Marching Together - Annual State & District Conferences
Annual General Body meeting is an event to look back and review the work done, accomplishments and the difficulties faced. Throughout the year, the women collectives would be busy with field work in their respective places and have no chance of meeting their counter parts from other districts. Annual Conferences is an opportune moment for all the activists to meet across the districts and both the Telugu states to share their experiences. Every year, DSS organizes Annual Conferences, which would be like a mass carnival of dalit women. About a 2000 high spirited dalit women from across the State gather at the venue which looks like a march giving the image of history in the making and the assertion of dalit women against institutionalized caste discrimination. The very fact that Dalit women from nook and corner of the State converging at the State Capital, that too on their own without any arranged transport signifies their awareness and interest in the rights movement.
This occasion of large gathering of dalit women at one place is utilized to educate them by arranging inspiring speeches by stalwarts in Dr B R Ambedkar ideology and women rights. Usually, the General Body meeting goes on for two days with educative events. On a few occasions, the General Body meeting is preceded by a Public Hearing. Intellectuals, journalists of State and National stature have attended these mass general body meetings and addressed them.
Annual Conferences serves the purpose of educating, boosting the spirit of all women activists and also sends the message to all sections that dalit women no longer tolerate if their rights are violated. Every year the Annual Report is released in Telugu and English languages by prominent people during the annual conference.
General Body event is invariably highlighted and widely covered by the print and electronic media in the districts and states and thereby promoting visibility to the dalit women cause.
Events to Stimulate
Every organization, governments and other institutions annually celebrate certain important days like, International Women’s Day, Ambedkar Jayanthi etc. But, these days, in some institutions are being celebrated as if it's an obligation. Politicians also just go and garland Dr B R Ambedkar statue only for publicity and without any inspiration in heart of the hearts. Some of them may not be even knowing why Ambedkar is garlanded and revered and do it as an obligation, so that others may not accuse, that's all in it. Over a time, the public also got tuned to this routine activity without spirit. It is necessary to reverse this dispirited trend and morose way of celebrating these great days. Hence, as a break, DSS devised a novel way of campaigning on a theme as part of celebrating these important days to make them more relevant to the dalit women. Each year, March 8 , for example is celebrated as Shamika Mahila dinothsavam, (working women festival). Taking the opportunity, a campaign among the dalit women is conducted and they are explained about the significance of March 8 and about working women rights. Independence Day was celebrated as a campaign and seminar on the topic “Dalit Women in Independent India”. Likewise, Ambedkar Jayanthi, Republic Day and other significant days were celebrated on various themes as given below: