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Round Table discussion with Political Party Leaders

by ragini — last modified 2013-12-06 12:18

On 3rd Dec., 2013 Round Table discussion with Political Party Leaders at Constitution Club, New Delhi.

Round Table discussion with Political Party Leadersnull

National Coalition on SCP/TSP Legislation

 

 

PRESS RELEASE

Date: 5th December, 2013

DALIT, ADIVASI CHILDREN DEMAND THEIR RIGHT TO BUDGET

 

Thousands of students sing, dance & march at Jantar Mantar

 

New Delhi: India’s prime stage for political protests, Jantar-Mantar was today a site for hitherto kids’ circus. Thousands of children from across the country gathered at Jantar Mantar to sing, dance and perform to protest and demand their right to budget on Health & Education. Children from various schools, children groups and civil societies like Nine is Mine, Delhi Right to Education Forum participated in the campaign in a large number.  Through innovative art forms, musical performance, street plays & circus, the children raised their voices against the injustices done through poor educational & health schemes and demanded their constitutionally granted share in budget. 

This programme was part of the campaign for Dalit and Adivasi rights led by National Coalition on SCP–TSP Legislation (NACSTL). Week long protest was launched on Thursday at Jantar Mantar to demand a bill on central legislation on Schedule Cast Sub Plan and Tribal Sub Plan to be tabled and passed during the current winter session of the Parliament. The coalition comprises more than 300 Dalit and Adivasi organisations across country. It was formed two years ago with the focussed aim of fighting for due share in the central and state budgets. Tracking the budget shows how there have been huge budget diversion from the money allocated for Dalit and Adivasi children’s education and health. An all party meet held on Tuesday supported the proposed central legislation. BJP general secretary Murlidhar Rao, NCP MP Vandana Chavan, Dalit leader Udit Raj and retired IAS officer P.S. Krishnan were present at Jantar Mantar to support the fight for legislation. They also addressed the children. 

It is to be noted that two important factors behind the educational disparities between SC-ST Children and other children are poverty and discrimination based on caste, ethnicity and gender. It is further compounded by multiple forms of exclusionary and discriminatory practices like cleaning of toilets by SC-ST students, exclusion by teachers, peer groups. Education system itself does it in terms of schemes not being implemented in full; lack of acknowledgement of SC role models in the curriculum or by teacher; reinforcing caste characteristics in the syllabi and textbooks; lack of sensitisation of teacher in teacher education and training; in sufficient recruitment of SC-ST teachers.

 There is also institutional exclusion in terms of operation of schemes and programmes and funds for the educational development of Sc-STs. In 2007, performance audit on the educational development of SC-STs though the MSJE and MOTA, education schemes found deficient in financial management in terms of under-utilization of funds, inter-state imbalances in allocation of funds, non-available of central assistance, delay/non/short release of funds, unspent balances lying with states, diversification of funds etc. There were also problems in reporting such as delay/shortage/non-delivery of scholarships disbursement, inadequate hostel facilities, poor awareness of schemes and failure of monitoring & review of their implementation.    

 

Hence, Dalit and Tribal communities began to feel something urgent must be done to remedy the situation by claiming what is their due in the Central and State budgets and by demanding that this amount should be fully allocated and spent for their development and progress. It has also to be noted that due to continuous pressure by the organizations, Karnataka also passed a bill on Thursday itself to guarantee the SCP-TSP through a law. Andhra Pradesh had already passed such legislation last year. Current campaign is for this singular motive of getting the important central legislation passed in the parliament at the earliest. 

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