Vice Chancellor of Jamia Millia Islamia Awarded ‘Most Eminent Vice-Chancellor Award’
Talat Ahmad, Vice-Chancellor JMI has been conferred with the 7th Bhartiya Manava Adhikar Samman 2017- ‘Most Eminent Vice-Chancellor Award 2017’ along with a Certificate of Excellence by the All India Council of Human Rights, Liberties & Social Justice (AICHLS) at an impressive function.  

Ahmad said that it was a singular honour to receive an award from a forum that has championed the cause of human rights of the poor, the weak, marginalised, minorities and the depressed sections of society.

Significantly, he noted that it is also part of JMI’s mandate to serve the economically and socially marginalised sections of society by mainstreaming them through education. He said that it was important that social justice, equity and compassion become the guiding principles of the society.

Other recipients of the award included, Sanjay Deshmukh (Former Mumbai University Vice-Chancellor), Archbishop Felix Machado (former Under-Secretary of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue), B L Vohra, Retd. IPS officer, Cardinal Oswald Gracias (Archbishop of Bombay and President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India), Huzaifa Khorakiwala (Billionaire and CEO of Wockhardt Pharmaceuticals), Brig Rajiv Williams (YSM Retd. and Corporate Head – Corporate Social Responsibility, Jindal Stainless Limited), among others.

Among the dignitaries who gave away the awards included, Lt. Gen Zameeruddin Shah (Former Vice Chancellor, Aligarh Muslim University), Balwinder Shukla (VC-Amity University), Sandeep Marwah (Chairman, Marwah Studios), Umer Ahmed Ilyasi (President, All India Imam Organisation) and Acharya Lokesh Muni (Ahimsa Visv Bharti) and Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswatiji, PhD.

The theme of the 7th International Human Rights Award held on Saturday, December 9, 2017 was “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao”.

The programme started with an observance of two-minute silence for the brave martyred soldiers who had laid their lives for their motherland. The awards celebrated the spirit of ‘Protecting, Promoting Human Rights, Peace and Harmony’.

A galaxy of religious leaders from different faiths signifying the unique interfaith harmony, multiculturalism and diversity of India was a highlight of the function that sent a strong message on the importance of tolerance and respect for each other.

Swami Chidanand Saraswati, the President and spiritual head of Rishikesh-based, Parmarth Niketan Ashram, in his address to the august gathering said that it was important to remind the society of the values of oneness and togetherness. Referring to the representations of all religions and faiths at the ceremony, he said that as long as this picture of amity was there, India will be alive.

Swami Saraswati added, “We can follow our own religions but at the same time we should give respect to others’ religions. This is love and it is important today more than ever before that we unite our hearts. 65% of the youth of the country can’t afford to be narrow-minded for the future of this nation. We are all part of God’s own family and Indian culture must epitomise ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’.

AICHLS is founded by Anthony Raju, a Supreme Court of India advocate who is an internationally acclaimed Human Rights defender, peace activist and social worker and is one of the country’s foremost voices of Human Rights. 

AICHLS has been added as a signatory to United Nation Global Compact which is the world’s largest corporate responsibility initiative with nearly 12,000 business and non-business participants in 140 countries.