A human rights violation is the disallowance of the freedom of thought and movement to which all humans legally have a right. While individuals can violate these rights, the leadership or government of civilization most often belittles marginalized persons. This, in turn, places these people in the cycle of poverty and oppression. Individuals who approach life with the attitude that not all human lives are of equal value then perpetuate this cycle.
Almost everyday there are chilling instances of violence, ethnic cleansing, heinous torture, child abuse, man slaughter and several other human rights violations. Despite the adoption of the Universal Declaration Human Rights (1948) and special covenants provided for the rights of children, women and disabled, crimes continue unhindered and unabated. The soul-searching question is… ‘Has humanity been relinquished?’ Of the 56 members of the United Nations in this period, eight of them did not vote in favor of equal human rights. Since then, international human rights have made monumental progress.
This does not mean, however, that some do not violate these rights every single day. The development of human rights advocacy is not a linear process; the last two decades have shown that human rights advancements have remained stagnant or declined in some parts of the world. Socially disadvantaged groups of society are especially susceptible to discrimination. This includes women, children, ethnic minorities, persons with disabilities, refugees, indigenous peoples and people living in poverty.
In India, various mechanisms such as the National Human Rights Commission, State Human Rights Commissions, and Women’s Commissions have been constituted at the Centre and in the states, for upholding human rights causes. Legislative safeguards i.e. The Constitution of India, which is supreme, multifarious laws such as The Human Rights Act, 1997 are in existence but in vain. Human rights violations are the order of the day and the above ‘law- enforcement’ arsenals fall short of implementation. Rights are merely enumerated on paper and hence remain a dead letter.
Poverty is a ruthless task master, which extracts an exorbitant price in terms of denial of basic human rights. Article 21 is the Magna Carta of the constitution of India. It reads as, “No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law.” The fundamental right to life and personal liberty is inherent and is not conferred upon us by the Constitution. These are primary personal rights without which civil and political rights are rendered meaningless. The Court has held that ‘the right to life includes the right to live with human dignity and all that goes with it, namely the bare necessities of life such as adequate nutrition clothing and shelter inter alia.
In Bandhua Mukti Morcha, where the question of bondage and rehabilitation of some laborers was involved, Bhagwati, J held that the fundamental right to live with human dignity is congruous with the right to life and derives its life breath from the Directive Principles of State Policy, and particularly clauses (e) and (f) of Articles 39,41,42. Again, in the Olga Tellis case the court held that the ‘ Right to livelihood is included in the right to life’ as ” no person can live without the means of living”. However, the noble ideals of Social, Economic and Political justice as embodied in the Preamble and other parts of the Constitution remain an unrealized dream for millions of our fellow citizens. The fact remains that India has the largest population in the world that goes to bed without any food, the largest population who has no clothes to wear and the largest number of beggars.
In Unni Krishnan v. State of A.P, the Supreme Court has recognized a fundamental right to education in the right to life under Article 21. Taking the aid of Articles 41 and 45 it has held that ‘ every child/citizen of this country has a right to free education until he completes fourteen years of age.’ The reality however is hard- hitting. The question arises as to the implementation of this gigantic task. Poverty breeds poverty. The vicious circle of poverty denies to lakhs of children the right to education, despite the fundamental right that children below 14 years of age shall be given access to primary education. A country’s progress depends upon the development of its populace. Education is an arsenal to achieve the same. However in our country, widespread illiteracy still continues to persist .the government does not have adequacy of funds to run its own educational institutions. Education is undergoing privatization. The resultant is that schools have become centers for exploitation due to colossal fees charged and the common man is deterred by the affordability factor.
India’s failure to achieve universal literacy even after fifty-six years of independence is shocking. At the present rate, it would take another 50 years to achieve total literacy. Education is the sign of a civilized society and the lack of it is one of the primary reasons for the commission of unpardonable crimes and intolerance.
I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.
If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.
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We also have a Facebook Group Restarter Moms for Mothers or Women who would like to rejoin their careers post a career break or women who are enterpreneurs.
We are also running a series Inspirational Women from January 2021 to March 31,2021, featuring around 1000 stories about Indian Women, who changed the world. #choosetochallenge