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Dalit Women Marching Ahead Towards Equality

Andhra Pradesh Annual State Conference was held on 12th February 2019 at Swarna Palace,Vijayawada, while the TelanganaState Convention was held at SSS Conference Hall, Hyderabad on 20thFebruary 2019.

Every year, Annual General Body meet is conducted to boost the self-esteem of the members and leaders of women collectives of the villages. They will be travelling to the venue from their villages and the very fact of going to a distant place to attend a meeting gives lot of exposure to them. At the venue the dalit women will have the opportunity of interacting with each other. Annual conferences are always held on a theme and the gathering is educated on the theme with high level dignitaries as speakers.

Andhra Pradesh:Dalit Sthree Sakthi’s 13th State Annual Conference was held on 12th February 2019 at Swarna Palace Conference Hall, Vijayawada, on the theme “Dalit Women Marching Ahead towards Equality”.

Eminent personalities attended the conference and inspired the dalit women gathering.The chief guest of this conference is Sri B Raj Sekhar, IAS, Principal Secretary to Govt of AP,

Agriculture and Civil Supplies, , dignitaries were Sri Kaki Sunitha, IAS, Chairperson & MD of Tobacco Board, Sri Usha Kumari, IAS, Addl., Commissioner and Sri Yesuratnam, MD of Christian Minorities Corporation, AP, Sri A Subrahmanyam and L Jayashree, Law Professors (Rtd)Acharya Nagarjuna University, AP, Sri A V Kiran, General Secretary, All India SC, ST Electricity Employees Welfare Association, Dr N Siddoji Rao, Convenor, SC, ST IAS/IPS Officers Forum. Jhansi Geddam, National Convener, Dalit Sthree Sakthi presided the meeting.

All the dignitaries first garlanded the statues of Dr BR Ambedkarand Savitribai Phule and then occupied their respective seats on the dais. Daniel Vijay Prakash, National Program Manager of DSS introduced about the theme “DalitWomen Marching Ahead Towards Equalityof annual conference and explained the need. Jhansi Geddam, National Convener of DSS in her inaugural speech highlighted the tasks taken up and achievements during the year 2018.The 12th Annual report in Telugu was released by Sri B Raja Sekhar, IAS.

Gist of the Speeches made by the Dignitaries:

  • Even in 21st century there is not much change from the old feudal ideas.

  • It is strange to see animals are given more importance than human beings

  • India is the 4th largest economy in the world and a fastest growing economy. But what is the role and participation of Dalits in this economy?

  • We need many organizations like DSS to do research and to inspire dalit women.

  • The annual budget of A.P. is Rs.2lakh crores, but what is the share of Dalits in this budget. Is it a small piece in the cake?

  • Dalits should be aware of the growth process and demand for inclusive growth.

  • Dr B.R. Ambedkar is champion of women’s rights.

  • Article 14 guarantees equality but cl. (3) of Article 15 provides special protection for women.

  • Democracy is not just having elections every five years. It is a narrow understanding of democracy.

  • Democracy means governance in accordance with rule of law and protection of rights of all.

  • Present governments are serving the interests of corporates only to the disadvantage of rest of the population.

  • Dalit women should take up businesses and develop economically.

  • Dalit women should form an economic forum and progress economically. They should concentrate on developing skills.

  • All dalit women should invariably be educated. We should realize that education is our strength and our investment.

  • There are hypocrites around. Those who indulge in violence at home also pretend and speak for women rights. We should be aware of such persons.

  • Dalit women should stand up against money power and authority to achieve equality.

The 13th State conference of Dalit Sthree Sakthi for the state of Telangana was held on 20th

February 2018 on the same theme “Dalit WomenMarching Ahead Towards Equalityat SSS Kalyana Mandapam, Hyderabad. The dignitaries on the dais were Sri Kaki Madhava Rao, IAS, Former Chief Secretary, Sri Murali IAS, Sri B Vijaya Bharathi, Former Telugu Academy Director, Sri Vinod, IFS., Former Ambassador to Germany, Sri S Charulatha, Scientist, Dept of Atomic Energy, Hyderabad, Prof Sudha Rani from DBRAOU, Dr Siddoji Rao, Officers Forum/ Help Desk, Sri Girija Devi, State Coordinator, OSC, and Vinod from Ambedkar Protection Committee. Jhansi Geddam, National Convener of DSS presided the conference and Sri Danial Vijay Prakash, National Program Manager of DSS outlined the theme of the annual conference. 13th Annual Report in English was released by Sri Kaki Madhava Rao and Sri B Vijaya Bharathi.

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.

Gist of the points from the speeches of dignitaries:

  • It is unfortunate that atrocities on dalit women are going on in the State even now.

  • Dalit women should seriously think why atrocities are taking place on them and why not on women belonging to other castes.

  • Dalit women should take care of their self-protection.

  • Atrocities on dalit women will come to an end only when they develop economically.

  • Dalit women should try to get positions of political power also.

  • Dalit women are facing all forms of discrimination and it is necessary that organizations like DSS should be supportedby the Government.

  • Though dalit women are now getting educated very a smaller number of them are in good jobs.

  • Dalit men should learn to respect dalit women and treat them equally.

  • Inter-caste marriages should be encouraged.

  • Dalit women played significant role in Telangana movement and it was they who fought against Razakars.

  • Dalit women should learn questioning and demand for their share in the economic growth.

Declaration adopted by the General Body at both the state conferences:

1.Resolved to give trainings to Women Collective leaders at the village, mandal, district and State level on special laws and on their rights and improve their awareness on these laws.

2. We will strengthen the youth associations through trainings.

3 The dalit women leaders who are trained should take up the task of awakening and enlightening the dalit and Adivasi women in the villages.

4.Resolved to work towards strengthening the dalit and Adivasi women economically. To take up the task of getting loan applications sanctioned.

5.To fight against all forms of violence at home and outside and to fight for justice till end.

6.To monitor educational institutions and see that dalit girl children get quality education.

7.To work with all like minded organisations and form networks whenever necessary.

8.To campaign on gender issues in the villages and enlighten everyone on gender equality.

9.To create awareness on the existing political situation and educate the people to use their vote towards strengthening democracy.

10.To educate dalit and Adivasi women to live with dignity, equality and self-respect.

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