Equality, dignity, and fairness. These are the crucial, intangible human rights that the Dalit Foundation continually strive to put in place, - for me, they are an inspiration, and an ongoing education in so much that needs to be understood so that it can change.
Nikita Lalwani, Author –‘Gifted’. UK
Dalit Foundation is a registered charitable trust (no. E/16122/ Ahmedabad) under Bombay Public Trust Act 1950 (29th Act).
I am Dalit
Amudha was 18 years old when she was tortured, stripped and beaten by upper caste men in her village of Malliampatthi in Tamil Nadu. Why? Her community, the Dalits, had dared to celebrate a religious festival without inviting the higher caste Gounders. When Vizhuthugal, a partner organization of the Dalit Foundation, heard of Amudha’s plight, it stepped in to help.read story...
Struggle for equality
The word ‘Dalit’, in Sanskrit, means “oppressed” or “downtrodden”. In Marathi, the language in which the word was first used for social and political mobilization by the ‘untouchable’ communities, means “broken” or “broken to pieces”.
Dalits are placed at the lowest rung of the caste hierarchy, based on ritual purity and occupation. They are outside the varna system which gives them the traditional name of “panchamas”. The Constitution of India classifies Dalits as Scheduled Castes.According to the census figures of 2001, they constitute 16.2% (166,635,700) of India’s population. Of this population, about 80% live in rural areas spread all over the country.
Dalit social reality can be mapped along three axes: social (caste), economic (class) and gender. Among these within the social axes, Brahmanism plays a defining role in the identity and demarcation of Dalits. They were, and are still subjected to a lot of oppression.
Gender is a key dimension in mapping the social reality but more so in the case of Dalits. Apart from the regular forms of gender-based inequality and oppression, which they experience as women in the household, community and society, Dalit women in India are thrice alienated on the basis of caste, gender and class. The most vulnerable targets of caste based violence against their community, they are also raped and abused by men of their own community.more...
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