Monday, October 8, 2012

Concern over rising number of gang-rapes in Haryana

Terming the spate of gang-rapes reported in Haryana over the past month an “alarming situation”, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) on Sunday demanded that exemplary punishment be awarded to those who raped a teenaged girl in the State on Saturday.
The victim -- a teenaged Dalit girl – immolated herself after being gang-raped in Jind district of Haryana. She was allegedly raped by two youths in Narwana sub-division of the district and the shocked girl later poured kerosene and set herself ablaze.
Haryana has witnessed over 10 rapes in the past one month alone leading the National Commission for Women too to express its serious concern over the matter.
Meanwhile, NCPCR chairperson Shanta Sinha said: “We will take cognisance of the incident and are demanding that the State Government take up the issue of security for women in a serious manner. The State has one of the worst sex ratios in the country and there is an urgent need for an emergency awareness drive to bring the State and civil society together to work for the protection of girls.”
“We are very concerned over the spurt in incidents of rape of teenaged girls in Haryana and will seek an explanation from the State Government. Ten rapes in one month in one State is a shocking indication of the situation. There is an urgent need for a public awareness campaign in favour of the girl child. There should also be a fear amongst those who indulge in such activities. They should be punished so that the girls are safe,” added Ms. Sinha.

2014 Lok Sabha elections: Congress eyes Dalit votes with India Inc help

The Congress-led UPA government is leaning on India Inc to facilitate training and job opportunities for youths from the Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs).

The urgency to reach out to the most underprivileged section of the society is not without reason. The 2014 general elections are just one and a half years away and Dalits form a sizeable chunk of the electorate.

The Prime Minister's Office (PMO) has consulted industry leaders twice - in August and September - with its objective of meeting certain "meaningful targets involving training and employment of SC/ST youths in corporate sector".

A top government source said the target is to train one million youths in the next five years in 27 districts of five states - Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Punjab, Orissa and Chhattisgarh - which have over 47 per cent SC/ST population.The proposed initiative is also aimed at not allowing other political parties, particularly the BSP and the Samajwadi Party, score over the Congress on the issue of welfare of backward communities, the source added.

A senior PMO official, however, said the government's affirmative action plan to "enroll SC/ST youths in corporate jobs" is nothing new. It has been executed earlier too but has failed to deliver the "desired results". He said the government and the industry seem to have different takes when it comes to "corporate quota for Dalits".

Officials confirmed that as a result of the last few meetings of the coordination committee on affirmative action convened by the PMO, a new target has been given to the industry for the next five years to work in the SC/ST dominated districts.

"The numbers achieved are disappointing and they need a firm push…The corporate sector needs to redefine the achievable targets and bring this affirmative action scheme as part of the corporate social responsibility (CSR)…It should reach out to the youths among the Dalits," the official said. Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar, who is a Dalit leader, has also been pushing the affirmative action initiative. "A rejuvenated initiative will only achieve the growth involving an inclusive society," she said.

The last meeting in late September was chaired by Pulok Chatterjee, principal secretary to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, and attended by senior members from the industry, including Sunil Kant Munjal of Hero group, Assocham vice-president Sunil Kanoria, Ficci director general Dr Arbind Prasad, and CII deputy director general Supriya Banerjee. Secretaries of labour, tribal affairs and department of industrial policy and promotion also attended the meeting, which resulted in some movement forward, claimed sources in the industry. Reacting to the meetings, Munjal told Mail Today: "A fair amount of advancement has certainly been made…(but) a lot needs to be done."

Added a top government source: "The government does not want a situation where political parties may put pressure on it for ensuring jobs to Dalits in the corporate sector… A safety valve is what we are looking at to give vent to the frustration building among the unemployed youths. The PMO feels that the CSR schemes will deliver for these target groups." The industry has sounded a positive note but is cautious about the "agenda set up by the government". Ficci secretary general Rajiv Kumar said: "The initiative launched cannot just be mandatory in nature, but voluntary to…We know that the Companies Bill has already made the provision to use 2 per cent of the net profit as 'mandatory' under the CSR, but the industry feels that it would amount to possible malpractices."

It is not that the industry is not working on such projects "voluntarily". There is one such project being worked out by Ficci in Sonbhadra district in UP, while the Assocham is meeting state officials in Bihar and Chhattisgarh with their 'train-and-employ' schemes.

The industry feels that a targeted beginning has been made with a string of meetings at regular intervals in the PMO, but there is still a "disconnect" between the government and the industry over skills and training offered to the Dalits and the possible jobs for them. The industry strongly feels that any scheme under the programme will not succeed until a clear "economic target is defined".

Assocham senior adviser G.P. Srivastava said: "The skills given to the target youths have to be in sync with the jobs in the market. It has to be in telecom, retail, hospitality, real estate and automobile sectors rather than the stereotyped sectors as fitter, welders and plumbers... If the employers will not get the desired skills in a particular candidate, the scheme will not achieve the desired results."

Tension after Dalit priests not included in church rituals

Tension prevailed at Tiruvadanai, Tamil Nadu, after some Dalit Christians reportedly indulged in violence, questioning the non-inclusion of six Dalit priests in special rituals in a church in connection with its silver jubilee celebrations, police said.
Susai Manickam, priest of Oriyur Punitha Arulanandhar church said about 200 priests and nuns coming in a procession to the church were blocked by Dalit Christians who questioned the motive for suspending the six priests and said they would not allow celebrations unless the priests were included in the ‘Tirupali’ pooja and special prayers.
Police said they then indulged in violence, breaking festoons and street lights.
Church officials decided to suspend the celebrations in order to hold talks with the Dalits as a tense situation prevailed, but negotiations with them had failed.
Meanwhile people in seven coastal hamlets in Rameswaram hoisted black flags in support of Dalit Christians and demanded that caste Christians allow Dalits to participate in the rituals. They also hoisted black flags at the Paraloka matha church in the island in protest, police said.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Dalit woman sarpanch assaulted in Haryana

CHANDIGARH: A 37-year-old dalit woman sarpanch was assaulted on Sunday when she was presiding over a meeting to broker peace between two groups fighting over distribution of land for poor families at Aambwalan village in Haryana's Yamunanagar district.
The sarpanch, Rajrani, and two other villagers were seriously injured in the attack and were admitted to a government hospital.
Yamunanagar SP Mitesh Jain said the injured were not in a position to give a statement in this regard. "The police will take further action once the injured people give their statements," Jain added.
Dalit raped in Jind, 6th case in less than a month
A 30-year-old married dalit woman was allegedly raped by a man at Belrakha village in Narwana sub-division of Jind district on Tuesday. The accused has been identified as Dhanwa, 50, of Gurthali village. As per the details, the accused managed to take the victim to the fields with the help of a woman and another man of the same village and committed the crime.
The matter came to fore when some residents of the same village heard the  victim's cries and came to her rescue. The residents got hold of the accused while the accomplices managed to flee from the spot. The accused was beaten up by the residents and the matter was reported to the police, who immediately arrested the main accused and registered a rape case against him, and his other two accomplices.
The victim's husband is a labourer. Sources said that the victim is a mentally challenged woman. Talking to Hindustan Times, Narwana sadar station house officer, Suresh Kumar said "Both the victim and accused belong to dalit community, and on the complaint of victim, we have booked three persons including one woman of the same village".
It may be noted that this is the sixth incident in Haryana in last less than one month.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Dalit girl gangraped in Hisar; father ends life
A Dalit of Dabra village in the district committed suicide on Tuesday evening after he came to know about his 16-year-old daughter's gangrape. 
The Class-12 student had told her parents about the incident more than a week after it happened on September 9. The girl alleged that she was on her way to meet her uncle at Patel Nagar here when her boyfriend, Sonu, who belongs to an upper caste, met her and took her on a motorcycle to a secluded place. She alleged that Sonu called at least eight of his friends, who all raped her The girl's father, Krishan, an agricultural labourer, reported the incident to village elders. The accused allegedly threatened the family that they would circulate the girl's nude photos if the police were informed about the matter. Subsequently, Krishan ended his life by consuming a poisonous substance.

Dalit panchayat members called on superintendent of police (SP) B Satheesh Balan on Wednesday. Bahujan Samaj Party leaders Bajrang Indal and Sanjay Chauhan alleged that influential people of the village were putting pressure on Raj Kumar, elder brother of deceased, to withdraw the complaint.
Talking to HT, Balan said, "I have sent station house officer (SHO, Sadar) Sulochana Gajraj, along with the rape victim, to the spot to collect evidence. A case has been registered under sections 376 (rape) and 306 (abetment of suicide) of the Indian Penal Code. The postmortem will be conducted on Thursday.

Attack on Dalit youth; police file a case after 4 months

High Court intervention saw the filing of case
A twenty-year-old Dalit who was working as a priest in a local temple was assaulted after he objected to the efforts asking him to be absent on auspicious occasions and festival times as it was alleged that devotees felt hesitant to visit a temple where Dalit was a priest.
S. Nagamuthu (22) of T. Kallupatti village coming under Periyakulam circle in Theni District had been working as a priest in the Kailasanathar Malaikoil for the last 7 years. He was assisting the main priest there and at times when the former was absent he used to conduct puja.
However, during the last two years the temple executive Palanisamy had been telling him that since he was a Dalit (Adi Dravidar) caste people were hesitating to come to the temple. The temple executive asked him to avoid coming to the temple during festival and other auspicious occasions. Nagamuthu objected to this stating that he had been coming to the temple since he was a kid. And on May, 5, 2012, he was prevented from entering the temple by Palanisamy and his relative Venkatasamy and both allegedly abused him by calling his caste name and assaulted him.
Nagamuthu had approached the Thenkarai police to register a complaint and file an FIR against the two. The police received the complaint and he was given the acknowledgement receipt without cases being filed. Meanwhile, Nagamuthu’s father Subburaj was asked by a few caste Hindus including the Periyakulam town panchayat president to withdraw the complaint. Nagamuthu then had approached the DSP who had allegedly asked him to withdraw the complaint stating that ‘you cannot do anything against the bigwigs’.
Petition filed in High Court
As the police refused to register the case, Nagamuthu had approached Evidence, a NGO based in Madurai. They intervened by filing a petition in the Madras High Court, Madurai which after hearing the petition on 31.8.2012 had asked the police to file a case. And on September, 2, 2012, the Thenkarai police filed cases under sections 294(b), 323, 506(1) of the Indian Penal Code and under section 3(1)(10) of Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes Prevention of Atrocities Act 1989 against the accused.
Evidence organisation, which did a on-field study, found out that the temple a few years ago was a small temple with few devotees visiting it but now has been rebuilt with the involvement of an important political figure in the area and now the executives did not wish to have a Dalit taking care of the temple pujas.
Complaints have been forwarded to Director General of Police, and State Human Rights Commission, the NGO demanded that action should be taken against the erring police officials who failed to register a complaint and provide adequate security to the Dalit youth.
Dalit priest prevented from entering temple
CHENNAI: It has been more than a decade since Nagamuthu has been climbing the hill to perform pooja at the Kailasanathar temple in T Kallupatti village in Theni district. No one raised an objection to a dalit performing pooja at the temple till it got a facelift four months ago. On May 5, 2012, non-dalit members of the temple committee told Nagamuthu not to come to the temple as some devotees were unhappy with the pooja being performed by a dalit. When Nagamuthu questioned the decision, he was allegedly beaten up. For Nagamuthu, the issue in fact began a couple of years ago.

Dalit woman makes history in Rajasthan

GUTSY AND WISE: Nauroti believes in action. Photo: Sarita Brara
GUTSY AND WISE: Nauroti believes in action. Photo: Sarita Brara

From a stone cutter in Puharu village to a sarpanch of Rajasthan’s Harmada gram panchayat, Narouti has waged an unrelenting battle for empowering the marginalised
Four kilometers from the famous village of Tilonia is Harmada. A land of freedom fighters, Harmada today has a dalit woman sarpanch -- Nauroti.
This plucky woman had earned a name in the region for her struggle against injustice long before she was elected to this post a few years back. As she walks towards you, bare foot and clad in a simple, inexpensive sari, Nauroti is a picture of humility but the moment you start talking to her you know that she is no ordinary woman and no ordinary sarpanch either.
Nauroti was born in an extremely poor dalit family in Kishangarh district of Rajasthan and had to work on a road construction site for a living as a stone cutter. But despite the toil, she and many fellow labourers were not paid full wages on the pretext that they had not performed work according to the wages. It was like putting salt on fresh wounds, she felt. Nauroti raised her voice against this injustice, mobilised labourers and became the voice of the agitation. Finally they got justice when their case was taken to a court by an NGO.
That was more than three decades ago. From then till now, Nauroti has continued her unrelenting battle for empowerment of the marginalised and her journey from a stone cutter in Puharu village to a sarpanch of gram Panchayat in Harmada is the story of unflinching courage and impeccable honesty in the face of every adversity.
It was in the early 1980s that she joined the barefoot college in Tilonia founded by Bunker Roy. What made her stand apart from other women was her boldness, her ability to learn fast and above all the leadership qualities she displayed when she mobilised the construction workers. She became a sathin for women’s empowerment and would travel to villages in the region and educate them about their rights. She also joined adult literacy classes and later learnt to work on computers. Later, she trained many other women who had never gone to school like her. She has also had the chance to go to the US and China.
Above everything else, it is working amongst the people that gives her real satisfaction, she says. Nauroti first became member of her gram panchyat – Harmada -- and about three year back was elected as its sarpanch with an overwhelming majority.
As sarpanch, she waged a battle against the daru (alcohol) mafia and stopped encroachment of the graveyard in Harmara. She has been working tirelessly to get approval for development projects in the region and has achieved a lot in the past two and a half years. Nauroti says that there are two things she can never tolerate -- injustice and dishonesty. When it came to her notice that a mate working for a project of the Mahatama Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme was committing fraud, she immediately took action. Despite resistance from many quarters, she did not stop till the person was jailed.
It is the villagers who talk about what she has done for them and the development of the village, whether it is the construction of water bodies, hand pumps, toilets, houses for those below poverty line, but when you ask her, she speaks about her unfinished agenda. “There is a lot more to be done before my tenure is over”, she says and lists a number of projects that remain to be completed.
Following are the list of UP Vidhansabha MLAs who have the responsibilities to develop and support the Dalit samaj. Do you feel they are really working well? 
Uttar Pradesh Vidhan Sabha SC ST MLA List
Serial No.
Name of assembly/constituency
Name of the elected member
Party Affilation (if any)
Rampur Maniharan
Ravinder kumar malhu
Bahujan Samaj Party
Anil Kumar
Bahujan Samaj Party
Manoj Kumar Paras
Samajwadi Party
Om Kumar
Bahujan Samaj Party
Laxmi Gautam
Samajwadi Party
Vijay Singh
Samajwadi Party
Maikal Chandra
Samajwadi Party
Prabhu Dayal Balmiki
Samajwadi Party
Gajraj Singh
Indian Nation Congress
Banshi Singh Pahadiya
Indian Nation Congress
Bhagwati Prasad
Rastriya Lok Dal
Triloki Ram
Rastriya Lok Dal
Genda Lal Chaudhary
Bahujan Samaj Party
Pooran Prakash
Rastriya Lok Dal
Agra Cantt.
Gutiyari Lal Duwesh
Bahujan Samaj Party
Agra Rural
Kali Charan Suman
Bahujan Samaj Party
Rakesh Babu
Bahujan Samaj Party
Ranjeet Suman
Samajwadi Party
Eng. Brijesh Katheria
Samajwadi Party
Ashutosh Mourya Urf Raju
Samajwadi Party
Dr. Siaram Sagar
Samajwadi Party
Preetam Ram
Samajwadi Party
Sakuntala Devi
Samajwadi Party
Sri Nagar
Ram sharan
Samajwadi Party
Sunil Kumar Lala
Samajwadi Party
Ramhet Bharti
Bahujan Samaj Party
Manish Rawat
Samajwadi Party
Ram Pal Rajwanshi
Samajwadi Party
Shyam Prakash
Samajwadi Party
Samajwadi Party
Anil Verma
Samajwadi Party
Sudhir Kumar
Samajwadi Party
Radhey Lal Rawat
Bahujan Samaj Party
Indal Kumar
Samajwadi Party
Chandra Rawat
Samajwadi Party
Ram Lal Akela
Samajwadi Party
Samajwadi Party
Radhey Shyam
Indian Nation Congress
Ramchandra Chaudhury
Samajwadi Party
Ajit Kumar
Samajwadi Party
Anil Kumar Dohare
Samajwadi Party
Sukh Devi Verma
Samajwadi Party
Madan Singh alias santosh
Samajwadi Party
Shiv Kumar Beria
Samajwadi Party
Arun Kumar Kori
Samajwadi Party
Indrajeet Kori
Samajwadi Party
Samajwadi Party
Dr. Rashmi Arya
Samajwadi Party
Feran Lal
Bahujan Samaj Party
Gayadeen Anuragi
Indian Nation Congress
Gayadhan Dinkar
Bahujan Samaj Party
Krishna Paswan
Bhartiya Janta Party
Baba Ganj
Vinod Kumar
Indrajeet Saroj
Bahujan Samaj Party
Satyaveer Munna
Samajwadi Party
Dr. Ajay Kumar
Samajwadi Party
Rajbali Jaisal
Bahujan Samaj Party
Samajwadi Party
Ram Magan
Samajwadi Party
Audesh Pradesh
Samajwadi Party
Bheem Prashad Sonkar
Samajwadi Party
Savitri Bai Fule
Bhartiya Janta Party
Jagram Paswan
Samajwadi Party
Samajwadi Party
Vijay Kumar
Samajwadi Party
Ram Karan Arya
Samajwadi Party
Alagu Prashad Chauhan
Samajwadi Party
Maharaj Ganj
Samajwadi Party
Sant Prashad
Bhartiya Janta Party
Dr. Vijay Kumar
Bahujan Samaj Party
Purnamasi Dehati
Samajwadi Party
Samajwadi Party
Samajwadi Party
Brij Lal Sonkar
Samajwadi Party
Muhammadabad - Gohana
Samajwadi Party
Belthara Road
Gorakh Paswan
Samajwadi Party
Jagdish Sonkar
Samajwadi Party
Gulab Chand
Samajwadi Party
Subba Ram
Samajwadi Party
Samajwadi Party
Samajwadi Party
Tribhwan Ram
Bahujan Samaj Party
Samajwadi Party
Bhai lal Kol
Samajwadi Party
Rubi Prasad