Hindus and Jews have hailed Warwickshire Police of United Kingdom for organizing first “Family Day of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller History and Culture”, to be held on June 27.
Rajan Zed, acclaimed Hindu statesman; and Rabbi Jonathan B. Freirich, prominent Jewish leader in Nevada and California in USA; in a statement in Nevada today, said that this might appear to be a small step but it was a big step forward for the British society as Roma-Traveller-Gypsy communities had been living in apartheid like conditions for many centuries in Europe.
Their alarming condition was a social blight for Europe and the rest of the world as they reportedly regularly faced social exclusion, racism, substandard education, hostility, joblessness, rampant illness, inadequate housing, lower life expectancy, unrest, living on desperate margins, language barriers, stereotypes, mistrust, rights violations, discrimination, marginalization, appalling living conditions, prejudice, human rights abuse, racist slogans on Internet, unusually high unemployment rates, etc., Zed and Freirich argued.
This laudable five hour event, to be held in the grounds of Warwickshire Police headquarters in Warwick, will include story telling by award winning author Garth Cartwright (Princes Amongst Men), traditional Roma band, traditional memorabilia collection, graffiti project, art workshop, balloon race, games, food, etc.
Warwickshire Police has described it as “step in the right direction to improving relations”. “Hopefully this day will be the start of building relationships with the aim to better understanding and learning about the different cultures and societies we all live in”, a Warwickshire Police statement about this event says. Organizers are encouraging families across the county to participate.
Rajan Zed and Jonathan Freirich urged the United Kingdom Government and European Union to award the Warwickshire Police for this courageous step and encourage counties across Europe to organize events like this to bring Roma-Traveller-Gypsy and local majority communities together at one platform to celebrate as equals.
Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, said that it was moral obligation of Europe to take care of its largest minority Roma population and stop human rights violations suffered by them, who numbered around ten million and were the most disadvantaged. How much longer it would take for them to be accepted as a part of the European society, Zed asked.
One of the “Values” of Warwickshire Police listed on its website is: “Constantly seek opportunities to be more effective and efficient through partnership, collaboration and new ways of working.” It has about 994 officers and staff and Keith Bristow is the Chief Constable. Warwickshire county in West Midlands, which came into being in early 11th century and which is one of the most visited areas outside of London, is the birthplace of poet-playwright William Shakespeare, novelist George Eliot, poet Rupert Brooke and rugby football.