Most of us have probably even forgotten the fact that there are six fundamental human rights every Indian citizen is entitled to. Behind these rights we enjoy, there is the blood and sweat of years of spirited activism and fight against conventions. Let us take a look at seven people who have and are still striving to make our country a safer, better place to live.

1. Irom Chanu Sharmila :

Irom Chanu SharmilaBorn : 14 March 14, 1972 in Kongpal, Imphal,Manipur, India

Known As : Iron Lady or  Mengoubi

Awards : First Mayillama Award(2009), Lifetime Achievement Award(2010)

Who can forget the grit and determination of the “Iron Lady of Manipur”? She was on the longest known hunger strike that lasted for 16 years, to show her protest against the Armed Force’s Special Powers Act that entitled them to several irrational and cruel authority against those who dared go against the state.

2. Indira Jaising :

Indira JaisingBorn : June 3, 1940 in Mumbai, India

Awards : Padma Shree(2005) from the President of India

Ranked As : Fortune magazine ranked her 20th in the list of 50 Greatest Leaders of the World

NGO Name : Lawyer’s Collective

A noted Indian lawyer, Jaising has been the face of legal activism in the country. She is noted for her involvement in activist Mary Roy’s inheritance legalisation case and representation of victims of the infamous Bhopal Gas Tragedy, helping them get the deserving compensation from the accused company.

3. Kailash Satyarthi :

Kailash Satyarthi

Born : January 11, 1954 in Vidisha, Madhya Pradesh

Known For :Founder of Bachpan Bachao Andolan

Awards : Nobel Peace Prize and many more

This Nobel Peace Prize winning activist is known for his significant contribution in the field of child rights, education and for his fight against child labour. He is the founder of the famous Bachpan Bachao Andolan, a movement which has successfully saved over 86000 children from trafficking and slavery.

4. Kriti Bharti :

Kriti BhartiBorn : Jodhpur in Rajasthan

Known For : Founder of Saarthi Trust, a Non-Profit Organization

Awards : National Youth Icon Award 2018 by International Youth Committee (IYC)

A rehabilitation psychologist and social activist, Bharti has completely dedicated herself to save the lives of young children who are given into marriage at young ages. So far, her work has saved over 900 children from child marriages and annulled over 150 married children.

To know more about Kriti Bharti, please click here :

5. Ashok Row Kavi :

Ashok Row KaviBorn : June 1, 1947 in Mumbai, India

Occupation : Writer and LGBT activist

Awards : Shivananda Khan Award

India’s LGBTQ community has one person to be proud of and be thankful for – Mr Ashok Row Kavi, for his tireless work towards sensitizing the public about sexual minorities and the legalisation of homosexuality. He started off his career as a journalist and currently runs the Humsafar Trust – an organisation that works towards uplifting the LGBTQ community in the country.

6. Bezwada Wilson :

Bezwada Wilson

Born : 1966 in Karnataka in Southern India

Known For : National Convenor of the Safai Karmachari Andolan (SKA)

Awards : Ramon Magsaysay award

Being the son of manual scavengers, Wilson grew up watching his parents’ turmoil and the basic human dignity they were denied. His own experiences led him to begin the Safai Karmchari Andolan, a movement that led the Supreme Court to direct a verdict in favour of the families of manual scavengers who had died working under extremely unsanitary conditions.

7. Lenin Raghuvanshi :

Lenin RaghuvanshiBorn : May 18, 1970 in Varanasi

Known For : Founder of People’s Vigilance Committee on Human Rights(PVCHR)

Awards : M.A. Thomas National Human Rights Award 2016, Karamveer Award 2012, Human Rights Award of the city of Weimar (2010) and many more

This Dalit activist has been known for his altruistic role in bettering the lives of society’s marginalised sections. His upper caste Hindu upbringing made his look at caste systems with aversion and has since fought against the oppression of lower caste people, who were often led into bonded slavery for their mere caste status. He is one of the founders of People’s Vigilance Committee on Human Rights.