Telangana: The 14th State conference of Dalit Sthree Sakthi for the state of Telangana was held on 6th March 2020 on the theme “Dalit Adivasi Women- Sustainable Development”at Conference Hall, Ravindra Bharathi, Hyderabad. The dignitaries on the daiswere Sri Gopal Rao, IAS, Former Secretary, Sri Vasantha Kannabhiran, Founder, Asmitha Resource Centre, Sri PSN Murthy, IDAS, Retd, Founder President of Ambedkar Mission, Dr A Subrahmanyam, Retd Dean of Law, ANU, Prof Ratnam, HCU, Prof Pushpa Chakrapani, DBRAOU, Dr Siddoji Rao, Officers Forum/ Help Desk, and organisation heads Vinod from Ambedkar Protection Committee, James, Ramana from ST Employees Welfare organisation, Ambika and Indira from Aman Vedika, Ramchandar, Indira, Anitha, Mallesh, Narasimha from Ambedkar associations .
Sri Danial Vijay Prakash, National Program Manager of DSS presided the conference and Jhansi Geddam, National Convener of DSS outlined the theme of the annual conference.
14th Annual Report in English were released by Sri Gopal Rao, IAS, Former Secretary and Sri Vasantha Kannabhiran. All the speakers commended the work of Dalit Sthree Sakthi’s and their commitment in rendering justice to dalit women and girl children in all aspects.
Prof. A. Subrahmanyam spoke about the destructive process of development that has taken so far.He said that it is the profit making capitalist and imperialist forces that are behind the
so-called development and these forces are destroying nature and environment in the name of development. He referred to the ongoing projects like uranium extraction from Nallamala forest and aluminium extraction from Araku forest.
Ms. Vasantha Kannabhiran appreciated DSS work for the past decade and half. She remembered her association with DSS and how she always attended the conferences and other programmes of DSS. She said, while DSS and others are working continuously for awakening the society on the rights of the women, still the atrocities on women are going on. There is need to intensify the work further until the goal is achieved.
Sri. PSN Murthy pointed that dalit women are mostly anaemic and the concept of sustainable development is right now not relevant to them.Dalit women should have full access for information and education.Only then they can have understanding of development process.Dalit women should be able to launch movement like the Shahin Bagh movement
like the Shahin Bagh movement going on now and dalit women should be educated to progress like that.
Sri. James, industrialist from USA called upon dalit women to become self-reliant and advised them to collaborate with all other castes. He said, financial stability is necessary for sustainable development and he advised Dalits to venture to go abroad to all countries.
Sri. Gopala Rao, pointed out that in an unequal society like our development is not possible.
Caste and religion are obstacles for achieving equality and Hindu religion itself creates inequalities. There is no equality for women in this society and this situation should be rectified. The dalit men should take the responsibility for the progress of dalit women. The education system should be geared to promote equality of women and curriculum should be modified to include lessons about women equality. Women should get their share of economic development for their advancement. Unfortunately, now a days the government is resorting to all sorts of oppression and violation of rights. These days it has become difficult to protect one’s right to life and all should unite first to protect out right to life, then only we can fight for development.
Pushpa Chakrapani lamented at the lack of proper guidance and education about sex and
related matters to the youth and adolescents. Youngsters get sexual ideas and temptations when they see girls/women but they are not educated about the roots of these ideas. Due to lack of proper education youth are getting deviated to resort to sexual crimes. Women has to play various roles as mother, wife, public person, etc and women are unable to reconcile the clash between various roles.
Prof. Ratnam pointed out the inequalities between dalit men and women apart from general inequalities.He said he alone could study up to university education and acquire the job of professor while the dalit girls who were his classmates during the school days dropped out at
the 9th/10th class level only. This shows the difficulty of dalit women to go up in higher education. Further, he pointed out the inequalities in job level also. For example, in his high position as a professor his daily work is limited and enjoys lot of leisure and holidays and leaves, but dalit Adivasi women who work in the lower level like sweepers etc have to do heavy work every day and they do not have leisure. If they are absent to work even for a day, their wages would be cut down. Thus, there is lot of oppression of women at the lower level and he suggested that there should be a separate policy for dalit/Adivasi women labour and for their upliftment. He demanded separate quota of political reservations for dalit/Adivasi women.
DSS cultural team inspired the gathering with emotional songs on Ambedkar and songs on dalit lives. Vote of thanks given by Sri Bhagya Laxmi, State Coordinator of DSS.