India’s development model is winning praise at the 52nd UN Human Rights Council meet in Geneva with NGOs highlighting the Indian education model and urging other UN member states to follow it.
Sai Sampath from Eco Fawn, United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) NGO, during his oral intervention, described and narrated the story of Rohini, a Dalit girl studying in Geneva. She has been the beneficiary of Rs 1 crore granted by the government of India. “It is an honour for me to represent the voice of 200 million Dalit people of India at the United Nations. I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to the government of India for providing me with a scholarship to pursue my PhD in Geneva, Switzerland,” Sampath said.
“As someone coming from the disadvantaged section of society, I have witnessed caste discrimination and marginalisation. The conditions of Dalits in India are far better than the conditions of minorities in other neighbouring countries,” he added.
Sampath further said: “The first tribal woman president of India Droupadi Murmu and OBC prime minister Narendra Modi is a testament to the power of our constitution. This shows that people from diverse communities and backgrounds can break barriers and create opportunities.”
Somayaji, representing the Association of Africa, during his oral intervention, talked about India’s development.
“Since India gained independence in 1947, it has made significant strides in promoting and protecting human rights. India’s constitution guarantees fundamental rights to all citizens. India has made progress in advancing the rights of women, Dalits and other marginalised communities,” Somayaji said.
“In recent years, India has implemented measures to promote gender equality, including the criminalisation of marital rape and a new law to protect women from sexual harassment in the workplace,” he added.
Somayaji further said: “India has implemented affirmative action policies to ensure the disadvantaged groups have access to education and employment opportunities.”
Miguel Galaz, Consultant Prime Matters, Lisbon during his oral intervention represented Akshar Foundation, an ECOSOC NGO in India. He described the Indian education model and urged the UN council that it should be followed by other member countries in Europe.
Permanent Representative of India to the UN and other International Organisations in Geneva, Ambassador Indra Mani Pandey on Friday highlighted Mahatma Gandhi’s five core concepts i.e. Ahimsa, Satyagraha, Sarvodaya, Swaraj and Trusteeship, pointing out that they are also the core principles of the UN Charter and Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).
Delivering a Joint Statement on ‘Resonance of Thoughts & Values of Mahatma Gandhi in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights’ at the Human Rights Council on behalf of India and 89 other States, he said that there is strong resonance in the universal values contained in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of the ideas and values espoused by Mahatma Gandhi, the global icon of non-violence.
Underlining that Gandhiji’s advocacy of political, social and economic inclusion has been manifest in the Sustainable Development Goals, Ambassador Pandey emphasised that Gandhiji was a strong believer in the inclusion of women and girls, as well as persons in vulnerable situations, securing and upholding their rights and dignity.