Monday, November 21, 2016

Thoughts and Ideology of Bharat Ratna Dr. B.R. Ambedkar: Acceptance, Deviations and Relevance, India 2025

The national seminar on “Thoughts and Ideology of Bharat Ratna Dr. B.R. Ambedkar: Acceptance, Deviations and Relevance, India 2025” is being organised by the Indira Gandhi Centre for Freedom Struggle Studies (IGCFSS) of Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) in collaboration with the SC/ST Teachers’ Welfare Association during November 16-18, 2016. 
In the inaugural function of the seminar four eminent social workers were honoured for working relentlessly for the upliftment and development of the marginalised sections of society. 
Shri Bezwada Wilson, renowned campaigner against manual scavenging was awarded Sree Narayana Guru Award. He maintained that even after 70 years of independence, an estimated 1.6 lakh dalits continue to work as scavengers and not a single village in the country is free from untouchability. He highlighted the need for preserving diversity in culture, language and ethos and shared that despite sustained efforts it was extremely difficult to get scavengers justice at social, political and judicial levels.   
Birsa Munda Award was given to the son of Late Shri Dashrath Manjhi who had carved a road through a hillock in Gehlaur village near Gaya using only a hammer and chisel. It took him 22 years of hard work which shorten the distance to 40 kms for the benefit of the people residing in that area. 
Shri Bapurao Tajne, a labourer from Maharashtra was honoured with Jhalkari Bai Award for digging a well in 40 days being used by the dalit community of his village.  He emphasised the need for removing discrimination and inequality at every level of society. 
Miss Ginni Mahi, 17 year old pop singer from Punjab was awarded Sant Ravidas Award for highlighting the issues of oppressed castes through Punjabi music. Her video, Danger Chamar album has become very popular in social media calling upon dalit community to unite against oppression, inequality and deprivation. 
Prof. Kapil Kumar, Director, IGFSS in his address said that Baba Saheb Ambedkar was a symbol against discrimination and inequality. Dalits in India continue to be marginalised and exploited and there is a strong need to change the mindset of people for bringing any meaningful change in society. He stressed the need for conducting research in different historical contexts. The contribution of those who have tried to ameliorate the cause of dalits needs to be made part of the curriculum so that students, teachers, officers and karamcharis of the University draw inspiration and carry forward the messages of great reformers.  
Each award carries a sum of Rs.51,000/ (Rs. Fifty One thousand) and a citation.

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