Indian American Nikhil Mankekar wins International Human Rights Award

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Nikhil Mankekar on the right (Courtesy of news.kgnu.org)
Nikhil Mankekar on the right (Courtesy of news.kgnu.org)

Indian American Nikhil Mankekar was awarded the International Human Rights Award by the United Nations Association’s Boulder chapter, reported Dailycamera.com.

A member of the city of Boulder’s Human Rights Commission, Mankekar was honored with the award for his efforts to promote and celebrate the diversity of marginalized populations.

A champion of human rights and the rights of the immigrants, the 36-year-old native of Boulder, is a strong advocate of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients.

Mankekar has successfully created an Indigenous Peoples Day in Boulder and is in the forefront for fighting the criminalization of homelessness.

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The award ceremony was held on December 10, to commemorate the signing of the UN Declaration on Human Rights on December 10, 1948.

Speaking at the event, Mankekar said that “the declaration was signed after a historic period of mass genocide, which, tragically, continues to occur to this day.”

He urged everyone to act locally through personal interactions to overcome the conditions that lead to such horrible acts, making sure that everyone is treated with dignity and respect.

Ambrosia Pardue-Lee, a board member with the local UN Association, said that “the diversity of his outreach to the community,” helped Mankekar win the award.

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“He’s made a lot of connections with various community members, non-profits, and politicians. He’s definitely made his presence known, and has shown ability and willingness to help out where he can,” she told Dailycamera.com.

“The reason I’ve stayed and lived in Boulder, even despite discrimination that I’ve experienced, is to do what I’m doing now and to make it a better place for everyone,” Mankekar said.

“I’m just happy to be recognized for what I’ve been doing in the community around human rights,” Mankekar added. “I’ve put a lot of myself into this, into human and civil rights issues.”

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The Community Foundation Boulder County (CFBC) congratulated him for the achievement and thanked him for his efforts to advance human rights.

The International Human Rights Award was established in 1996 to recognize individuals in Boulder County who have contributed substantially to making the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights a living, vital, and effective document.