Document Actions

Dalits In News,Jan.23-2008

by udaya — last modified 2008-01-28 15:22

Three booked for killing Dalit youth,Manual scavenging on in Tirunelveli Corporation...

 Three booked for killing Dalit youth



Wednesday, 23 January 2008

MANDI AHEMDGARH: A Dalit youth of Kullewal village was beaten to death by three persons, including chief of a dera, situated on the Machhiwara road on the outskirts of Samrala town.

The police have registered a case under Section 304 of the IPC against the accused. No arrest had been made so far. 

The police said that Amar Dass, chief of the dera, and two of his accomplices were booked for allegedly causing the death of Kulwant Singh (38) of Kullewal by beating him this afternoon.

According to the FIR Amar Dass and his accomplices had allegedly dragged Kulwant Singh inside the dera when he, along with his wife, stopped in front of the dera while returning to his village. Before Sinder Kaur could call someone to rescue his husband from the clutches of the accused, they allegedly beat him to death and threw his body on the road.

The police further said that. "After finding a prima facie case in the matter, we have booked the chief of the dera and his two accomplices for allegedly causing the death of the youth,".

The postmortem would be conducted on Wednesday.

The Hindu

Manual scavenging on in Tirunelveli Corporation



P. Sudhakar

Open defecation has become a major problem

"Public not ready to construct toilets in houses"

Measures to stop open defecation: official


TIRUNELVELI: Even after manual scavenging has been strictly prohibited and the State Government is implementing Total Sanitation Campaign to ensure construction of individual household toilets with the government assistance, some members of Arunthathathiyar community are victims of manual scavenging system .

Though there is no dry latrine in any part of the corporation, open defecation has become a major problem here, which is being tackled by these poor people.

As per the 2001 census, 9,867 Arunthathiyars (4,993 men and 4,874 women) are living at Samathanapuram, Ambedkar Nagar, Periyar Nagar, Gandhi Nagar, MGR Nagar in Palayamkottai, Indra Nagar, Nambikkai Nagar, Puthu Nainar Street, Bharathiyar Street in Melapalayam, Ulagamman Temple Street in Thatchanallur, Meenakshipuram, C.N. Village, Tirunelveli Municipal Corporation Colony in Tirunelveli Town and Pettai.

Significant number of members of this community has been engaged in scavenging wherever open defecation is prevailing.

Currently, some scavengers have to clear night soil at Jayaprakash Street in Tirunelveli Town, areas close to the channel at Thatchanallur etc.

"Besides having severe physiological and psychological impact on those who are forced to do this work, most of the Arunthathiyars cannot get even a cup of tea in the presence of others as teashop owners avoid it. They are being exposed to health hazards and the damage caused to their dignity and self-respect due to this disgusting system is just immense," said M. Mariadoss, Member of Tirunelveli District Protection of Civil Rights Act Vigilance Committee and president of Arunthathiyar Maha Sabha, who has forwarded a petition to the Collector.

Corporation sources said some of the scavengers have to be used for clearing the night soil in some areas as the public are not ready for constructing toilets in their houses even though financial assistance is being provided by the Government or using the public toilets.

"Anyway, we'll find some stringent measures to stop open defecation so that we can stop manual scavenging also," said a top corporation official.

The Tribune


Dalit member ends fast

Sunit Dhawan

Tribune News Service

Rohtak, January 22

One of the representatives of the Dalit-A Mahapanchayat, Haryana, who had been sitting on an indefinite fast here for the past nearly one month, was found having his meals at a dhaba near Sonepat stand here late this evening.

On being asked why he was having food while on fast, this person, who identified himself as Subhash, said he had decided to distance himself from the protesters after having some differences with them.

The deputy commissioner R.S. Doon reached the spot on being informed about the matter.

On being contacted, other Dalit leaders on fast maintained that one member had left them after having some differences and they did not know where he had gone or what he had done.

The Statesman


SC & ST youths trained in tourism


Statesman News Service

GANGTOK, Jan. 22: Organised by the state tourism department in collaboration with stakeholders in the industry, 140 educated but unemployed youth belonging to the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe communities were trained in tourism courses. Sikkim has a great tourism potential.

The 15-day course include trekking, guide and adventure tour operations and various service oriented programmes as part of the skill development programme for the youths. "We have taught them formation of the company, finance and investment, role of the computer and that of the Internet in tourism business, man power management, permits, royalty, rules, mountaineering and expedition, itinerary and costing, marketing and publicity, first aid and evacuation, trekking and equipment, campsite management and so on," Mr Lukendra Raisaily, a trainer said.

"It is very important for a guide to know about trekking and routes, mountaineering hazards, briefing, handling of bag and baggage, team work, food planning, language, attitude and safety in tourism, so we have specially focused on teaching these," he added. 

All the trainees were taken to Yuksom and Dzongri in West Sikkim at about 13,300 feet altitude for trekking in the harsh weather. "We really enjoyed learning this short-term course which was very tough, given the weather conditions, said Ms Pema Dechen, a participant. "But this short-term course is not adequate for us to become professionals, so if the state government could extend or organise similar long-term courses, it would be good for us, she added.

The Hindu


SC loans: State offers waiver of interest




VIZIANAGARAM: Minister for Social Welfare Pilli Subhas Chandra Bose said on Tuesday that the government would waive interest if the loans received under various schemes from the SC Corporation were repaid by March 31.

At a review meeting with officials here, Mr. Bose said that a sum of Rs. 362 crores was pending recovery from SC beneficiaries and added that the beneficiaries could avail fresh loans after settling the principal amount by the end of the current fiscal. On the poor response to 'pasu kranti' programme from beneficiaries, the Minister said as bankers were insisting on a tie-up for releasing loan, the government would issue a circular in a couple of days instructing SC Corporation to bear one third of the 50 per cent subsidy (limiting to Rs. 5,000) being given per unit on behalf of each beneficiary.

The Hindu


Panel to recommend loan waiver for SC/ST people



Staff Correspondent

'Funds for welfare schemes for them remain unutilised'

Police officials told to handle cases of atrocities fairly

'Stringent action taken in cases of discrimination'

BIJAPUR: Chairman of the Karnataka State SC/ST Commission Nehru C. Olekar has said that the Commission will recommend waiver of loans extended by the Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Development Corporation to scheduled caste and scheduled tribes people.

Reviewing developmental works for Dalits and steps taken to protect their rights in Bagalkot on Tuesday, he said several SC/ST organisations had sought waiver of the loan availed of by people of those communities. A proposal in this regard would be submitted to the Government, he said.

He said funds for implementation of schemes for SCs/STs had either been unutilised or diverted.

This would be taken serious note of, he said and urged the district administration to ensure that the benefits reached the target group.

On rehabilitation programmes for devadasis, Mr. Olekar directed the officials to conduct re-survey if necessary and include those left out.

He asked police officials to handle cases of atrocities against SCs/STs without bias.

"Such cases will be sensitive and the police should handle them carefully. In the process, they should ensure that everybody gets justice. Otherwise, even small incidents will snowball into major controversies," he said.

Mr. Olekar asked police officials to hold meetings with representatives from SC/ST organisations and individuals at the taluk-level every month to look into their grievances.

Deputy Commissioner of Bagalkot G.N. Nayak said that the administration was taking stringent action in cases of discrimination against SCs/STs. Steps had been taken to educate people against such social evils, he said.

On measures taken for their welfare, he said it had been proposed to provide kiosks for cobblers along the roads in Bagalkot and elsewhere in the district. Zilla panchayat vice-president Eshwar Karabasannavar was present.

The Hindu


Brinda: officials acted swiftly in Dalit torture case



Special Correspondent

The youth's eye was gouged out


6 families flee Nanded village for fear of reprisal

Parties adopting double standards: Brinda


MUMBAI: Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Brinda Karat is all praise for officials who took prompt action in the case of a sordid tale of a Dalit youth at Sategaon village in Maharashtra's Nanded district. His eye was gouged out and acid from a car battery poured into it on January 6 for eloping with a minor girl belonging to the upper caste Marathas.

The youth, Chandrakant Gaikwad, was beaten up and wrongfully confined for about 16 hours by his tormentors.

The CPI(M) leader, who recently visited the village and met the Gaikwads, told The Hindu that the district officials "acted well and fast and this is a very positive thing."

Suo motu action

Taking suo motu action, Superintendent of Police Vasant Jadhav arrested five of the girl's relatives and was looking for six others.

Collector Radhakrishna Mopalwar arranged for a financial help of Rs. 1 lakh to Chandrakant and his friend Milind Jondhale, who was also tortured. But he did not lose his eye. Both boys were taken to Hyderabad for urgent treatment.

Ms. Karat said Chandrakant and the 16-year-old girl, both belonging to families of labourers, took shelter in Milind's house at Kamareddy, Andhra Pradesh. The girl's relatives tracked them down there and brought all the three back to Sategaon, the boys reportedly tied with ropes like animals.

The boys were warned against reporting the matter to the police. Their families took them to a private hospital to escape any police case. But Chandrakant's uncle living in a neighbouring village came to know about the incident and phoned the police.

Ms. Karat said the Marathas had acted in the name of the "honour of the caste." And six out of the 30 Dalit families in the village moved out for fear of further reprisal. The rest of the families at Sategaon were Marathas. The girl was also traumatised by the episode.

Critical of the major political parties, Ms. Karat said: "Not a single elected representative from the area, MP downward to member of the taluk panchayat, paid any attention to such a barbaric and caste-driven incident." This showed the double standards of the political parties.


Mariam Dhawale, a CPI(M) functionary based in Mumbai who accompanied Ms. Karat to the village, said the local unit of the party had stood by the Dalits and intervened in the matter. The displaced families needed a place to go and work. The party would take up the issue with the local authorities.

Reuters UK

India's Dalits pin economic hopes on gods


Wed Jan 23, 2008 12:59am GMT

 By Alistair Scrutton

DAUD NAGAR, India (Reuters) - An hour's drive from the palatial headquarters of India's "untouchables" leader, her talk of eight-lane highways and birthday gifts for the poor had yet to filter to villagers pinning their hopes more on rain gods.

The villagers, from the same "untouchable" or Dalit caste as Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayawati, stood by their ramshackle mud huts and pointed to broken water pumps.

"We've four hand pumps and none are working. We've made a written complaint but no one listens to us," said Radhey Lal, a 45-year-old leader of Daud Nagar village on the outskirts of Lucknow, the state capital.

"We've no irrigation facilities. It's all in the hands of the rain god."

Lal, like many in this mainly Dalit village of 1,800 people, had high hopes for Mayawati -- known by just one name -- after she won an outright victory in the state last May to become chief minister, equivalent to a state governor in the United States.

But frustration in villages like Daud Nagar, even after only eight months of one of their own caste members in office, shows the economic challenges facing this northern part of India, where a national boom is making little headway in a Dalit hinterland.

Mayawati is now one of India's most well-known politicians and heads a state of 170 million people that would be the world's sixth biggest nation. She is now talked about as a future prime minister and coalition force in the 2009 general election.

Which is why she is being closely watched to see if she can harness an alliance of India's poorest, like Dalits, to offer national economic alternatives to India's two mainstream parties, the ruling Congress and the Hindu-nationalist and pro-market Bhartiya Janata Party.

Supporters say she will usher in change for Dalits, who account for about 16 percent of India's 1.1 billion people and who are still among India's most oppressed minorities, with a pragmatic focus on private and state investment.

The task is huge in one of India's poorest states. Its six percent growth lags a national rate of nearly nine percent. Two thirds of homes lack power.


Villagers like Lal complain that despite Mayawati's championing of Dalits and her grandiose projects, including a 400 billion-rupee (5.2 billion pound), 1,000-km highway project along the banks of the Ganges river, they still feel ignored.

"When we voted we had a lot of hope. I don't know now," said Ram Lali, a mother of five children from Daud Nagar. Her husband makes between $1 and $2 (51 pence and 1 pound) to a day as a labourer.

Mayawati, economists say, has been making one economic step forward, one step back, amid a battle between graft, interests of politicians and plans of well-meaning technocrats.

"The basic issue is economic growth. You have to make money, whether by begging, borrowing or stealing," said Cabinet Secretary Shashank Shekhar Singh, one of her closest aides, who is helping direct a massive infrastructure programme.

"Let's give good infrastructure, law and order, and people will come to our state."

But on the ground, promised aid has not arrived and corrupt police and local officials mean many projects did not reach them, scores of Dalit villagers said in interviews with Reuters.

In one village, landless Dalits complained that government officials were asking for bribes of around $5,000 for state government jobs reserved for Dalits. Similar bribes were asked, they said, for entry into the army.

Government food ration cards for lower castes were also going to the highest bidder, they said.

"Mayawati's people promised new roads, electricity," said 22-year-old Soni Bhau, a villager. "It all just been promises."

In Daud Nagar, Dalits say they can't collect firewood in a nearby forest. Higher-caste villagers threatened them with guns and beat up a teacher who complained to police, villagers said.

But even if little is changing, the government is spending. Uttar Pradesh is increasing the money it spends on infrastructure by around 35 percent this year.

The Ganges highway has been praised by business executives as a farsighted plan to better tie the state to the rest of India.

While the rural poor may complain, the urban rich in Lucknow are wealthier. Billboards advertise new housing complexes for middles classes. The city has five new, shiny malls.

"Mayawati's government is the first in decades with an absolute majority (in state parliament)" said Dr. Arwind Mohan, an economics professor in Lucknow and a World Bank consultant.

"They have a great opportunity to do something. But now they are losing time and people are getting jittery."

Jitters surfaced in September when Mayawati, facing protests from traders, shut down Reliance Retail, a unit of top private firm Reliance Industries, from an ambitious plan to introduce We400,000stern-style supermarkets.

For many economists this was exactly the billion-dollar project -- knocking out middlemen between farmer and sellers and increasing village incomes -- that benefits the hinterland.

"It's been a sad experience," said one senior Reliance official, who asked to remain anonymous. He said the project would have created up to 50,000 jobs, mostly in rural areas.

"To tell you the truth, this would have been great for the state, it was more of a social project than a business one."

Critics say the move showed Mayawati was like previous Uttar Pradesh leaders by favouring political interests over economic. A rash of new statues and parks in her party's honour, costing more than $100 million, have added to the disappointment.

For the moment, many dreams of India's most downtrodden caste are on hold despite one of their own in power.

"We can dream we'll get a helicopter," said 18-year-old villager Vicky, leaning on a cricket bat as he chatted about the new wealth he had seen a few miles away in Lucknow.

"But that doesn't mean we'll get one."

(Additional reporting Sharat Pradhan; Editing by Jonathan Allen and Megan Goldin)


NCDHR, 8/1, South Patel Nagar, Second Floor, New Delhi - 110 008, INDIA.
Phone: +91 - 11 - 25842249, E-mail: info@ncdhr.org.in
Designed and managed under EkDuniya initiative of OneWorld
Personal tools