Human Rights are available from “Womb to Tomb”, Justice Subashan Reddy, Lokayuktha, Telangana and AP
Promote ‘Human Rights’ as a ‘Career’, Rajiv Uttamchandani, an astrophysicist and global Human Rights Activist
We must Promote ‘Human Rights’ as a ‘Career’ said Rajiv Uttamchandani, an astrophysicist, professor, social entrepreneur, and global Human Rights Activist, while addressing a just concluded two-day International Conference which focused on “Exploring Modern Science and Technology Solutions for Humanity, Education and Rights” here at Indian School of Business (ISB) in Hyderabad. The meet was held as part of the H.E.R (Humanity, Education and Rights) India Conference.
The H.E.R. India Conference is a flagship multi-day annual conference provided individuals NGOs responsible for making significant impacts in the human rights cause to present their work in an engaging environment which will enable them to gain further support for their cause, and motivate audiences to participate more actively towards the preservation of human rights.
It was organized by a U.S. based global NGO, The International STEM Society for Human Rights (ISSHR) founded by Indian National Rajiv Uttamchandani. Rajiv is the Founder & Chairman of ISSHR and the Executive Director of the H.E.R. Conferences.
ISSHR is dedicated to applying modern Science and Technology to address the world’s most urgent human rights crises, and is especially focused on abolishing human trafficking, sexual assaults, child marriage, and all forms of violence against women.
Rajiv’s primary motivation for starting this movement was due to the Nirabhaya Jyothi incident which happened in Delhi on December 16 2012. The malicious assault and murder of an innocent young child gave him sleepless nights. “As a man, I felt greatly angered by the incident and I wanted to do something. I realized that if I wasn’t part of the solution, then indirectly I’m part of the problem. I decided to uniquely utilize my background as a scientist and astrophysicist to search for solutions of the countless human rights, especially women’s rights, violations which occur on a daily basis around the world. Through STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), I believe we may make great strides in safeguarding the rights of women and children in India, and beyond”.
Rajiv is an Indian by nationality and was born and initially raised in Ormoc City, Philippines and now lives in the U.S. He founded ISSHR in the U.S. in 2015. He worked tirelessly to organize this conference with his colleagues from ISSHR. “From the initial conception of H.E.R. India in August 2015, to the final commencement of the H.E.R. India Conference in a grand stage at the ISB just one year later, it has been a difficult but highly rewarding journey. To be able to motivate and mobilize hundreds of students to become the new generation of human rights activists, that is the primary purpose of our Conference, and I believe we’ve achieved that”, says Rajiv.
Nirbhaya Jyothi’s parents Badrinath Singh and Asha Devi, Justice Subhashan Reddy, Lokayuktha for the states of Telangana and A.P and several other Human Rights activists graced and address 350 plus gathering of school children and NGOs.
Speaking at the conference immediately after inaugurating it Justice Subhashan Reddy said “Human Rights are not just about atrocities committed in police custody and jails. Human Rights are available from womb to tomb in every aspect of human life encompassing every sphere”.
Dr. Mamatha Raghuveer, Child Rights Activist of the NGO Tharuni, said “Child is not a property of the parents. They are human beings. Children have four fundamental rights which must be observed and obeyed: 01. Survival Rights, 02. Development Rights, 03. Protection Rights and 04. Participation Rights”, she said.
Dr. Pavitra, Orthodontist spoke about Orphan Rights. She said there are 22 million orphans in India. But, genuine orphans without parents comprise only 3 percent and rest 97 per cent are run away children.
School Children of Abhyasa Residential Public School, a member of ISSHR’s H.E.R. Clubs (a global network of schools dedicated to actively participating in the human rights cause) gave a presentation about their Anti Bullying Campaign and also launched an app which allows users to file complaints about bullying in their schools.
Some of the topics discussed in the Conference were – Use of Technology to Preserve Universal Human Rights; Violence Against Women and Girls; Empowerment of Women; Child Marriage, Human Trafficking; Bullying Sexual Assaults and others.
Immediately after conclusion of the Conference, Rajiv traveled to Lucknow to launch ISSHR’s Protect H.E.R. App which provides users with a simple distress activation system to contact law enforcement and or special hotlines during moments of danger. The app uploads live audio/video recording, shares GPS coordinates, and dials the 1149 emergency hotline which is active throughout UP. The app is activated by pressing a smartphone’s power button rapidly three times, shaking the phone vigorously, or simply pressing the help button within the app itself. A landmark collaboration was started with Mahila Samman Prakoshth, a special unit within the UP Police dedicated to addressing women’s rights issues within the state of UP.
The next Conference will be held at New Delhi and USA in 2017. The meet concluded on an optimistic note, emphasized by Mr. Rajiv Uttamchandani – “We must work together to achieve a civilization whereby not a single human rights violation occurs, a world where all our women and children are assured of their safety, and are able to choose how and when they want to get married, or have children. This can happen, but only if all of us work together. This is my responsibility, this is your responsibility. It belongs to us all.”