The Students’ Welfare Department, Sikkim Alpine University, Kamrang, Namchi, organised a one-day national Symposium (Online) on Human Rights on the occasion of International Human Rights Day. The symposium was presided over by the guest speakers, Maja Daruwala, Senior Advisor, Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI), an NGO promoting human rights across the commonwealth, and Henri Tiphagne, Criminal lawyer and Executive Director, People’s Watch, a national human rights organisation engaged in a program of Human Rights monitoring, legal intervention, campaigning and networking.
The first session was initiated and moderated by Pema Wangchuk, Civil Society Member and Consulting Editor, Summit Times. Pema Wangchuk set the mood for the symposium by introducing the idea of human rights to the audience and opening the floor for further for the discourse and engagement.
Maja Daruwala the importance of rights to change the citizen from being an object of governance to governance itself. She also stressed on the importance of need for opportunity that shall provide us with a language that will help in conflict resolution.
She also discussed the importance of accountability and emphasized on the need to engage with the government. The second speaker, Henri Tiphagne explained in detail the Right to Equality and mentioned that equality and non-discrimination are two sides of the same coin.
He encouraged more educational institutions and students to learn to acknowledge differences and allow participation of all the people in social life.
He also discussed in detail the need and importance of the reservation system. Henri appreciated the efforts put in by Sikkim Alpine University for organising the event. Pema Wangchuk concluded the discussion by stressing on the importance of accepting differences and acknowledging them. He also mentioned about the importance of standing up for the right cause.
This was followed by an interactive session.
The second session of the symposium began with a song performance by members of the SAM Workshop, a youth initiative of DJJS.
The SAM band performed their version of John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’. This was followed by a talk by Sadhvi Dr. Nidhi Bharti, DJJS representative and editor of Akhand Gyan and Eternal Wisdom, monthly magazines brought out by DJJS. She spoke about the importance of spirituality and the need to do away material needs in one’s life. The event concluded with a vote of thanks.
The symposium was attended by various students, scholars and academicians across India. Students and faculty members from SRM University, Sikkim, Sikkim Manipal University, North Bengal University, Sikkim university and Gauhati University actively participated in the symposium. The event also received registrations and participants from the Education Department and many NGOs across India.