trafficked women from interior places of Assam to Haryana, said that such issues needed to figure atop the governments� priority list which is not happening. Bhagawati, who wrote about struggles and successes of marginalized women pitted against heavy odds said that optimism held the key to triumphing in one�s life.

Editor of Asam Bani Dileep Chandan presided over the session, while PJ Baruah, Executive Editor of The Assam Tribune, gave the welcome speech.

The awards given in the memory of Pabindra Nath Sarma, freedom fighter and an advocate and his wife Kunjabala Devi, carry a cash amount of Rs 30,000 each and a citation and a shawl.

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�Poverty greatest impediment to human rights�

GUWAHATI, Nov 12 - The Pabindra Nath Sarma Memorial Award for Investigative Reporting on Human Rights and the Kunjabala Devi Memorial Award for Investigative Reporting on Women Issues for the year 2015 were formally presented to Sanjoy Ray of The Assam Tribune and Kulapradip Bhagawati of Dainik Agradoot, respectively, at a function held at the Bishnu-Nirmala Trust Auditorium at Latasil this evening.

Presenting the awards, educationist and social activist Dr Udayon Misra, who was the chief guest on the occasion, said that poverty and the resultant lack of economic empowerment of a vast magnitude of people had been the greatest impediment to human rights in India.

�The Constitution of India, which is a wonderful document and is better than many of the world�s constitutions, has given us rights in good numbers. But the irony is that these rights are not available to a fairly large number of the countrymen. Poverty, hunger and malnutrition have continued to haunt these people, which is a matter of serious and continuous violation of human rights,� he said.

Pointing out that the criterion that puts a man above the poverty line (one who can spend Rs 20 a day) was ridiculous, Dr Misra said that all the tall talks of economic liberalization and GDP growth meant very little when a large segment of the populace remained out of bound of the supposed benefits accruing from it.

Citing prevalent inequalities embedded in social structures as another factor behind the depressing human rights scenario, Dr Misra said that poverty apart, hierarchical violence sanctioned by social structures had been hitting at the core of human rights in the country since ancient times.

�The idea of social equality is central to human rights� the violence emanating from social structures is not always physical. The desired change is slow to come because the privileged few always resist attempts at change,� he said.

Dr Misra said that any assault on the idea of India that had prospered throughout centuries as a pluralist entity with many voices in peaceful coexistence would prove to be dangerous.

Writer, critic and educationist Dr Tilottama Misra, in her address as guest of honour, said that women�s rights and human rights were two sides of the same coin, as women invariably happen to bear the brunt of any adverse and conflict situations.

�Throughout the centuries women have had to sustain movements to get their share of civil and political rights. Disturbingly, there has been a tendency to trivialize women�s rights as a battle of the sexes,� she said. Dr Misra added that proper orientation of young male children at home by the parents was critical to inculcating in their mindsets a sense that did not differentiate between a man�s and a women�s work.

�Moreover, invisible forms of human rights violation of women are encountered even at the highest level where competent woman are marginalized by men. In Assam, rightful recognition eluded women of substance like Chandraprabha Saikia and Amalprabha Das,� she said.

The awardees, Sanjoy Ray, a Staff Reporter of The Assam Tribune and Kulapradip Bhagawati, a Sub-editor of Dainik Agradoot, in their acceptance speeches, gave an account of their reporting on the issues of human rights and women�s issues. Ray, who had reported on the plight of trafficked women from interior places of Assam to Haryana, said that such issues needed to figure atop the governments� priority list which is not happening. Bhagawati, who wrote about struggles and successes of marginalized women pitted against heavy odds said that optimism held the key to triumphing in one�s life.

Editor of Asam Bani Dileep Chandan presided over the session, while PJ Baruah, Executive Editor of The Assam Tribune, gave the welcome speech.

The awards given in the memory of Pabindra Nath Sarma, freedom fighter and an advocate and his wife Kunjabala Devi, carry a cash amount of Rs 30,000 each and a citation and a shawl.