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Indian govt committed to policies, schemes reaching bottom of pyramid


Geneva/New Delhi, May 5

India is committed to policies and schemes reaching the bottom of the pyramid, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi said on Friday.

“My government remains committed to leave no one behind and to ensure that the policies and schemes reach the bottom of the pyramid,” Rohatgi said in his closing statement at the third Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of India at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva.

“Major initiatives, spearheaded by our dynamic and visionary Prime Minister, like the Digital India, Smart Cities, Celebrate the Girl Child and Enable her Education with clearly defined deadlines are targeted to reach all irrespective of their social or religious status,” he said.

The UPR is a unique process which involves a review of the human rights records of all UN member-states. IT is a state-driven process, under the auspices of the UNHRC, which provides the opportunity for each state to declare what actions have been taken to improve the human rights situations in their countries and to fulfil their human rights obligations.

The UPR was created through the UN General Assembly on March 15, 2006, by resolution 60/251, which established the UNHRC itself.

India’s first UPR was reviewed in 2008 and the second in 2012.

Stating that some speakers mentioned discrimination while reviewing India’s national report, Rohatgi said: “We would request them to also look at these initiatives and the efforts that are being expended in taking them to all corners of the country, including places that had not seen any public work being undertaken for decades. Our ambition remains to lift every Indian out of poverty and to provide to every citizen the basic amenities.”

Thanking the speakers for showing interest in India’s UPR, he said that the Indian delegation would return with ideas that have been generated on Friday “for further strengthening our system since we do believe that observance and promotion of human rights is work in progress”.

“India is a living civilization with millennia old tradition of assimilation, accommodation and tolerance,” the Attorney General said.

He said he and his delegation were “conscious of the responsibilities vested in us by the 1,250 million people and humbled by their faith in us to deliver to them basic services and a life not just of prosperity but of dignity and pride”.

“The world’s fastest growing major economy represents the new hope for the world – of sustainable development and of leaving no one behind. We are prepared to face the challenges that are there and negotiate through the constraints that may emerge,” he stated. In this pursuit of ours, not only India but the entire region and beyond shall benefit. We look forward to working with you all in this journey.

In his opening statement here on Thursday, Rohatgi said that India protects the rights of vulnerable groups and is strengthening laws for their protection and welfare.

Rohatgi is leading the Indian delegation which also comprises Ruchi Ghanashyam, Secretary (West) in the External Affairs Ministry, P.S. Patwalia, Additional Solicitor General of India, and senior officials from the External Affairs, Home, Women and Child Development, Social Justice and Empowerment, Minority Affairs, Rural Development Ministries and NITI Aayog. (IANS)