Lalita Ramdas's Message Marking 75th Anniversary of International Human Rights Day

Dec 01, 2023
By Lalita Ramdas

My ‘Education to Reality’ began in the day to day world of teaching and learning – Education for Social Change – for Empowerment – for Conscientization – for Liberation, Peace and Justice – for Communal Harmony – for Freedom of Choice for Girls and Women.

Whilst living in the service milieu it was not always easy to straddle these two totally different worlds of which we were a part. Bastis and morchas in the day time and banquets and polite talk in the evening! But the big learning was that one could bring the Basti into the Rashtrapati Bhavans – by  carrying a few blank sheets for signature campaigns – passing it around between the soup course and dessert – and lo and behold we were in the midst of animated discussions on the Mathura Rape case or dowry deaths! 

Our Constitution has increasingly become the touchstone from whichwe drew both inspiration and courage to fight for the basic values it had laid down and which inspired the foundations of freedom and democracy. We the people must resist any move to replace this Constitution.

Being an active part of the struggle to preserve the Idea of India, and regional peace, has also brought a great sense of solidarity with all those whom we have had the privilege to meet in the last three decades. We have begun to think in a Human Rights perspective.

 The Universal Declaration of Human Rights says we need : 

‘A Common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations to recognize all human beings as being “born free and equal in dignity and rights” regardless of “nationality, place of residence, sex, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, language or any other status.”

If our Constitution is in danger and being given a thousand cuts today – it is up to us to heal and rebuild. 

A Luta Continuua!

Lalitha Ramdas is an activist, actively involved in promoting alternative education, gender sensitivity, secularism, peace, and nuclear disarmament. SHe is also the founder of Greenpeace India.