Thanks a lot for the recognition to our organization, which stands for the same cause and goal towards the protection and promotion of all Human Rights for All as you have. I am very much happy to learn about the selection. We know both of the activists you have chosen. Personally I have observed activities and struggle done by Mr. Lenin Raghuvanshi in densely populated states of India, U.P. & Bihar. We have been working together. Manipur is another high voltage conflict area where special power to the security force has brought immense challenges and difficulties to Human Rights Defenders. And especially for women, working in such situation is always very difficult. I would like to salute and greet both of my friends, Sharmila and Lenin.
I will be in Gwangju from 15th to 17th. On 18th I have to leave. I will try to meet and convey my congratulations to both of them, if possible during my stay there. Anselmo Lee, ED of Forum-Asia (firstname.lastname@example.org) will be bale to manage for the meeting I believe. I have my Bangkok mobile no: 089-983-0211 I do not know whether it works there.
Thanks a lot and our sincere regards again for the commendable initiation your organization has taken.
Subodh Raj Pyakurel,
This is the happiest, proud-worthy and solidarity message of congratulation from Nepal. Please share with all PVCHR family and I would like to salute Sharmila. Keep up. This is the mission people have started and till destiny we shall carry on.
I just reached Nepal yesterday from Bangkok. I got this news there and told all Forum-Asia execom members present there that this is the one of happiest moment for all Asian fighters for Democracy, Social Justice and Human Rights.
Dear Dr. Lenin,
Congratulations for the Human Rights award. I appreciate your work and wish you all success in it.
Regards and best wishes,
Professor Dr Mahendra P Singh
The WB National University of Juridical Sciences
12 LB Block, Sector III, Salt Lake City
Kolkata 700098, INDIA
Tel.: +91-33-2335 0510 (Direct)
+91-33-2335 0534/7379 (Ext. 204)
Fax: +91-33-2335 7422
My heartiest congratulations on this!!
Congratulations Lenin, I am very happy for you and wish you every succcess in all future endeavours too.
This is a feather in the cap for the project too :-
EU office in Delhi
Dear Dr. Lenin,
Many hearty congratulations from Inger, Erik and me!!! Greetings to everyone – we will return at the soonest. We still feel rejuvenated after meeting you and your colleagues.
Jan Ole Haagensen, Ph.D.
Director, International Department
Rehabilitation and Research Centre for Torture Victims (RCT)
Borgergade 13, P.O. Box 2107
DK-1014 Copenhagen K
Telephone +45 33760600 - Direct. +45 36938605
Mobil telephone +45 20638957
Congratulations on the Award.
Dear Lenin Raghuvanshi,
Congratulations for this Internation honour bestowed on you by the
Gwangju Prize for Human Rights !
Thank You for speaking with me.
Please may I a few statments from you for Asia News, Rome.
Dear Dr. Lenin,
Congratulations for winning the 2007 Gwangju Prize for Human Rights ! A well deserved one.
PO Box 245, Thapathali
Dear Lenin- Hearty congratulations from all of us at Ashoka!
This is fantastic news and we join in, in celebrating this great honour
and award bestowed on both you and Sharmila Irom!
(on behalf of Ashoka India Team)
Law For All Initiative
Ashoka: Innovators for the Public
Dear Lenin and all at PVCHR,
On behalf of Front Line - The International Foundation for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders I would like to congratulate you on being awarded the 2007 Gwangju Prize for Human Rights.
It is a fantastic acknowledgement of the work you do on behalf of other people despite the risks that you face in doing it.
Protection Coordinator / Researcher
Asia, Europe & Central Asia, North & Central America
Front Line - The International Foundation for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders
81 Main Street
Tel: +353 1 210 0482
Fax: +353 1 2121001
Congratulations to you Lenin.... I do not know whether
you got my previous mail.... we are proud of you and
Great work. congratulations to Lenin & Sharmila
We should issue a press release on this.
by your latest news, that you got the highest Asian award, I felt so
happy , that I can not express it in words.
Congratulation from the deepest core of my heart and on behalf of our
Indo-German Society Remscheid too. For me it is god gifted to meet you in
as to work with you together.
And it is a great honor for the Dalits to have such a strong and human
champion and personality like you at their side.
In my opinion: You show them by PVCHR how to light the "candles", which
make the stars shining brighter on sky of "Indian Democracy".
Take care of your life
I am including you in my thoughts and prayers
Chairwomen, Indo-German Society of Remschied,Germany
Dear Dr. Lenin,
May I add my personal congratulations to the many you must already have received on this further recognition of your contribution to the struggle for social justice and human rights.
Please accept our Solidarity and Good Wishes For the Felicitation of People like Irom and Dr Lenin.
We are with them in the Felicitation in our Hearts and mind.
Best Wishes ,
Long way to come from that interview in Calcutta in 2002.
Congratulations on your incredible success !
Congratulations Lenin bhai, bahut bahut mubarak ho.
Please send me more details about the award, and the Korea connection. I
have a column in The Seoul Times, and I will write a front page story on
you, with your photograph (Please send one).
Dear Leninji, Many congratulations on the award, it is
such an honour! With Best Regards, Devashri
Director, Venture Program
Ashoka: Innovators for the Public
Congratulations! Keep it us. Look forward to hear.
Dear Lenin ji,
All of us at Hivos send our warmest congratulations to you and PVCHR on
this richly deserved honour!
With best regards,
India Regional Office
Programme Officer, Gender, Women & Development and ICT, Media &
Flat 402, Eden Park
20 Vittal Mallya Road
Bangalore 560 001 \ India
Dear Dr. Lenin and Ms. Sharmila,
Greetings from Jagruthi, Bangalore.
On behalf of the Jagruthi team, we congratulate both of on being the awardees of the 2007 Gwangju
Prize for Human Rights. All the Best in your future endeavours.
Regards & Best wishes,
On behalf of the Trust, I take this opportunity to congratulate you and
members of PVCHR on receiving this award.
I hope the trainings with Nalanda are being organized regularly. Hope
you find this engagement useful and adding value to the educational
Sir Dorabji Tata Trust
The Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA) applauds the awarding of the 2007 Gwangju Prize for Human Rights to Lenin Raghuvanshi and Irom Sharmila, two human rights defenders from India . The award was given during the Gwangju International Peace Forum and the East Asian Human Rights Forum on 18 May 2007 in Gwangju , South Korea .
The Gwangju Prize for Human Rights is awarded annually by the South Korea-based May 18 Memorial Foundation to people who have worked tirelessly for the promotion and protection of human rights. The recipients’ work reflects democracy, freedom, and human rights, the main tenets of the spirit of the 18 May 1980 uprising, when the students and citizens of Gwangju protested against a military dictatorship.
Lenin Raghuvanshi leads the People’s Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR), a group at the forefront of the resistance against the discriminatory caste system in India . Caste is a multi-layered social hierarchy system practiced in India for hundreds of years. The caste system was banned in the Constitution of India 50 years ago, but its discriminatory and inhumane practices still exist today. The PVCHR has grown into a nationwide and worldwide network composed of legal experts, journalists, and human rights advocacy groups. As the organisation’s leader, Lenin Raghuvanshi brings hope to people discriminated on the basis of caste as more than 3,500 bonded child labourers in India who work as slaves to pay for their families’ debt.
Lenin Raghuvanshi considers the Gwangju uprising an inspiration to people like him who are fighting for human rights in India . In his acceptance speech, he declared, “It is time to revive the far-sightedness, the vast imagination and great sensitivity of the people who are remembered on May 18. It is time that we re-articulate their aspiration in global terms and it is time to grasp the possibilities of that moment. The spirit of the May 18 Gwangju uprising has become the light of hope to us.”
Lenin Raghuvanshi’s co-recipient, Irom Sharmila, is a citizen of Manipur state who has initiated her own protest against the military forces in India under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA). The AFSPA was enacted in 1958 and allows arbitrary detention, shooting and killing of civilians, and search and enter on private property without a warrant by the military forces under the ambiguous cover of “maintaining public order”.
On 2 November 2000, the Indian military fired into a crowd of citizens in Manipur. Since the incident, Irom Sharmila has refused to eat and drink anything to protest the indiscriminate use and abuse of the powers under the AFSPA. She was arrested on charges of “attempted suicide” and force-fed by the Indian authorities. Irom Sharmila was eventually released from detention, but continued to fast in protest. In October 2006, Irom Sharmila travelled from Manipur to New Delhi to pursue her campaign for the abolition of the AFSPA. She was arrested by police authorities on her second day in the city. Irom Sharmila is currently in the custody of police authorities at the JN Hospital in Manipur.
The brother of Irom Sharmila, Irom Singhajit Singh, accepted the award on her behalf. In his speech, he relayed the response she gave after being told she had won the award: “Go and accept the award on behalf of the people of Manipur,” she said, “The movement needs it. We must thank Gwangju and the world for the solidarity and support.”
FORUM-ASIA’s Executive Director Anselmo Lee believes that the Gwangju Prize for Human Rights serves as a reminder that the uprising in Gwangju was not an isolated struggle by the people of Gwangju: “The Gwangju uprising should be seen as part of a universal battle to advance democracy, freedom, and human rights by all humanity.”
FORUM-ASIA invites all human rights defenders in Asia to relive the spirit of Gwangju, support the struggle of this year’s awardees and show solidarity. FORUM-ASIA also urges the government of India to address the issues of discrimination against those labelled “untouchables” in India and to abolish the oppressive AFSPA.
India was re-elected on 18 May 2007 to the UN Human Rights Council for another three-year term. India must thus show the international community that it is committed to further respect for human rights and the rule of law. “The government of India must demonstrate its sincerity in eradicating discrimination against so-called ‘untouchables’. It must also prove its commitment in establishing the rule of law by abolishing oppressive legislation like the AFSPA,” said Mr. Lee.
Past awardees of the Gwangju Prize for Human Rights are former president of East Timor, Xanan Gusmao , Burma ’s Aung San Suu Kyi, and Thailand ’s Angkhana Neelaphaijit.
For more information, please contact Anselmo Lee, Executive Director, telephone +66 2 391 8801; email: email@example.com or Emerlynne Gil, Programme Officer of the Human Rights Defenders Programme, telephone: +66 2 391 8801; email: firstname.lastname@example.org.