IHEU Awards for 2011

http://www.iheu.org/iheu-awards-2011

IHEU Awards for 2011

VBRawat

Our first awardee first came in contact with IHEU in 2002 in Noordwijkerhout, when he was sponsored to participate in the 50th Anniversary World Humanist Congress of the IHEU where he led a youth workshop on Conflict in Society. Since then, many in the IHEU had the opportunity to note the self-less passion in him to fight injustice in the society around him.

Why else would he lead a padayatra – a march on foot – of leaders of the Uttar Pradesh Land Alliance in the sweltering summer heat of North India in 2007 to villages on a 300 kilometre trip to conduct social audits, and to sensitize people to their right to food and to their land entitlement?

Earlier, he had carried a camera to record the woes of his fellow Indians, and brought to light the lives of the Mushahar tribes who are forced to eat rats and snails to ward off crippling hunger – these are no French delicacies. If they do not eat these, their wasting bodies will die.

He has also worked to bring together fishermen who have been deprived of their traditional fishing rights by a big industrial house– and helped the campaign till its legal victory in the Supreme Court of India.

He went to the tsunami hit areas of South India and alerted all to the fact that lower caste victims did not receive any substantial humanitarian aid!

Needless to say this kind of work is always dangerous, fraught with threats to his personal safety, both from the officials and private parties.

He has identified the ruthless and despicable caste system as the greatest danger to the modernization of Indian society and he has been battling the caste system’s ideological roots as well as its economic grip in the areas of his action.

He was invited to join the anti-superstition campaign IHEU was building in South Asia, and is today the anchor for that initiative in North India working also with another star, Mr. Chandraiah. He helped with the International Conference on Untouchability in London in 2009.

Then, his organization the Social Development Foundation was chosen as IHEU strategic partner to set up the Global Alliance Against Untouchability, with a three year grant from IHEU.

His is a constructive approach to Human Rights that IHEU supports and is closely associated with. After all, at the heart of Human Rights is the sense of Human Dignity which is what V.B. Rawat’s work is restoring to victims.

It gives IHEU great pleasure to give VB Rawat the 2011 Distinguished Service to Humanism Award.

R.Prakash
Post Box # 46,Mavelikara-690101
Kerala,India.
Mob- +91 99 46 75 71 78 / +91 8907704079

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