New Delhi: The National Human Rights Commissoin, India (NHRC) is celebrating its 26th Foundation Day on Saturday as disposed more than 18 lakh cases in the last 26 years of its existence. It ensures payment of more than Rs 176 crore as relief to the victims of human rights violations by various State agencies.

The Commission has conducted about 800 spot enquires, about 50 open hearings and camp sittings covering the length and breadth of the country.

The NHRC has organised a function to celebrate its 26th Foundation Day, here at Dr.DS Kothari auditorium, DRDO Bhawan on Saturday. Union home minister Amit Shah will grace the function as chief guest and NHRC chairman justice HL Dattu will preside over.

As part of its initiatives on the 26th year, the NHRC is oposing to set up a task force to prepare  a National Action Plan on Human Rights ( NAPHR) comprising the representatives of various ministries, NGOs, civil societies and the NHRC among the other stakeholders.

This will help flag the key issues of human rights for the government(s), which would require to be addressed with a targeted approach to improve the human rights situation in the country through a sustained mechanism.

 Taking new initiative to expand its outreach this year, the Commission has linked its online complaint filing system with over three lakh Common Service Centres spread in various parts of the country. This is helping people in far flung areas to file their complaints quickly. It has started the services of NHRC Toll Free Helpline number 14433.  Beside upgrading and updating its website, it has opened HRCNet portal, thereby providing a common platform to NHRC and all the State Human Rights Commissions. This will help reduce the duplication of complaints and also easy tracking of the status of the complaints. The State authorities can also file online reports to the NHRC using this portal to avoid delay in providing relief to the victims of human rights violations.

This year, the Commission also started video conferencing with the State authorities to expedite disposal of cases.

The NHRC, consistent with its mandate under Section 12 (h) of the Protection of Human Rights Act to spread human rights awareness and literacy, opened a dialogue with NCC, NSS, NYKS, Red Cross and Doordarshan this year as a new initiative.  The idea is to collaborate with them for building awareness about human rights through their vast networks.

The Commission has sponsored various research studies by eminent scholars attached with various institutions. Some of the most recent include, among others, research study on farm crisis and suicides by farmers, Study on the status of Human Rights education in colleges and universities, Human Rights of transgenders, Rights to Education related issues of migrated labourers in Kerala.   

The Commission, from this year, started a structured monthly programme of 15 days Short Term Internships. This is opened for students of all the disciplines even at graduation level. Colleges and universities, running human rights course particularly, have been asked to include internship with NHRC as part of their curriculum. Several students from different parts of the country have attended the short term internships since July this year.