. . . . . . "Dalit Solidarity News" is an information project run by the International Dalit Solidarity Network. News stories are extracts from online newsservices. Link to the full story is found at the end of each blog. Visit the International Dalit Solidarity Network at www.idsn.org

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Formed in 2000, the IDSN is a network of international organisations, national solidarity networks and affected country groups, campaigning against caste-based discrimination throughout the world, from the dalits of South Asia to the Osu of Nigeria and the Burakumin of Japan. Visit our website International Dalit Solidarity Network for more information. SUBMIT DALIT NEWS HERE

Tuesday, June 07, 2005  
Tsunami rehabilitation : Discrimination against Dalits alleged

The New Indian Express

The National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights (NCDHR) alleged that there was discrimination against the Dalits in the rehabilitation of the tsunami affected . The NCDHR General Secretary, Mr.Vincent Manoharan said that the governments in Kerala and Tamil-Nadu failed to give due consideration to the Dalits in the coastal areas who suffered losses in the disaster. He alleged that all tsunami rehabilitation projects were aimed at assisting only the fisherfolk. The rehabilitation projects should cover the whole Coastal community, he said.

According to him the rehabilitation work was not progressing in accordance with guidelines prescribed by the UN for disaster management. There was no neautrality, impartiality, universality, peoples participation, transparency and accountability he said. He said that in Kerala a total of 1605 dalit families had been affected by the disaster - 1257 in Ernakulam, 257 in Kollam and 94 in Alappuzha. The Government should provide houses and work tools to them too,he said. The NCDHR has prepared a 100 page dossier on the loss suffererd by the Dalits which will be submitted to the authorities. Mr.R.Prakash, State Convenor of NCDHR was also present in the press conference.

2:16 PM

Monday, June 06, 2005  
Schools for Dalits

The Kathmandu Post
3 june 2005

- In our society, Dalits have endured centuries of brutal abuse and different forms of discrimination at the hands of upper castes. They are deprived of most basic needs such as medicine, clean water, shelter and clothes. Their children do not attend schools. And the adults are without work. On top of that, they are subject to regular oppression. Incidents of discrimination that deprive them of legal justice, social, economic and human rights are very common. Yet the government has undertaken no major projects to integrate the Dalit community into society. However, the United Nations seems to have realized the need to educate the children of Dalits. The UN-run Ram Janaki Community School has shown some hope for Dalit children, though the school lacks enough teaching staff to run classes effectively.

Notably, the school, which runs classes up to Grade Five, has 173 Dalit students. Almost half of them are girls, though all parents are illiterate. In Kapilavastu district, there are five such schools, where over 8,000 students from the Dalit community, are attending currently. But these schools lack enough teachers, educational materials and good infrastructure. The revolving fund is not sufficient to meet all expenses. But the country receives assistance in millions for Dalit children. Recently, Japan released assistance for the education of Dalit children. Will the children of Ram Janaki Community School benefit from the donation? How has the government been spending the money? The government has done very little for the education of Dalit children. The vast majority of Dalits are landless, and are excessively dependent on the will of high-caste leaders for their well-being.

Dalits make up 20 percent of the total population, and 80 percent of them live below the poverty line. Their share of cultivable land is less than one percent. Literacy rate amongst the Dalits is less than 10 percent. The socio-eocnmic status of Dalit women is pathetic. More than 70 percent of the children of Dalits are malnourished. Have the successive governments ever sincerely worked to address the grievances of the Dalits? But how long will the government ignore their tragedy? Many people of the marginalized community have entered rebel outfits. Therefore, the government must initiate and implement strong measures for the welfare of the Dalit community.

Link to the article

1:30 PM

SC/ST body demands quota in private sector

4 June 2005

ALL India Confedration of SC/ST Organisations while alleging that Central Goverment’s policy was anti-SC/ST, has condemned it over mishandling of reservation for the community in the private sector.

Addressing a meeting of the state unit of the conferation here today, state chief R.K.Kalsotra said that that implementation of reservation in services sector had come to a grinding halt due to the government’s anti-Dalit policies.

He demanded immediate removal of Meira Kumar, the Union Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment. ‘‘The government’s decision and non-implementation of pre-poll promise of clearing two lakh backlog have resulted in unrest among the employees and educated unemployed youths belonging to the SC/ST,’’ said the state chief of the federation. He appealed to the Central and state governments to take measures to provide reservation to the SC/ST in contractual employement system in the government as well as private sectors.
Kalsotra further said that the industrialists and owners of private companies had failed to meet the global competition rather they enjoyed the rebate and levy of taxes in various forms.
‘‘What new and novel in India the private sector has produced which is impossible for an SC/ST to do,’’ questioned the SC/ST confederation leader.

He said to make claim of true democratic charecter, the government should consider the matter of providing reservation to the SC/ST in private sector for uniform development of all sections of Indian society.
Kalsotra alleged that the governments at the Centre and state were depriving the SC/STs of their rights in recruitments in the government sector and for restoring to ‘outside’ as part of new economic policies.

Among others present on the occasion inlcuded R.D.Chowdhary, Zaheer Ahmed Bajjar, Darshan Bhagat, Romesh Chander, Romesh Kaith and Azam Meelu.

Link to the article

10:12 AM

Business house acquires dalit property

June 5, 2005

Sam Daniel
A land scam in Madurai has exposed how thousands of acres of lands given to dalits under the Panjami scheme are being illegally taken over and possessed by business houses and dominant communities. Sahara city homes, which is developing town ships in 217 cities is alleged to have acquired over twenty acres of Panjami land for its project in the city.

Forty-three-year old dalit Ramamoorthi is a shattered man. A multi crore housing complex will soon come up in the land that should rightfully belong to him. Three acres of land at the Ayyanpapakudi village was given to his father free of cost by the government in 1974 under the Panjami scheme.But a moneylender had forcibly transferred the land to his name. Although revenue authorities redeemed the land in 2004, they allotted the land to six other local dalits, allegedly to facilitate "Sahara city homes" have a sprawling 105-acre area for their mega housing project."I have no other property. It is so difficult to even feed myself. If I get back my land I will be able to survive," said Ramamoorthi .

Non-transferable propertyPanjami lands cannot be sold or gifted to upper caste people. Even when governments take over such illegally transferred properties, they have to be returned to the original owners or their legal successors. In this case however, the successors of all such original owners live in the vicinity but have been completely ignored. The company has also allegedly bought over fifteen acres of Panjami land illegally from many dalits with the connivance of revenue officials.An aggressive campaign by dalits has now forced the authorities to probe the entire sale and allotment process.

Legal help
Over twenty lakh acres of Panjami lands were given away to dalits during the days of the British. But in Tamil Nadu alone over a lakh acres of these lands are presently possessed by non-dalits."We are going to file a written petition in the Madras high court, asking the court to direct the government to release the status of Panjami lands in all districts," said Ayyan Kazhai, Land reclamation committee.Sahara officials however, refused to speak on camera claiming their records are straight.

Link to the article

10:04 AM

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