Exhibition on Rwanda Genocide 2010

August 12 to 15, 2010 A three day exhibition was organized by the S.N.D.T. Women’s University’s Law School and Maharashtra United Nations Association - MUNA in collaborationith the United Nations Information Centre New Delhi, on the genocide which took place 16 years back in 1994 in Rwanda in Africa at the University’s Santacruz Campus from 12th to 15h August 2010. Estimated 800,000 Rwandans were killed in the space of 100 days from April to June 1994, Most of the dead were Tutsis - and most of those who perpetrated the violence were Hutus. The Exhibition named ‘Lessons from Rwanda’ sought to create awareness about the meaning, causes, eventualities and consequences of GENOCIDE on the society, Exhibition included screening of award winning documentary film asĀ  As we forgive and the much acclaimed Invictus.Even for a country with such a turbulent history as Rwanda, the scale and speed of the slaughter left its people reeling. The genocide was sparked by the death of the Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana, a Hutu, when his plane was shot down above Kigali airport on 6 April 1994. Numerous elite Hutu politicians have been found guilty for the organization of the genocide. The Rwandan Military and Hutu militia groups systematically set out to murder all the Tutsis they could capture, irrespective of their age or sex, as well as the political moderates. Hutu civilians were forced to participate in the killings or be shot and were instructed to kill their Tutsi neighbors. Most nations evacuated their nationals from Kigali and abandoned their embassies in the initial stages of the violence. The Exhibition not only intended to bring to the light the horrific event but also the ways, methods and mechanisms to prevent or stop such events from taking place in future.

The exhibition was inaugurated on the 12th of August by the Vice-Chancellor of the S.N.D.T. Women’s University Dr. Chandra Krishnamurthy, in the presence of Registrar Dr. Madhu Madam, The Hon. Secretary MUNA and IFUNA Executive Committee Member, Adv. Ashraf Ahmed Shaikh, students and teachers of Law School to name a few Dr. kiran Sharma, Dr. Chaya Gala, Adv. Usha Andewar, Adv. Shobhana Nambiar Adv. I.A.Syed, Adv. Smita Shah, and various other departments of the University. It was followed by a candle-lighting session as a tribute to those who lost their lives in the genocide. It was not only in their memory but also as a mode to show protest against such ghastly events and to create a kind of deep social awareness among everyone who visited it. Pictures displaying the sufferings that people in Rwanda had to bear with were also there. One such particular poster spoke about the sexual violence that the Rwandan girls and women were subject to during this horrible event in history of Rwanda. The Special Rapporteur estimated that between 250,000 and 500,000 Rwandese women and girls had been raped. A 2000 report prepared by the Organization of African Unity’s International Panel of Eminent Personalities concluded that "we can be certain that almost all females who survived the genocide were direct victims of rape or other sexual violence, or were profoundly affected by it".

Most visitors were unaware about this dark episode of recent past and thus were shocked to know about it. So as to get know how the visitors felt of this little known tragedy, a visitor’s diary was kept to get know they felt of this little known tragedy. Over the period of three days, the exhibition witnessed a large number of visitors of different ages from various different faculties and different colleges. Every visitor was briefed about the lesser known Genocide and then taken for a stroll to have a look at the panels which were specially sent from the UNIC Delhi for the exhibition. The panels titled ‘Genocide-whose responsibility’, ‘The Path to Genocide’, ‘Rwanda-what would have prevented this?’ and ‘Inaction-the human cost’ helped to provide a deeper insight into the problems faced before and after the genocide, what led to the grave event, what would have prevented it and what is the price that was paid because of inaction of other nations to help. A booklet containing excerpts from Nelson Mandela’s speeches from 1961 to 2008 was also distributed to the visitors.

The main objective of the exhibition is to draw lessons from the Rwanda experience relevant for future complex emergencies as well as for current operations in Rwanda and the region, such as early warning and conflict management, preparation for and provision of emergency assistance, and the transition from relief to rehabilitation and development.
The SNDT law students who volunteered this event were especially deeply moved and have decided to keep the ‘Lessons from Rwanda’ in their minds and try their best to prevent, stop and condemn any such event in future. Thus, as it is said, it was ‘Education achieved not only received’.