Challenge Discrimination  

Globally, Zero Discrimination Day is celebrated on 1 March annually. It primarily aims to end all forms of inequality and discrimination. Headed by UNAIDS, the day is a call to action for eradicating discrimination in all forms and promoting social inclusion and tolerance. It is important to note while the constitution gives everyone the same level of privilege. However discrimination of various forms exists in society and it essentially deprives many of their right to live the way they desire and it is essentially a travesty. Every individual has the right to live with dignity, regardless of appearance, race, geography, or belief.

Among others caste based discrimination galore and it essentially is a social evil which still exists in India and can be eradicated through the social movements.

According to the ministry of social justice and empowerment, it is taking steps to abolish untouchability, providing a level playing field for all to progress and providing equal economic and educational opportunities for all. The ministry says that it also incentivizes inter-caste marriages, where one of the spouses is a member of scheduled castes.

Moreover, an Act of Parliament i.e the Protection of Civil Rights Act, 1955 prescribes punishment for the enforcement of any disability arising from preaching and practice of untouchability, which usually emanate from caste-based discrimination. Further, the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) (POA) Act, 1989 is also in force to prevent the commission of offences of atrocities against the members of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes. As per the data provided by the National Crime Records Bureau, Ministry of Home Affairs, over 53900 cases were registered under these Acts for crime and atrocities against the members of SCs and STs in 2020.

Also, a person suffering from AIDS is unfortunately often regarded as a stigma in contemporary society and such people often become victims of ostracism, rejection and discrimination. There is need to fight this aspect of the pandemic.

Social stigma surrounding AIDS-infected people remains a challenge and the concerned must remain mindful of the scale. There is need for taking measures on a corresponding scale to ensure dignified life for the affected.

As per experts, discrimination is commonly rooted in fear or misinformation and resistance to the unknown. There is need for creating awareness and dialogue on discrimination as a way to develop understanding and patience towards others. Discrimination is essentially a human rights violation and must be challenged. Everyone needs to play an active role and set examples for better society.

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