India is a sovereign socialist secular country with democratic republic parliamentary system. The unique quality of India is that we are multilingual and multicultural society and hence it is of significant importance to preserve and protect the culture, language, caste and religion of minority communities. Minority Rights Day is observed annually on 18 December to protect and promote the rights of minority communities and also to ensure security in their particular language, caste, religion, culture and tradition.
We at St. Teresa’s Institute of Education (STIE) celebrated Minority Rights Day on Thursday, 24 December, 2020 through online Google meet session. Principal Dr. Sr. Tanuja Waghmare, all the teaching staff and the students of S.Y.B.Ed batch were present for the session. The program was inaugurated at 9:20 a.m. Miss. Neha Gharat compered the session by starting with the quote given by Franklin Roosevelt as ‘No Democracy can long survive which does not accept as fundamental to its very existence the recognition of the rights of minorities.’ She then introduced Miss. Shital Gavand to give more information about Minority Rights Day. Miss. Shital Gavand then gave brief information on various Minority Rights provided by Indian Constitution and mentioned about the various councils working for protecting minority interest in India. She also informed about the schemes provided in different fields for minorities by Government of Maharashtra. The special feature of Maharashtra state as being the only one to grant minority status to Jews in the 2018 was also mentioned by her. Miss. Neha Gharat then introduced and welcomed the Resource Person Adv. Prachi Leroy Collaco.
Adv. Prachi Collaco has completed Bachelors of Social work from Nirmala Niketan College of Social Work, University of Mumbai and LL.B. from Government Law College, Churchgate, University of Mumbai. She has been elected as Co-operator of Vasai-Virar City Municipal Corporation in June 2015 upto June 2020. She started her talk by expressing her gratitude towards STIE and then informing all the students to be interactive during the session.
The Resource Person first mentioned the values given in the Preamble and Indian Constitution to explain them in detail in the later part. She interacted with students about the meaning of minority and need of Minority Protection Laws. She gave information on National Minority Commission and then mentioned about different articles on Minority Rights from the Indian Constitution. She explained different provisions given to Minorities in simple words with some real life examples. The importance of practising democracy freely was also highlighted. She also gave information about various misconceptions that people have about the freedom and provisions given and the corresponding actual meaning expected by the Court of Law was explained by her. Students were made aware about the conditional freedom given to all the citizens. The importance of individual rights was also taken into consideration while highlighting the Minority Rights. The responsibilities of all the citizens with respect to the practice of different acts were explained. She also solved the queries of students and interacted with them to share their views, opinions and thoughts. In this manner, the awareness was created by the Resource Person among students about their responsibilities as future teachers to have knowledge of Protection and Promotion of Rights.
Principal Dr. Sr. Tanuja Waghmare was requested to share her views. Miss. Neha Gharat then expressed the vote of thanks given to the Resource Person for the informative and interactive session and to Dr. Joan Lopes for providing guidance to arrange and organise the session followed by vote of thanks to the Principal, all teachers and STIE family. The program ended with the National Anthem.