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NDW urges Bihar CM to ensure inclusion of Dalits in disaster response; CM promises action

by admin last modified 2014-10-29 10:51

Patna, 3 September In a meeting with National Dalit Watch (NDW) members on 3 September, Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi assured that he will take prompt action to ensure inclusion of Dalits and other vulnerable communities in all state interventions pertaining to disaster response in the recent floods.

The CM assured of immediate consultations with all line departments, including the disaster management department, ‎to understand the dynamics of exclusion and even requested NDW for more substantive evidence.

During the meeting with the Chief Minister, NDW had expressed concerns towards the discriminatory practices against Dalits and Mahadalits in the relief camps of Saupal and Saharsa. NDW National Coordinator Rajesh Singh said that NDW along with partner organizations had monitored flood relief camps in Saupal and Saharsa districts for 15 days and the findings were shocking. “In most relief camps, Dalits were kept and fed separately, no proper medical facilities were available, not a single boat was deployed in Dalit hamlets during the rescue operations, meagre quantities of food and water was supplied to Dalit families with children and women suffering the most. He further added that the state needs a comprehensive inclusive disaster management plan and response strategies for inclusion of Dalit communities in relief and rehabilitation. 

“Form our past experiences during floods in Bihar, we have witnessed extreme forms of social exclusion on the basis of caste and gender. So our demands are very essential to prevent further marginalization of Dalit communities and urge the CM to act swiftly,” added Singh. 

NDW demands
1) Inclusive strategies in disaster response to ensure that there is no discrimination on the basis of caste and gender.
2) The State disaster management machinery should undertake specific vulnerability mapping through the lenses of caste induced exclusion in disaster prone areas.
3) Effective representation and active participation from the Dalit community in disaster response should be implemented on war footing.
4) Create awareness and promote the principle of inclusiveness in Disaster Response and Disaster Risk Reduction at the State/ District and Block disaster Management levels.

 

 
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