Agnes Kharshiing
Agnes Kharshiing. File image

Meghalaya’s Right to Information (RTI) activist Agnes Kharshiing on Sunday was awarded the 11th International Hrant Dink Award at the Istanbul Lütfi Kirdar International Convention and Exhibition Centre.

She received the award from human rights activist Emma Sinclair-Webb and 2018 International Hrant Dink Award laureate Murat Çelikkan.

“Public should start speaking out, give assistance to the vulnerable, help them when human rights are violated so that humanity overcomes hatred,” Kharshiing said after receiving the award.

“Together we can do a lot to bring peace in this world where children can be filled with love and not fear,” she added.

Kharshiing is a popular voice of Meghalaya who has always taken a bold stand against corruption in the state’s policies in agriculture.

She has also been a long-time crusader against domestic violence, child and sexual abuse and deprivation of beneficiary schemes in rural areas.

She also formed the Civil Society Women’s Organisation for taking her fight against corruption to the grassroots.

She has also worked thoroughly to educate rural women on RTI.

In November last year, Kharshiing along with Amita Sangma and E Kurbah was brutally assaulted by a group of some 40 people after she lodged a complaint on the illegal mining and transportation of coal.

Apart from Kharshiing, Turkish human rights activist Nebahat Akkoç was also awarded the 11th International Hrant Dink Award.

Agnes Kharsiing (left) and Nebahat Akkoç withe their respective family members

Akkoç has launched a comprehensive support centre for women in south-eastern Anatolia- Turkey’s most oppressive region for women.

She provides a range of services, including legal and psychological counselling, human rights education, and child-care.

The Hrant Dink Award is an annual award presented by the Hrant Dink Foundation on the birth anniversary of Hrant Dink- a Turkish journalist.

Dink was gunned down on January 19, 2007, in Istanbul by17-year-old Turkish nationalist Ogün Samast.

The award presented in Dink’s memory is given to people who work for a world free of discrimination, racism, and violence.

The award is also given to those individuals who take personal risks for their ideals, use the language of peace and by doing so, inspire and encourage others.

The award aims to remind all those who struggle for these ideals that their works are visible and that they are not alone.

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