India is a nation struggling with a broad range of human rights issues.
Some 30 % of the population lives below the international poverty line. Institutionalised discrimination still exists in the spectre of the caste system, and is also levelled against women and religious minorities.
At the heart of the Church-sponsored social betterment initiatives is the conviction that what begins with one voice can spread across a whole population through a grass-roots campaign, and nowhere is this more true than in India. Since 2009, Youth for Human Rights India has expanded to 112 chapters and affiliated groups, and YHR’s social networking site has thousands of members of all ages from across the country.
Partnering with organisations such as the nonprofit Jyoti Foundation, YHR India has sponsored human rights education to thousands of students and police cadets and generated more than 10,000 online requests for materials. Ten thousand police cadets have been trained in YHRI’s materials, and the military has used them to teach human rights.
“Ensuring protection of human rights is an integral part of our duty in the Indian Army. So while we ensure that no human rights violations take place during our operations, we were uncertain how to provide tangible benefits to the extremely poor people in this area. That is when I came to know about the remarkable campaign that your organisation is running. After receiving more information on the subject of human rights in the form of information booklets, DVDs and pamphlets, I have been driven to actively take up the cause of human rights and spread the noble message far and wide.” —Commanding Officer, Indian National Army
With Youth for Human Rights materials distributed across the nation, YHR India and its partners delivered seminars to 20,000 people in two years. This resulted in “Walks for Human Rights” in 30 Indian cities, drawing attention to the need for global human rights education.