Dalit campaign for human rights completes 20 years

By Jhanshi Singh and Madan Sualsingh

New Delhi, Dec. 10, 2018: The National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights (NCDHR) celebrated its 20th anniversary of existence at Vishwa International Youth Centre, New Delhi.

Several eminent speakers addressed the gathering calling to work for Dalit rights, their education, emancipation, liberation and empowerment.

Speaking on the occasion, Ruth Manorama, a Dalit woman social activist from Bengaluru, said that more effort, collaboration and passion needed to work for the Dalit human rights as Dalit in India and elsewhere continue to face inhuman discrimination, exploitation and subjugation.

She has been crusading for Dalit women’s rights, the rights of domestic workers and those in the unorganized labor sector, as well as urban slum dwellers.

The NCDHR is a coalition of Dalit human rights activists and academics with the aim of putting an end to caste-based discrimination. It was founded in 1998. It is centered in Delhi, with offices in 14 states of India.

Their manifesto declares that they mean to fight casteism and discrimination in countries where such things are prevalent, in India and few other countries.

Other speakers included Prof. Vimal Thorat, Matrin Macwan, Henri Tiphagne, N. Paul Divakar, Dr. Mahendra Patra Rana, Asha Kowtal, Father Ajay Singh, Annie, Prof Sukhadeo, Nandugopal, Nickolash, Rekha Gujare, advocate Satish Surana, and Dr. Umakant.

All the speakers reiterated that Dr. B .R. Amebedkar’s dream and aspiration for Dalits freedom and dignity has to be take affirmative action on the ground with policy changes and programs from the part of the government.

Several activists who have been championing the causes of Dalits also shared their experiences of contributors in the journey with NCDHR and were honored for their charism and contribution on the occasion.

NCDHR and its affiliate movements promote economic, social, educational and cultural rights of Dalits, using the Union and State government budgets in order to track the administration of entitlements for Dalits. With an objective to improve policies and ensure accountability and transparency, they address policy makers and executives.

The outcast “dalit” community is also known as “untouchables,” within India’s ancient system of caste hierarchies.

The theme of the day was “Envisioning an Equitable and Sustainable Future.”

Kowtal tracked the history of the instructions. Pioneer founders were present and many contributors and many partners were present. Youth leaders were present.

Paul Divakar gave the vision of future forward “Caste Out Caste.” Many artists performed cultural program.

Dalit, now estimated to be more than 300 million (around 15 to 20 percent of India’s 1.3 billion people), have faced abuses for centuries.

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