Sau Mein Pachees Haq Humara Campaign at Jantar Mantar- 6th dec., Press Release
NATIONAL COALITION ON SCP TSP LEGISLATION
Date: 6th December, 2013
Dalits, Adivasis demand budget for addressing Urban Poverty Issues
New Delhi: On the death anniversary of their icon Baba Saheb Ambedkar, hundreds of Dalits and Adivasis gathered today at Jantar-Mantar in the heart of the capital to demand their rights which they have been constantly deprived of. On the second day of the week-long protest and dharna organised by National Coalition on Special Component Plan and Tribal Sub Plan Legislation (NACSTL), various Dalit & Adivasi leaders, activists addressed the rally and demanded that money diverted from SCP –TSP should be brought back and be utilized for addressing urban poverty issues and development of the community.
Funds allocated under SCP-TSP are quite rampantly misused, diverted or let being lapsed. Despite contradictory notions about urban poverty, fact is that this diversion of funds is more glaring in urban areas. National capital, Delhi is a prime example of it, where it is blatantly done in name of general development. In a response dated June 30, 2010 to an RTI application, the Government of Delhi affirmed that Rs. 744.354 crores from the SCP fund was utilized for the purpose of the Commonwealth Games and Rs. 1.6218 crores were spent to meet the expenses of Queen’s Baton Relay in the cultural segment.
Scheduled castes and Tribal communities have put forth their demand that under SCP–TSP, all the slums should be converted to pucca housing and get all entitlements, homeless and street community should be provided proper shelter, nomadic tribes should be removed from the list of criminals and be treated normal citizens of India. It was also demanded that, child & bonded labour practice and trafficking should be prohibited and the victims should be rescued and rehabilitated as it was very strongly felt that these illegal practices mostly target Dalits and tribals because they form the core of the most deprived sections.
Paying homage to the Dr. Ambedkar, prominent Dalit and Adivasi leaders from different states including Dr Prasad (SC Desk AICC), Rama Panchal, Vikcy (Ideal Youth Club), Jawahar Singh (Jhuggi Jhopdi Ekta Manch), Varun (Hamri Umeed), Jawahar Prasad Singh (Majdur Youth Vikas Sangh), Arun Khote (PMARC), Ghanshyam (SAMVAD) Roma Mallick (Rashtriya Shram Jivi Manch), Lalit Babbar, Ram Kumar, Prema and other addressed the gathering and declared that their agitation will not end until economic rights of SC-STs is assured through this SCP TSP Legislation. Stating the discriminatory practices by the Governments themselves, Paul Ratre, a dalit activist from Raipur said that after creation of the new state, the proportion of various community population have changed. This year Chhattisgarh Govt has reduced job reservation for SCs from 16% to 12%. Speakers also emphasized the fact that, after a law was passed in Andhra Pradesh last year, the allocation for Dalits and Adivasis has considerably increased. Same need to be done by the central government in form of a central legislation.
Under the banner of National Coalition on SCP–TSP Legislation (NACSTL) as part of the campaign for Dalit and Adivasi Economic Rights, a weeklong protest was launched on 5th December demanding a central legislation on Schedule Cast Sub Plan and Tribal Sub Plan to be tabled and passed in the current session of the parliament. The coalition comprises of more than 300 Dalit and Adivasi organizations from across country.
Partner organisations working on urban poverty and associated with NCDHR: Jhuggi Jhopdi Ekta Manch, Hamaari Ummeed, Labour Education and Development Society, Ideal Youth Club, Mazdoor Yuva Vikas Samiti, Nazdeek, Chetanalaya, Baljeet Nagar, Indian Social Institute, Delhi, PRASAR, Dalit Christian Society, Safai Karamchari Aandolan, Matri Sudha, Nai Drishti Education and Cultural Organisation, National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights-Dalit Artihk Adhikar Andolan, Housing and Land Rights Network.
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