AP-HRE Teachers’ Winter Camp at Paderu (27-29 Feb., 2011)
AP-HRE had its winter camp held at Paderu, one of the most backward and tribal areas of Andhra Pradesh. The attendance itself showed that the choice of Paderu was fully right as a total of 87 teachers and 170 students actively participated in the camp, despite several obstacles like census duty for teachers and an inclement and very cold climate.
The Inaugural began with a melodious song welcoming everybody to the HRE-AP’s WINTER CAMP. Mr Martin Sudhakar accompanied his students on the keyboard. The Associate Coordinator, Mr Antony welcomed the guests – Fr Thomas Pallithanam to preside, the Deputy Superintendent of Police (DySP), Paderu – Mr Srinivasa Rao of Paderu sub division, Mr Raja Christopher – HM of the exemplary HRE-school, Mrs Easwarigaru, State Secretary to the Andhra Pradesh Teachers’ Federation (APTF), Sr Anisha of St Ann’s, Paderu and Mr Vinoo, a professional consultant, to the dais. The children received them with flowers.
At the Inaugural, Fr Thomas Pallithanam, Director of PARA, explained the purpose to the camp. He also detailed the developments so far, as there were some participants who were new to HRE. He spoke of the invisible but experienceable Human Rights Culture that we have to promote and protect for us to have a humane society. He spoke of the worldwide program of HRE and said that in India, it is held in …. States and that he is privileged to be in the National Committee… He exalted the participants to continuously expand the boundaries of Human Rights. He also introduced the concept of Children’s Human Rights Clubs and explained how we could spend our time in fine-tuning it and drawing a pucca action-plan to implement it in the state of Andhra Pradesh. He described how differences could be turned into a cause for celebrations than a reason to discriminate. He welcomed everybody present into the HRE family. He dealt on the right to participation and invited the participants to give maximum opportunity for all the stake-holders to participate in HRE and its related activities as well. That alone could strengthen our democracy, he explained further.
The DySP congratulated the HRE team for the good work it is doing especially in backward, remote, tribal areas of Paderu. He said that few of speak of children’s rights and here he finds rights being taught to children in schools. He commended the effort and when the State Coordinator, Mr Ch Venkat requested his cooperation, the DySP readily accepted to ensure that he and his subordinates extend whatever help they could in the effective implementation of HRE. He explained about the various forms of discrimination, domination etc like apartheid, racism, gender discrimination, neglect of children and the aged, regionalism. He asked the participants to follow the ways of Dr Ambedkar, Martin Luther King etc and he reminded the audience that it also means self-development in order to lead others. He briefly spoke of Juvenile Justice System and Childline services and the toll-free number.