National Confederation of Human Rights Organizations – Goa Chapter conducted their maiden program with a Public Dialogue titled ‘Challenges of Human Rights in Goa – An agenda for Action’ at Avenue Hotel, Margao on 20th February, 2016 at 4.30 pm.
Mr. Tenny Fernandes introduced the purpose of conducting such a Meet and briefly explained the journey of NCHRO-Goa Chapter.
NCHRO –Goa President, Fr. Savio Fernandes welcomes the Guests said that 'the various groups working for Human Rights in Goa has to form a Solidarity Forum which will give a moral boost to all right minded people. He further added 'Individually we do not have the power & strength but, working together is a way to bring Dreams comes true.
Prof. A. Marx, National Chairperson of NCHRO was introduced by Adv. Ashma Sayed, his qualification, area of work & his vast experience was made known to the people present in the event.
Prof. A. Marx called upon to work for the people suffering from Human Rights Violations as he introduced the NCHRO’s work in India. He said 'in Assam, more than 3 lakh people were sent out from their own houses calling them Bangladeshi but, NCHRO interfered and has successfully proved the Indian authorities that they are a part of India.
He spoke against the violence & Human rights violations unleashed by the Sangh Parivaar. Indians who speak about 'Truth & Reality' are termed as Anti-Nationals and those who celebrate assassination of Mahatma Gandhi are termed as Nationalists. Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi did not even bother to convey his condolences on the Killing of Great Activists and Writers like Pansare, Kalburgi etc..and we can see in this Facist Regime; Liberals & Secularist are termed as Enemies of Nation . Regarding Budget 'finance allocated to Education & Rural development is reduced and Police & Military are given full powers to put any National behind Bars., Prof. Marx added.
Santhosh Saple, NCHRO-Maharashtra Chapter President speaking on the occasion said that 'In Maharashtra, the Human Rights Violations are rampant and the suicide of 3000 farmers on a yearly average is a classic example of it'. He said that, India is called a developing Country but the condition of people belonging to backward class is very pathetic. People belonging to SC/ST/OBC & other tribes are often under threat, being mistreated, raped & killed and people committing such crimes are called Nationalist. He called upon the people to leave behind their caste, creed, and regional differences and work for Humanity in true sense.
Adv. Albertina Almeida, the Key note speaker, spoke on the topic 'Upholding Human Rights'. She said that 'in Goa, from Birth to Death there are challenges and it is important to understand, realize and expose. She said that, few years a ago, she has gone as a pregnant woman to one of the Hospitals in Margao and expressed her desire to abort being a Girl Child in her womb, the Doctor was ready & gave the details of how they go about it'. She spoke about Baina issue, how the Government used Divide & Demolish' policy at the onset. First they demolished the houses of Prostitutes. Then of Fakir Community, and of Migrants, then they have come to local fishermen's. If only they have supported, united each other, the case would have been different as the famous konkanni saying 'Aaj mhaka, falyaan tuka' .Our right to speak & eat are under threat as we been targeted for speaking against the Government's governance & anti people policies. We have to challenge the violations of basic rights of food, clothing & shelter.
NCHRO-Goa Secretary, Mr. Cyril Fernandes read out the Margao Declaration which included, belief in Human rights, building Solidarity network, monitoring Human rights violations, engaging in Human rights education, empowering people with knowledge, etc.
Mr. Sayed Iftiyaz-NCHRO Goa Chapter Vice President proposed the vote of thanks.
Formation of NCHRO GOA Chapter
NCHRO GOA Chapter has been formed on 20-Feb-2016 at Avenue Hotel, Margao.
The functionaries of NCHRO Goa Chapter are as follows:-
- President Fr. Savio Fernandes
- Vice President Sayed Iftiyaz
- Secretary: Cyril Fernandes
- Treasurer: Adv. Ashma Sayed
NCHRO GOA Chapter approved The “Margao Declaration on Human Rights in Goa” and released for public information.
“WE citizens at the launch of the Goa Alliance of Human Rights Organisations, alarmed by the growing violations of human rights by the State, the denial of civil and political rights and the deprivation of economic, social and cultural rights at various sites, the rising communalism and corruption, and the assaults on the environment particularly on the land, water bodies and forests,
Affirm our belief that human rights are inherent to each and all of us, and no one has the right to take them away,
Recognise that the environment is the source of our sustenance and that of future generations
Value the contributions made by various sections whose work has been invisibilised, and these include those on the lower rung of society, such as women, the tribal people of Goa and the migrants
Note that every critical discourse and dissent is branded as anti-national and (mis)used as a pretext for clamping down on freedom of speech and expression, assembly and association
Decry the fascist practices being adopted by the State to exclude certain sections of society and rob people of identity, the right to eat or dress, etc.
Denounce a development model that is meant to strengthen the privileges of caste, class, gender, age, ability, ethnic origin, and corporate power at the cost of the people on the margins
WE THEREFORE RESOLVE
To assess the state of human rights in Goa through an intersectional approach
To unveil the violations in the garb of checking anti-nationals and terrorists
To resist the divisiveness and discrimination
To combat assaults on our land, water bodies and forest cover by all means, and to protect them as a measure towards sustenance and intergenerational equity
To fight for equitable and inclusive planning and policy and ensure that no one is left behind
To make common cause with the struggles of the people who are on the lower rungs of society, such as those on the margins, the minorities and the migrants,
To advocate for the abolition of demeaning practices such as manual scavenging
To build a solidarity network of Human Rights Defenders who are under attack by authorities and vested interests
To foster alliances between various movements struggling for justice and equity to the margins
To monitor human rights violations, particularly those that go unnoticed and carry out fact-finding in this regard.
To publish a 'State of Human Rights' report on an annual basis focused on Goa.
To represent cases of people victimized by human rights excesses before various rights mechanisms including but not limited to the Goa State Commission of Human Rights/ Minorities Commission/ Commission for the Protection of Child Rights, the Goa State Commission for Women, the Goa Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, the Goa State Commission for Backward Classes, the Goa State Police Complaints Authority, the Goa Lokayukta.
To engage in human rights education and dialogue through creative/innovative approaches with students in particular but the community in general.”
Fr. Savio Fernandes
( NCHRO - Goa State)