On the eve of 7th Annual State Conference, Dalit Sthree Sakthi (DSS) has organized a state level Round Table Conference (RTC) on the Violence Against Dalit Women and Girl Children on 27th February 2013, at SSS Kalyana Manadapam, Secunderabad.
The victims and witnesses of 30 major incidents of violence comprising of rapes, gang rapes, murders, mass attacks and cheating in the name of love have narrated their agony before the jury. The jury was constituted with IAS & IPS Officers of Line Departments, State & National SC Commissions, Editors of Prominent Print & Electronic Media and Intellectuals.
The Jury Members On The Dais Were:
· K. Praveen Kumar IAS, Director-Fisheries Department
· P. Chandramouli IPS, Inspector General of Police-PCR Cell
· D. Hanumantharaya Director-National SC Commission
· R. Subba Rao IAS, Secretary- State SC/ST Commission
· Manikyala Rao Joint Director-Director of Prosecutions
· Swarna Latha Joint Director-Women & Child Welfare Department
· Jumuna Director Advocacy –SERP
· Mallepalli Laxmaiah, Director CDS
· Lakshmi - NREGA
· Vimala-Senior Advocate
· Jupaka Subhadra-Writer
· K. Srinivas Editor-Andhra Jyothi
· Allam Narayana Editor-Namaste Telangana
· K. Venkateswarlu Deputy Editor-The Hindu
· Shiva Prasad Chief Editor-ZEE 24
· Premamalini Input Editor-TV9
The program started with the hoisting of DSS flag by P Chandra Mouli IPS, followed by the felicitation of the photos of Ambedkar and Savitribai Phule. The program was presided over by the Convener of DSS, Ms Jhansi Geddam. Giving a brief introduction to the programme, she said that, hundreds of violence against dalit adivasi women and girl children addressed by DSS, 30 incidents with major gaps are being presented on the day. These cases would exhibit the reasons behind their incidence, the response of the society, government and officials before, during and after the occurrence of the incident.
The underlying objective of presenting these cases in public and before the jury is that, the members of the jury would examine each case thoroughly. As the cases are presented by the victims themselves with the evidences gathered by DSS, necessary solution could be sought to overcome the gaps and render justice to bring them to the mainstream. These cases would lay bare the fact that the dalit adivasi women do not have a safe place - be it home, school, work place, devotional place or the society. Each case is an example of struggle for the basic rights - starting from the registration of case and arrest of the accused. There is not a single case, where these have happened as a rule of law, without the interference of the IGP-PCR Cell, DIG, SP or other officials. In addition, the victims face threats from the perpetrators and caste elders for compromise. What is even more pressing is that, even the police force the victims to take back the case or create situations to suppress the case. Besides these, simple procedures such as investigation on time, filing the charge sheet, presenting in the special courts and effective role of PPs are always delayed as a rule. The willful negligence by Social Welfare (SWD), Women and Child Welfare Departments is evident.
She said that the media is the bridge for the victims to connect with the society and government. That is the major reason why the editors of all the prominent electronic and print media are invited to the event as jury members. Their presence would strengthen the programme. The recent rape case of Nirbhaya has come to lime light due to the publicity rendered by the media. The media, apart from focusing the issue, has raised a movement in solidarity to the victim. Then she said that, a number of such incidents are happening on dalit adivasi women, which are not being focused by the media. For instance, acid attack on Lalithabai (14), a tribal girl of Tenali in Guntur district was murdered for rejecting love. Tenali is not a remote area. Still, neither the media, nor the government officials here have no clue of this incident for reasons unknown. The media is unaware of most of the incidents being presented here this day.
Jhansi then briefed about the cases being presented for the day. They consist of both inter and intra community violence. These cases clearly depict the negligence of the Social Welfare and Women & Child Welfare Department in discharging their duties. Though the District Vigilance and Monitoring Committee is there for monitoring the implementation of the SC/ST (PoA) Act, the SWD is not paying the compensation, relief and rehabilitation to the victims. In the case of Chellapu Devi, a mentally retarded minor girl, who was sexually exploited and has given birth to a child, compensation or rehabilitation have not been taken care till date by the WCD. This is annoying to the fact that the same department has announced that Rs. 950 crores has remained unspent with them. Jhansi said that the RTCs of DSS have been conducted in 7 districts where DSS is operational and the cases were presented before the officials. The cases which remained unresolved at district level are presented before the state jury this day.
Daniel Vijay Prakash, Programme Manager, DSS explained the interventions of DSS to address the gaps in the cases. Taking the instance of Bullitalli case, he explained in detail the efforts taken to get the case registered by continuous follow up with the DSP, special review with SP, several representations to the IGP-PCR Cell etc. Regrettably, SWD and WCD have not responded till date. Same is the case with Narendra Devi, where SWD and WCD have not taken action to the date. DNA test was not conducted even after giving birth to a baby. In the abetment to suicide case of Renuka, the accused have not been arrested till now. Sections of SC/ST (PoA) Act were not added even though she has mentioned caste discrimination clearly in her dying declaration. In the gang rape and murder case of Triveni, the accused were arrested after 2 years owing to the continuous efforts of DSS, but the injured have not been rehabilitated till now.
Cases Presented Before the Jury:
1. Narendra Devi (17) with her infant – Cheating in the name of love
2. Bulitalli (20) with 8 months pregnancy – Cheating in the name of love
3. Anjali (7) – Rape
4. Jaya Lakshmi (13) with her infant – Rape
5. Kalavathi (13) – Sexual exploitation
6. Lalitha Bai (14) – Death due to acid attack
7. Triveni (12) – Attack, gang rape and murder
8. Renuka (14) – Abetment to suicide
9. Laxmi Durga (17)- Rape
10. Ashok (25) - Caste abuse and mass attack
11. Jayamma (40) – Caste abuse and harassment at work place
12. Sandhya and Naga lakshmi – Kidnap and rape
13. Aruna (24) – Murder
14. Swapna (19) – Rape and murder
15. Karagraharam – Land grabbing
16. Gundala – Land grabbing
17. Darla Durga (7) - Rape
18. Kappiri Divya (12) – Rape and murder
19. Ch Devi(16) – Sexual exploitation
20. Jippiga Kumari (16) - Kidnap and rape
21. Katti Mariamma (11) - Murder
30 cases of serious unresolved violations, their present status and the demands were compiled as a book and presented to the jury and media as jury kit. Victims, survivors and witnesses narrated the incidents while the DSS team members explained the gaps in each case. A power point presentation with the videos, audios, photos and concerned evidences was presented for each case in the back drop.
The victims, survivors and the relatives of the deceased and rape victims could not control their emotions and burst out to tears as they narrated their cases. Their painful experiences moved the hearts of the audience and even the jury. Padmamma, mother of the deceased Swapna (rape and murder) told her painful story of bringing up and educating her daughter with Rs.20/- earnings per day. She lost her beautiful and intelligent daughter to the lust of the accused who raped and murdered her in the church. That was the day where all her dreams for her daughter shattered. While the parents of the deceased in Renuka and Lalita Bai case shared their agony, everyone was in tears.
The Response from the Jury Members
K. Praveen Kumar, IAS said that the composition of jury was excellent and demonstrates the effort of DSS. He has been well acquainted with the convener and program manager of DSS for a long time. DSS is in the stage of reaching the places where even the government is not reaching. DSS has become the ‘Hope of the Hopeless’. DSS remains in the hearts of the victims for the invaluable services they have rendered. Then he stressed on the need to create awareness on SC/ST (PoA) Act among the officers and educated. There is a need to approach in a comprehensive manner in every case. SCP and TSP Acts were achieved as a result of mass movement lead by Kaki Madhava Rao, IAS. In spite of the presence of numerous Acts and Laws, DSS still has to intervene in quite a few cases due to the lack of knowledge on the acts among the duty bearers. Quoting Nirbhaya’s case as example, he said, that the case gained visibility due to the intervention of media and state, but none of the atrocities gained such visibility though they were terrible and inhuman. Same is the case with the dalit workers. The production in the country would impede in the absence of dalit workers. But no one is either aware or fights for the rights of Unorganized Workers. Hence there is a need to ensure that all the statutory bodies acting for SC/ST (PoA) Act, Unorganized Workers Act and other related acts should be formed and function effectively.
Premamalini, Input Editor-TV9 has appreciated the work done by DSS and for bringing many serious cases on to one platform. She expressed her agony that though she was in media since many years, she has never come across such inhuman incidents. She said that it is very painful to listen to the gruesome traumatic experiences of the dalit women who went through atrocities like sexual violence, rape, acid attacks, murders, cheating. As a representative from media, she felt that all these cases need to be taken seriously and focused till they get justice. Media is not the only responsible social agent for not giving much visibility to the cause. It is also the responsibility of the movements to bring the incidents to the notice of the media. Saying about the importance given to Nirbhaya’s incident by media, she said that if the incident was not given such importance, it would have also been stifled. She requested to bring to their notice any incident and promised to give their best to access justice.
P. Chandramouli, IPS, Inspector General of Police of PCR Cell said that he is attending such a meeting for the first time.He appreciated that the work of DSS is commendable.
The Constitution of India speaks about the Abolition of Untouchability in Article 17. As it failed to curtail the atrocities, separate acts such as Untouchability Offences Act and PCR Act. As these acts have also failed, SC/ST (PoA) Act, Special Courts and Special PPs etc., have been introduced. PCR Cell has been established for the effective implementation. He said that DSS has played a prominent role in bringing the amendment to the Act at national and state levels. It is noticeable that even the National Advisory Council has accepted most of the recommendations.
He said that most of the victims complained that their cases were not registered even after approaching the police station. He suggested them to approach the SP, who is bound to take action in case the SHO fails to respond. The complainants should make sure that the complaint to the SP is recorded. Then the IO is obliged to take required action of arresting the accused, providing protection to the victims, conducting DNA tests, etc.
He promised to review the cases of DSS once in a month on behalf of the PCR Cell. He said that PCR Cell is planning to organise sensitization programmes to the police department in APPA.
Allam Narayana, Editor, Namaste Telangana said that the violence is systemized.Media, which is supposed to function independent of any institution, is not so, owing to many reasons.
It is good that DSS has invited media as jury members which would help in sensitizing them. The situation would have been worse if sincere officers like Chandramouli and Praveen Kumar not there. The faction of perpetrators is very tough. He said that the program has brought positive awareness towards dalit issues to the media. He gave a word that Namaste Telangana would give ample time and space for eradication of violence on dalit adivasi women and girl children.
Shiva Prasad, Chief Editor, Z 24 said that in spite of being experienced in media, he could not take the miserable tales of the victims.Nirbhaya's incident was thought provoking, he said.The role played in responding to the incident as an individual and media person was not
satisfactory. He felt that, often this feeling of guilt is covered by giving self-excuses. The cases heard in the jury of DSS are even more severe and need immediate attention. Has DSS not stood by the side of the victims from the beginning, even this justice would not have been rendered to the victims. He concluded saying that the concerned departments and media need to put in more efforts to address the injustice in the society.
Swarna Latha Joint Director of Women and Child Welfare Department said that, payment of relief to the rape victims should be prioritised as soon as the violence takes place.The amount can be later reimbursed to the head of account.
After witnessing the cases in the RTC, she felt the urge to immediately address the pending cases in her department. She opined that the voice of the Dalit Adivasi Women needs to be raised even louder. It is pathetic that the situation of the dalit girl children is more vulnerable, they are the ones mostly prone to cheating in the name of love. She said that there is every need to conduct sensitization programmes to the youth and men to bring in a change in the attitude. The responsibility towards this positive change lies on everyone in the society.
K. Srinivas, Editor, Andhra Jyothi said that despite the fact that the Editors of media are put in cages these days, they are still giving their best to sensitize the larger civil society.Earlier, the media expressed biased opinions towards societal issues.For instance, Pritish Nandy criticised communists.At present, the situation is different.Every newspaper has its stand on responding towards the issues.He said that, as a representative of Andhra Jyothi, he is proud to state their immediate and continuous response towards sensitive issues, like Vakapalli.
Not every newspaper does that. It is not completely true that media is prejudiced with caste and class. In the case of Nirbhaya which has come to lime light due to media, the victim belongs to back ward community and belongs to lower middle class family. The editors need to balance between addressing the concerns of the society, as well as, maintaining the ethics of media, which is a double edged knife. The incidents happening in the recent past resulted in NGOs keeping a distance from media. He assured that still, media is a reliable source of communication.
Lakshmi, NREGA said that NREGA always worked in favour of dalit women. It is shameful that incidets degrading dalit women are happening till date. She proposed that all the institutions work together to address the issues. She said that possessing sound economic background also helps in fighting violence and NREGA is a good instrument towards achieving economic status for dalit women.
Manikyala Rao, Joint Director, Director of Prosecutions said that he would take necessary steps towards strengthening the victims and witnesses, sensitizing PPs and increase the conviction rate. It is obligatory to see that the witnesses do not become hostile. He said that he would give required instructions to the concerned PPs.
Aruna, HMTV appreciated the dedicated work of DSS. She said that HMTV was always with DSS and will continue to be. She alleged that media is colour blind which cannot focus the suffering of dalit adivasi women. The recent instance is the case of Nirbhaya which was highlighted by the media whereas the protest of women in front of secretariat, who were lathi charged and not covered by media.
Jamuna, SERP said that SERP formed social action communities with 11,000 women of which
majority are dalit women. Even these action communities are not free of violence, the root cause being the patriarchal ideology of the society. Sexual violence is persistent in the families, communities and society. There is a need to open up and bring in a change in this situation with continuous effort. It should also be understood that it is the vulnerable situations of the victims that push them towards compromise. Non-provision of medical assistance, delay in conducting medical and DNA tests is itself denial of justice, she said. There is a need to provide medical card and provide free medical assistance to the victims for life time.
Hanumantharaya, Director National SC Commission said that the commission has been formed as per Art 338 of Indian Constitution to protect the SCs and STs from atrocities. This also enables the commission to take up the cases reported in the news papers as suo- moto and deal with them. He assured that the cases presented in the RTC would be taken up by
by the commission for necessary action. He said that immediate instructions would be given to the concerned authorities for the arrest of the accused, payment of compensation, etc. Speaking further, he said that supporting the victims and witnesses is on one hand, while preventing the atrocities before occurrence is on the other hand. This needs huge ground work such as building awareness in the civil society, counselling the perpetrators, taking care to cut down the incidence of violence within the society and family. Media, NGOs, government institutions, should work together to eradicate violence.
Advocate Vimala said that she is well acquainted with Jhansi for many years. She said that people from different groups in the society are responsible for the atrocities, the central cause being the patriarchal society. 90% of violence is concentrated on dalit adivasi women. Ironically, most of the cases are pending in the courts, thus denying justice to the victims.
R Subba Rao, IAS, Secretary of State SC/ST Commission first appreciated the work of DSS and remembered his long association with the organization and Jhansi, the convener.He said that
there is no difference in the treatment of SCs and STs as untouchables since ages. Legal provisions could not completely eliminate the differences. Moreover, the dalits and adivasis are being denied of justice even in the existence of special laws and acts. Even Justice Punnaiah has stated this fact long time ago. The government needs to look through the effective implementation of his recommendations. Daniel from Asmitha, Mallesh from MV Foundation, Sridevi from NREGA, Ratnam, Indira and Padmavathi from State Women Collective of DSS have expressed their solidarity for the victims and witnesses.
Ø Government to release a white paper on the status of the cases of violence on dalit adivasi women and girl children
Ø Government to release a detailed report on the cases pending in various courts
Ø To establish fast track courts
Ø To appoint a commission on violence against SC, ST women and girl children
Ø To make the PPs accountable to SWD
Ø To release a status report on the rate of convictions and acquittals
Ø Create awareness about the laws and acts to the duty bearers and the community
Ø To ensure effective functioning of statutory bodies at district and state level under SC/ST (PoA) Act
Ø All line departments including DoP to sit once in two months and review the implementation of the Act from FIR to judgement
Ø To organize workshops regularly to empower the dalit women and girl children
Ø To hold a special review by IGP – PCR cell once in two months on the cases taken up by DSS
Ø To issue necessary instructions for immediate action on all the cases presented in the jury
Ø The cases to be referred as false by investigating officers to be sent to the SP for finalization
Ø To pay compensation immediately to the rape victims
Ø To confer judicial powers to State SC/ST Commission
Ø Proceedings of the false counter cases to be stalled till the case is registered by the victim
Ø To register cases U/s 4 of the SC/ST (PoA) Act
Ø Deploying female police personnel in police stations
Ø To conduct DNA test during pregnancy
Ø Considering the added facts as circumstantial evidence
Ø The discrimination of dalit children in educational institutions to be perceived as organized crime
Ø Confiscate the assets of the accused in mob attacks
Ø The State Legal Aid Authority to pursue the stay orders and quash petitions against the atrocity cases
ü Involving the editors of print and electronic media in the jury could bring a shift in their thinking, further identifying their gaps.
ü Raising voices in front of the duty bearers and media demanding justice has increased confidence levels among the victims and witnesses
ü Increase in the accountability of the concerned departments
ü Officials sensitised towards the cause
ü Linkages strengthened with the state officials
ü Much visibility at state level
ü Much visibility for the cause through print and electronic media
ü For the first time an editorial was published for the cause in Andhra Jyothi, special stories in other prominent news papers. An exclusive program telecast in many electronic channels
7TH ANNUAL STATE CONFERENCE
28 February 2013 - Hyderabad
It is a great honour for DSS to share the struggle of our sisterhood with all of you
While sharing our experiences we are weaving the familiarity
from our different struggles with honor and respect
This noble cause is to give hope to future generations
whose basic human identities are under threat
May we succeed in our struggle for greater human rights and equality of caste
Dalit Sthree Sakthi has organized its 7th State Annual Conference on 27th and 28th February ’13 at SSS Kalyana Mandapam, Secunderabad. The two day conference was presided over by Smt. Jhansi Geddam, Convenor DSS. Cases pertaining to violence against Dalit Adivasi women and girl children were presented to jury on the first day of the conference. Several Government Officials and Chief Functionaries of various organizations have been invited for the second day of the conference.
Words of Welcome
Smt. Jhansi Geddam, speaking on the second day of the conference, has briefed on the recommendations given by jury on the first day, present role of dalit women in the dalit movement, situation of present day political parties and caste based organizations, problems faced by Dalit Sthree Sakthi in their area of operation. In fact, in some districts, people working under the roof of DSS are deprived of entitlements by some political parties. She gave a detailed view on rights and entitlements of dalit women and qualitative childhood of dalit girl children and inspired the crowd to intensify the present dalit movement into a much brighter stream. Dalit women and dalit girl children should be capable of restraining themselves from violence, poverty and related vulnerable situations to move on to the mainstream.
Address by the Speakers
PSN Murthy began his intervention by acknowledging the valuable work of DSS and in particular about Jhansi, who is symbolic resemblance to courage and adventure, a role model not only to dalit women but also to dalit men. He further said that Dalit parents must elaborate the present situation of dalit community to their children such that they in turn exhibit the situation to the entire world. Quoting certain examples, he said that one will have minimum knowledge that a coconut can be carried by a single hand, twoin both the hands, and twenty coconuts in a bag. Such basic knowledge with respect to the present scenario of dalit movement should be gained by every individual and that knowledge is acquired only through
education. He stressed on the need for sound economic status of dalits, where their shelter should shift from poor huts to good houses. Just as the possession of supreme artillery makes a king powerful, the possession right to vote makes dalits powerful. It is a great weapon presented by Dr. B. R. Ambedkar in constitution. Dalit community has enough vote bank which gives them political power through which they have to change their life styles. He also stated that being educationally sound is prior to being economically and politically strong. He concluded that one should live a contemporary life which appears to be bench mark for others. He thanked the entire team of Dalit Sthree Sakthi for inviting him as a speaker on the 7th Annual State Conference.
Release of Annual Reports
The Telugu Annual Report was released by Sri.Kaki Madhava Rao, IAS.The first copy was
handed over to the District Co-ordinator of Ranga Reddy.The English report was released by R.S.Praveen Kumar, IPS, and the first copy was given to the District Co-ordinator of Krishna.
Kaki Madhava Rao IAS said that with the reservations provided by Dr BR Ambedkar, quite a few have got jobs and have earned a fortune. Only few of them are following his ideology. Some of them were invited by Jhansi for this meeting.Their presence is recognition of her committed work.He said that he admires the DSS team and they are like panthers on duty.He further spoke about the DSS' exclusive work for dalit adivasi women, and their support in a number of villages. Condemning the non-performance of the duty bearers, he said that, dalits
need to beseech them in order to get a work done. The movement at the micro level needs to be strengthened. At the juncture of the thought to strengthen the community leaders, the movement has slowed down. For instance in the massacre of dalits at Lakshmipet, a building for the special court and school has been sanctioned in the village. The community has to fasten the work, which did not happen. Earlier no one used to visit this village for instance even a constable, but now the SP, Collector, Secretaries and other state level officers are talking to them and are visiting the village. At the same time the perpetrators are trying in many ways to entice the victims and witnesses. This incident has come to the notice of a number of organizations and officials, but DSS alone is struggling for justice in many incidents of which most of them are not aware. The violence on women is at an increasing spree now a days and when the reasons are analyzed religion seems to be the root cause. The women are looked down in every religion. In all the religions such as Hinduism, Christianity, Islam etc the Gods are men. Similarly the Popes and the religious heads are also men. Can this stand as a proof that the promoters of the religions are the reason? There is a need to give a thought on these inequalities. In most of the meetings it is men who participate. However in the meetings of DSS, women participate either as leaders or participants. This stands as the very reason to support DSS in the movement.
RS Praveen Kumar IPS admired the huge crowd of dalit women attending the meeting and said that he has attended earlier meetings organized by DSS, but never such a massive one.He advised DSS that, in future, it should start working as Sthree Sakthi.Later on he spoke
about the history of dalits which has been suppressed. He said that, from the books, it is evident that the dalits have ruled the country before the advent of Aryans, who were later on made slaves. He then recommended all the dalits to quit watching television and read books of Ambedkar instead. He also strongly opined that liquor be banned. He advocated educating all the dalit children in English medium schools so as to effectively withstand the competition of the outside world. He then added that dalit children should be sent to school regularly from the day of re-opening the schools, girl children should be educated and should be married only after they earn their graduation. He said that the dalits should ensure that SCP/TSP should be utilized systematically for the community and enlighten dalit children on Ambedkar.
Ramamelkote started her speech saying that dalit women need economic empowerment, education and physical strength and hence should try to enhance these sources. The basic requirements are the food that helps strengthening the body and the circumstances that strengthen the mind. Ironically, the dalits are deprived of these basic requirements and so are in a vulnerable situation. The government itself is not committed towards proper implementation of its own schemes and entitlements. For instance, the food, environment, facilities at the Anganwadi centers are in a pathetic condition. Similar is the case of government schools that have to provide quality education. Even after 65 years of independence, the government talks about literacy and not about improving the standards of education or providing higher education to every citizen. Most of the government funds are allocated to higher and technical education, while neglecting the government schools. The reason for this casualness is evident that it is only poor and dalit children that get an education from these schools. Consequently, the parents are forced to send their children to private schools for quality education and English. If this situation prevails in the education sector, the possibilities of growth of dalit children would fall down.
Owing to the privatization of production sector, the women are discriminated.Equal wages and facilities are not given.Most of them do not possess land, if in case they possess, they
possess, they are denied of water facility. Everyone is afraid to speak about all the religions that disparage women. High talks on education, general knowledge, science and technology go on one hand and on the other hand, the same people cling on to religions and superstitions. Social security is neglected under the obscurity of religion and it is women who fall prey of it. There is a pressing need to give a thought on ways to come out of this murkiness. The state and central government have failed in bringing out effective policies for women. This is clear evidence that the whole system is on the side of patriarch society. Therefore, men should be involved in the movement so as to bring about a change in their perspective.
Dr Sunitha Prasad of SRACO remembering the Annual Conference of DSS three years ago, said that there is a remarkable difference in the attitude of the dalit women participants.Their attention to listen and understand the speakers, organized behavior depicts the effort of the
DSS leaders in shaping their thought process.Initially, the DSS women collectives did not find any fault with the husbands harassing their wives.Now they have reached to the ideology of understanding their self respect.The efforts of hundreds of leaders in addressing the issues of dalit women and girl children should be applauded.This juncture, where the dalit women leaders of DSS are addressing their own issues, involving in addressing the violence against other dalit women, understanding their rights and further questioning the concerned departments is appreciable.The annual report is an illustration of their hard work.Then she told about an INGO praising the work of DSS at a national level workshop.She said that all dalit women should be proud that there is an eminent leader amongst them.
Narra Ravi Kumar of Shanti Chakra said that the importance of this day is that after a long time the government has announced the establishment of a separate bank by and for women and it is because of the change in the women and the way they have agitated. He has explained about DICCI (for promotion of dalit entrepreneur) and said that it is meant for the promotion of dalits in business sector and entrepreneurship. There are over 100 dalit businessmen having a turnover of over 1000 crores each. Kalpana Saroj of Andhra Pradesh earns about Rs. 1500 crores per annum. She is awarded with Padmashree by the Indian Government. She started off her career as a daily labour earning Rs 2/- per day. She was a victim of gang rape. All the dalit women should take her as role model. Everyone should struggle to overcome all the oppressions and hurdles. Dalits should not fix their lives as labors, but fight for their share in all the sectors. The country is relying on the labour of dalits and the businesses are running due to the hard work of dalits. He concluded his speech with a hope that DSS would work with DICCI in future.
Muralidharan of NREGA said that Ms. Jhansi, while introducing him, has spoke about the gaps in the implementation of NREGA. He said that he would discuss about the plans to achieve 100 days work in addition to speaking about gaps. The main intension behind the designing of NREGA was to provide additional work for the downtrodden and dalit women. Though high end discussions are held in the meetings, the situation in the villages has not changed. The development is accessible to a few, inaccessible to most of them. There is a need for the dalits to understand the development plan to change their lives and the village. He finally said that there are a number of facilities under NREGA, out of which, half of them are achieved. The remaining half can be achieved with the help of organizations like DSS. Before all, it is very important to achieve 100 days work.
Dr Siddoji of Help Desk appreciated the help rendered by DSS in solving many works. He thanked his mother, who always stressed on the importance of education. She always blessed him to excel in all the works which stands as his inspiration. He said that individuals need to excel in any work they do. The hypocrisy in the country leaves no space for structural functioning. People follow double standards in every work they do. For instance, people pray river Ganga as a holy one, but at the same time do not give a second thought while urinating in the same river. The public behavior is far different from their private behavior. The society also follows dual standards in all the works. The open society speaks of development of the poor and women, but the same world, at its core, does not even care for them. This dual role of the society is still upholding discrimination and undemocratic values after 65 years of independence.
In India, the society and people go according to the situations. In the small societal unit, family, the wife is dominated, while the sister is protected from domination. The same person, who faced issues as daughter-in-law, would play a different role as mother-in-law. The constitution advocates for equality, democracy, pro-women and pro-poor, while the society operates in quite opposite way. An individual from the society, who is highly discriminative and undemocratic, fights against them as an implementing authority through courts or public office. There is a need for immediate attention to cut down these dual roles in the society.
Mysaiah, Sajaya, Syamala and Ramana said that, DSS is working according to the principles of Ambedkar, educate, organize and agitate.Hence, DSS is able to lead the movement and bring in awareness on the rights and entitlements.It is the poor and dalit children who go to anganwadi centers and government schools.They are studying without basic facilities such as
hygienic surroundings, proper light, enough space and quality education.They questioned that is it enough if we are satisfied that inspite of all these gaps, the children are able to get the basic education.Isn't there a need to fight for better environment?They predicted that DSS would become the future leaders for the entire women movement.Violence starts from the family.
There is a need to bring change from the root cause.Social evils like liquor and dowry should
be eliminated completely. The ancient matriarchal society has gradually changed to the contemporary patriarchal society owing to the male domination. The government is silent on the violence on dalit adivasi women in agency areas. All of them appreciated that, unlike the general meetings by any other organizations, where hardly any woman is present, DSS meetings are marked by the presence of hundreds of women.
Chaya Ratan IAS said that education is the only means to get dalit children to main stream. All dalit children need education. Dalit girl children should not be discriminated. The atmosphere in the families should also be pleasant. She thanked all the families attending the meeting. She cherished the efforts of DSS team and blessed them.
Jhansi Geddam, the Convener of Dalit Sthree Sakthi has affirmed the declaration with her team.
•To strengthen the dalit women and girl children for eradicating violence.
•To strive continuously for sensitizing the concerned departments and enlighten them on the dalit women perspective.
•To speed up the judiciary process and eradicate corruption to access justice.
•To work in all outlooks to provide qualitative childhood to dalit girl children.
•To ensure that all the dalit women access the entitlements and resources
•create awareness to dalit women on SCP and TSP and to prepare plans at micro level in accordance to their population their development.
•To give necessary training regularly to the women collectives and update their knowledge.
Vote of thanks was given by Bhagya Lakshmi, Co-ordinator of Ranga Reddy. The whole program was festooned by the powerful songs by the DSS cultural team.