'Most people are still not aware of their basic rights'

GUWAHATI: Assam Human Rights Commission secretary Ahmed Shahnawaz on Wednesday said people were still not aware of their basic human rights and it was necessary to conduct rights awareness programmes in small towns of the state to open the eyes of people. Addressing a programme on human rights at Doom Dooma College in Tinsukia district, he discussed the structure of the Assam Human Rights Commission and said it was set up in 1996 to look after the rights of people.

Faculty members, college principal, students and senior district officials attended the event.

Speaking on the occasion, Shahnawaz said, "A person is born with certain rights which are inseparable from him under any circumstances. No individual should be deprived of his basic human rights on basis of sex, religion, caste or creed." Shahnawaz spoke on a wide range of human rights violation that take place everywhere in the form of child labour, treatment meted out to prisoners, labourers, mental patients, witch hunting, sexual harassment on women at working places and domestic violence. He also urged people present at the programme to spread the message of human rights to make the social awareness event a success.

Several other resource persons also shared their views on human rights. They included Bina Devi Bordoloi, who spoke about the different forms of human rights violation right from the days of Mahabharata and World Wars, to the modern day evil cases of human rights violation in the form of human trafficking for organ transplantation and prostitution.

Birendra Hazarika, another resource person spoke on the history, development and several forms of human rights and how they were related to the Fundamental Rights of citizens. He said NGOs have a greater responsibility towards generating awareness on human rights.

An interactive session between the participants and Shahnawaz was also organized where participants placed their queries before him and other representatives of the district administration.