Dalit March

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Dalit Arts & Culture

Lobby and Advocacy

SDS-IPAC accomplishments on Dalit Issues till date

Indraprastha Public Affairs Centre (IPAC) has been working with NCDHR (National Campaign for Dalit Human Rights) and its allies like-

AIDMAM (All India Dalit Mahila Adhikar) 

NDMJ (National Dalit Movement for Justice ) and

DAAA (Dalit Arthik Adhikar Andolan) on issues concerning the Dalits and their welfare. IPAC acted as a ‘people centered voice’ to bring forward the demands and apathy of the Dalit people before the Government through their lobby and advocacy initiatives.

IPAC along with NCDHR has worked to fulfill the following goals:

  1. Economic Rights (SCP, Inclusion of Dalit in the private sector, Land Property, State level resources allocation treasury account);
  2. Dalit Land Rights including the women’s land rights;
  3. Civil and Political Rights;
  4. Criminal Justice;
  5. Education;
  6. Dalit right to disaster management;
  7. Health (women and child);
  8. Untouchability

Its demands from the Government have been as follows:-

  1. Extend the affirmative action policy of the government to the private sector employment and educational institutions and other private sector spheres as well;
  2. Expansion in the schemes for micro-finance based on self help groups, especially for the women who are poor and distress and particularly in the backward areas.
  3. Have to create a national consensus on the issue of dalits getting a reasonable share of jobs in the private sector. A dialogue with private industry will be initiated to identify how best Indian Industry could fulfill in tangible measure the aspiration of youth, especially those belonging to the weaker sections of society and also provide the training to develop the skill and capacities of dalits to help them to cope up with the demands of these different sectors;
  4. Ensure the proportionate share for the SCs in the budgetary allocation to enable them enter the market economy with adequate investment resources and develop their capacities and skill for such market enterprises and penal action taken against unutilisation or diversion of funds meant for these sections;
  5. Bring the facts that even after 62 years of Independence, the Dalit community is denied of its basic human rights and is also at the receiving end of the most brutal and oppressive forms of discrimination and exclusion and bring Report on the status of the reservation during the past 62 years for the debate;
  6. Ensure the non-discrimination for the Dalits in the universities or academic or autonomous or registered bodies;
  7. A comprehensive national programme to be framed for minor irrigation of all lands owned by Dalit. And landless families should be endowed with some land through the proper implementation of land ceiling and land redistribution legislation;
  8. National programme of minor irrigation should ensure water for all irrigable lands of the SCs measures to ensure land for every landless SC family and develop this land fully (commitment of the CMP of Government)
  9. Social, educational, economic and political empowerment of the Dalit women who represent the most oppressed sections of our society and that they face multiple form of discrimination, including caste-based, religious and patriarchal ideology and practices;
  10. Renew the SCP that would plan for the development of the Scheduled Caste on the basis of their needs and priorities,
  11. Sincere implementation of the Protection of Civil Rights Act and the Prevention of Atrocities Act to stamp out ‘untouchability’ and put an end to ‘atrocities’ and amendments to remove the deficiencies;
  12. Allotment of the land as promised 5 acre dry land or 2.5 acre wet land to every Dalit women in the country, to bring the dignity to the life of the Dalit women. Create wider level consciousness among the women and the Dalit women about the promise of land in the manifesto of the present government.
  13. Reservation to the Judiciary, Defence, the Upper Houses in Parliament and State Legislature, the Cabinet and private sector;
  14. Step for making the compulsory universal elementary education among the weaker section of the people;
  15. Reframe and expand the Special Component Plan in approaching the Planning Commission for the allocation of the financial resources (proportionate to the population) for the welfare of the SCs, by setting up clear parameters of expenses to be included under SCP, opening of treasury accounts at the national and state level and set up the Peoples Commission for Dalit Development.
  16. Land reforms to distribute surplus land to the landless of the weaker section. Ensure minimum wages and social security to agricultural workers and poor peasants and free them from usury and indebtedness through a comprehensive legislation;

IPAC was also involved with NCDHR in framing of the Charter Demands of Dalits and also involved in whole process of lobby work in the National and some part of State level. The ‘Dalit Manifesto’ was released in 2009 which highlighted the fact that the demands and aspiration of Dalits does not get addressed sufficiently in the Election Manifestos of different political parties, and if some time it does that is not specific and clear and get lost easily amidst the swarm of populism.

Mr. Narender Kumar, Chief Functionary of SDS-IPAC (extreme left) on the Release Day of Dalit’s Charter of Demands

IPAC also organized workshops of lobby and advocacy and to analyze the situation of work going on to comprehend plan of action on the issue of SCP (Special Component Plan). The activities for the same were as follows.

Activity Objective/details
Formation of Ad hoc committee
Bringing retired bureaucrats,MLAs,Academicianns
Formation of Citizens Planning board
establishment and Ownership of the movement
Access, expertise and direction
Alternate planning suggestions from the Dalit perspective
Procedure Mapping of Ministries/Departments
the structure and the procedures and also the vital information’s of the Dept.
profile of the actors: find the interests
Budget Analysis -Status Report
Contacting & relationship building
Tracking/monitoring 2 schemes
Recognition as an expert organization
Widen our access
Understanding of decision making structure
Start communicating and cooperating
SCP implementation as an issue by the relevant ministries or dept.
DAAA (NCDHR) to be accepted as important partner.
Social audit /monitoring
Grass Root
Visible action
Capacity building of grass root organization, community
potential leaders from the community
to make SCP a broad based agenda

The planning regarding the actions to be taken for dalits has basically been that SC/STs are victims/recipients of the development rather than as actors/players in development. Following are some of the areas where the dalits can act as Actors in case of Education, Livelihood, Economy and Leadership:

Victim Actor
Education Primary Education Specialized lines
Livelihood Microfinance, Wage labor Entrepreneurship, capital investment
Economy Subsistence programs Partnership in the driving sectors of the economy
Leadership Grassroots National

IPAC has also worked towards the management of violence on Dalit women and budgetary work by Elected Dalit women Sarpanch in 5 states i.e. Haryana, Punjab, Orissa and Bihar, Rajasthan to which Cord Aid and UNDP is going to support respectively. With the support of NDMJ and DAAA, AIDMAM is going to address violence and budget part with Elected Dalit Women Sarpanchs (EDWS) in five states. Two aspects were looked in the Model Panchyti Raj Draft:

  1. What are supportive measures to EDWS
  2. Protective mechanisms: Protective measure refers to protection of EDWS as when she addresses or looks at violence cases, then it’s natural in our social system that she will face problem for herself too.

The Dalit women should be equipped to address –

  • Violence against Dalit women (discrimination and Untouchability)
  • Allocation of funds and implementation of schemes under the Panchayat budget
  • Create a support mechanism or network for the community