Odisha human rights activist Akhand selected for International Leadership Program in USA


Bhubaneswar: Akhand, a well-known human rights campaigner of Odisha, has been selected to the three-week International Visitors Leadership Program (IVLP) of United States of America.

It is the most prestigious professional exchange programs for foreign opinion leaders, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State.

The 38-year-old Akhand raises his voices for the depressed, marginalized and vulnerable section of the people.  He became deeply involved in campaigning where human rights are grossly violated by the state actors.

Akhand has been providing direct free legal assistance to the victim or his/her family members in case of Human Rights Violation through direct intervention. He approaches National Human Rights Commission and State Human Rights commission on behalf of the victim or his/her family.

He has filled more than 500 cases before NHRC and SHRC for individual victims and for public. More than 7000 persons have benefitted directly by the intervention of Akhand.

He is working as Working Group Member of Civil Society Forum on Human Rights (CSFHR), Core Group Member of Odisha Soochana Adhikar Aviyan, Bhubaneswar and Managing Trustee of India Media Centre.

According to letter received from the USA consulate at Hyderabad, Akhand along with a group of youth activists will be visiting the U.S. on a 3-week group project entitled “Ending Gender-Based Violence “.

This program will explore the U.S. efforts to prevent and respond to gender-based violence.  Through professional meetings, site visits, and discussions, participants will study efforts to raise awareness and transform attitudes that condone gender-based violence.

They will learn about U.S. legislation, enforcement of laws and prosecution, the rehabilitation of abusers, and meet with victim support organizations and advocacy groups. In addition to Washington, D.C., the group will visit Chicago, Louisville, Tucson and Phoenix cities to observe the diversity of the United States.

In 2013, Akhand has initiated a unique massive awareness and signature program in the state of Odisha to stop crime against women. People were swearing in never to commit, never to involve, never excusing, and never to remain silent, about Violence against women, Female foeticide, Gender inequality, Domestic Violence and Harassment at the workplace and put their signature in the specific form.