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Human Rights Defenders

Damodar Turi’s battle in Jharkhand Human Rights Defender

Damodar Turi has been at the forefront of several protests against forced land acquisition and displacement of Adivasi communities in Jharkhand. He was arrested on February 15 (2018) from Ranchi under the UAPA Act and later put into solitary confinement on March 23 (2018) along with other activists. As per the law, solitary confinement of…

Death of a Rationalist: Gauri Lankesh Fearless journalist silenced for defying right wing extremists

Gauri Lankesh was a fearless journalist and a rationalist, who never minced words while calling out the bigotry and misogyny of right wing extremists. She was shot dead by a man with alleged links to a radical Hindutva organisation in September 2017. As the Saffron brigade busies itself in a nationwide do or die battle for…

Babasaheb Ambedkar

Babasaheb Ambedkar: A Man Far Ahead of His Times Human Rights Defender Profile

Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar was born on April 14, 127 years ago. Here is a brief look at the life and work of the man who grew up to be an eminent jurist, economist, social reformer, and is widely considered to be the Father of India’s Constitution. Early life Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar was born on April 14, 1891…

HS Doreswamy: The Man who won’t Give Up Human Rights Defender Profile

Harohalli Srinivasaiah Doreswamy, life-long social activist, turns 100 today. Born on April 10, 1918, Doreswamy has credited his life motto–”A social worker should embrace voluntary poverty”–to Mahatma Gandhi’s My Early Life, which Doreswamy read as a teenager. Starting with India’s struggle for independence, Doreswamy has not only been witnessed, but has been an active part of several major activist…

Who was Periyar?

Who was Periyar? Human Rights Defender Profile

Erode Venkata Ramasamy, popularly known as ‘Periyar’, was a social reformer who advocated equal rights for people of all castes, economic backgrounds and genders. He is best known for starting the Self Respect movement and founding the Dravidar Kazhagam.   Born in Erode village in Coimbatore district on September 17, 1879, he spoke Tamil, Telugu…

“Nothing About Us, Without Us” Noted disability rights activist Javed Abidi passes away

Disability rights activist Javed Abidi passed away on Sunday, March 4, 2018, reportedly due to a chest infection. He was 53. Abidi’s advocacy has been key to several other major developments in the field of disability rights, including India’s ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2007, the establishment of a separate department…

Chandrashekhar Azad Ravan

Will not compromise on principles, will prefer death: Chandrashekhar Azad ‘Ravan’ Human Rights Defender Profile

Chandrashekhar Azad is a prominent Dalit rights activist who has been wrongfully incarcerated since June 2017. He took on the popular moniker ‘Ravan’ as an act of defiance against accepted social order that rewards upper caste Hindu god-fearing men over all others. Over the last few years he has become a force to reckon with…

Sonebhadra

Sonebhadra’s Daughter Sukalo Human Rights Defender Profile

This is the story of Sukalo Gond, an adivasi woman who refused to back down and continues to fight for the rights of her people despite all odds, even today. Sukalo is an important force in the struggle for implementation of Forest Rights Act 2006 in the Sonebhadra, a heavily forested region in Uttar Pradesh. Adivasis…

Roma Malik

Roma: Unbowed, Unbroken, Unbent Human Rights Defender Profile

Roma Malik is known for working closely with the forest dwelling communities in Uttar Pradesh. She is also known for liasing with local authorities and the judicial system to bring to force, a just framework for the enforcement and implementation of forest rights of the indigenous people of India. She is the leading figure of…

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