A key aspect of social justice was an emphasis on education, said Mr. Lobo. It was only through education that the community could develop financially and socially.

The persisting legacy of the Constitution drafted by B.R. Ambedkar is that Dalits could now stand up for their rights, demand an equal share in opportunities, and this has contributed immensely to their development in the country, said Congress leader J.R. Lobo here on Sunday.

Addressing students at the district-level seminar on “Intentions of the Constitution and current affairs”, organised by Karnataka Dalit Students’ Federation, the former Commissioner of Mangalore City Corporation said that Ambedkar encapsulated the hopes and ambitions of the Dalits into the Constitution.

“The situation for Dalits is still bad in some places of the country. However, imagine how bad it must have been during the framing of the Constitution. Ambedkar fought for social reform and social justice,” he said.

A key aspect of social justice was an emphasis on education, said Mr. Lobo. It was only through education that the community could develop financially and socially.

“Education will give you the confidence to know your rights and to stand up for them. Use the opportunities that the Constitution provides, so that the community can also benefit from your success,” he told the gathering, mostly consisting of students. The seminar, which featured a discussion on the Constitution, ended with a cultural programme organised by the Kannada and Culture department. Janata Dal (Secular) leader A. Sadananda Shetty, who inaugurated the programme, said students needed a healthy dose of socially-important discussions and cultural programmes. Harikrishna Punaroor, former president of Kannada Sahitya Parishat, said that although the laws provided for the socially-backward communities, they were not being implemented in full by the bureaucracy.

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