This yearIndependence Day was celebrated on the theme of “Equality of Opportunities in Independent India” with an idea of educating the Dalits and Dalit women on the present situation of discrimination they are facing in accessing jobs and resources. As part of the celebrations a public meeting was held on 15-08-2019 in the Press Club, Vijayawada. Senior I.A.S. officer, presently managing director of S.C. Corporation, Government of A.P., Mr. Gandham Chandrudu participated in the meeting as Chief Guest. Mr.Daniel Prakash, National Programme Manager of DSS presided over the meeting. Main speakers were Ms. JhansiGeddam, National Convener of DSS, MrPSN Murthy, IDAS, Chairman, Ambedkar Mission, DrSiddoji Rao, Convener, SC/ST IAS Officers Forum, Mr. AV Kiran, General Secretary, National SC,ST Electricity Employees Welfare Association. District Coordinators of DSS, Ms. Hemalatha, Ms.Divya and Ms.Syamala participated.
Gandham Chandrudu spoke about the present situation of Dalits. He said, that 3 generations passed after the achievement of independence, yet there is no equality in accessing economic resources. He explained how the inequality is continuing in all aspects of sex, caste, region and race. If there is chance for accessing economic resources then only one can eradicate this inequality. The well-established castes and classes have lot of economic strength and with that strength they are able to garner all opportunities while the disadvantaged castes have to depend only on their wisdom to access opportunities. As predicted by DrAmbedkar, disadvantaged castes have been able to achieve equality in terms of voting rightsbut still lagging behind in terms of social and economic equality. Since Dalits are suppressed and disadvantaged it is necessary for the Government to implement measures to lead them in the direction of achieving equality. He noted that there is need to have an Equal Opportunity Commission in India.
Other speakers explained how equality is denied in practice while there is equality in theory, in the Constitution and in laws. Patriarch ideology, caste domination are the main reasons why the Constitution and laws are not getting properly implemented. It is necessary for the women to be more conscious and work against the entrenched inequalities. There is need for all women to come on to one platform and struggle against inequalities. There is need to launch struggle for proper implementation of laws and equal participation in parliament and legislative assemblies.
Dalit women and leaders of Dalit Women Collectives participated in the meeting in large numbers.