DALIT EMPOWERNMENT

Project Title : HAMARA HAQUE
Duration : 2007-2008
Intervention in : Nalanda
Supported By : CWS


Background

Dalits are the most unprivileged section of the society is socially excluded since long. The community despite its significant contributions to social and economic aspects has been considered untouchable and lived in exclusion. Even today Dalits are poor, deprived and socially backward. They do not have access to basic amenities of like food, clothing, shelter health care, education and employment. The years of social exclusion has incapacitated them and they compromised with whatever they got at mercy of upper castes and lived in isolation. They lack proper leadership to take up their issues.
In course of its different studies GENVP realized the need to aware and build cadre of the community at all levels so that an effective leadership can emerge. This cadre if oriented properly can claim their rights and entitlements besides ensuring respect and recognition to the community. With this objective GENVP initiated the HAMARA HAQUE with support from CWS. The strategies adopted Was awareness generation, cadre building and stakeholder sensitization.

Approaches to ensure inclusion of dalits as other section of the society

Formation of Village & Block level Platform of excluded groups

Formation of 15 village level organizations of Dalit groups and one Block level federation of the Village level organizations has been done. These groups are in the form of organized village groups having their democratic leadership. Each of the groups has its president and secretary elected by the members. The process of electing the leaders has been by itself an empowerment exercise which has contributed in to the confidence building at the grassroots level as well as helped in getting the Dalit groups to exercise and experience a democratic way of rightful representation.
As initiation of the block level federation processes the project has been able to form a coordination committee at the block level. The coordination committee has also been selected in the democratic process and this body has been entrusted the responsibility to ahead with the federation facilitation processes.

Identification of Dalit Youths and Training on Govt. Schemes & RTI

From the 15 intervention villages, 30 youth (two each from each village) were selected for training and capacity building aiming at making them grassroots pillars for the sustainability of the project processes. The identified youth were trained in various discriminatory practices being followed in the society. The training covered issues like constitutional provisions for dalits, Provisions and Functions of Social justice committees and Prevention of SC/ST (Atrocities) Act to strengthen the knowledge and information base of the SC youth leaders in their fight against incidences of atrocities and access to their entitlements. The trained dalit youth have been motivated to form a village level association of the excluded communities at village level enabling them to speak in one voice and to sensitize the community on discriminatory practices as well as their rights and entitlements.

Focused studies on education, healthcare, food security and entitlement to enhance knowledge base of social exclusion and discrimination

A detailed survey was conducted by the project team to analyze the status of different entitlements claimed by the community. This aimed to prepare a data base for advocacy. The analysis of the survey has helped to identify the loop holes in the government services and programmes due to which the Dalit have been deprived of getting the benefits from govt. schemes. The survey was conducted to collect information regarding the government schemes related to education, health services livelihood and other Govt.  programmes.

Padyatra for creating awareness on SCP and RTI and on the finding of the above study

To create awareness among the community a Padyatra was planned by village level groups formed under this programme. Before Padyatra a core group was formed to plan the strategies of Padyatra. The core group comprising 4 members of the community planned the routes and issues to share during the Padyatra. The Padyatra by 110 members started from Madhopur village and passed through bishunpur, jaitipur, bhagwanpur, Satnag. Malbigha and finally converged at Chandi block where it was addressed by different leaders. It succeeded in creating awareness among different villages it passed through besides sharing the information about the build cadres in different villages.

Block Level Workshop

To share the findings of our study a block level workshop was organised, which was attended by Block level official, Dalit cadre formed under the project. Altogether 43 participants attended the workshop. During the workshop the findings of the detailed survey was shared to understand the present status of different schemes for dalit community. As an outcome of the study revealed that despite provision of No. of beneficial schemes for the community by the central and state Govt. its reach to the community is minimal. It is primarily due the lack of knowledge, effective leadership and poor participation in governance process on part of community and ignorance and large scale corruption on part of bureaucracy. But now the group of dalit leaders formed under the project will certainly take care of it and the benefits of the schemes will reach to the last man as envisaged during the formulation of these schemes by the Govt.

Nukkad Natak

To create awareness among the community about the importance and need of Dalit organization Nukkad Natak was played by the cultural team of GENVP in all 15 villages of Chandi block of Nalanda district. Nukkad Natak still has relevance in our society especially among the rural community. It is an effective tool to communicate the message. The main theme was How community based organisations can help the community in claiming their entitlements effectively. The Nukkad Natak was named as Andhkar se Adhikar ki ore (अंधकार के अधिकार की ओर)

Significant achievements

  • - GENVP has established itself as one of the leaders in social change and developmental interventions in the state of Bihar.
  • - The greatest achievement of the institutions is that it has been able to organize thousands of dalits in to community based organizations and capacitate them for claiming their rights following non-violent and democratic methods.
  • - The efforts of the organisation in the fields of women empowerment, provisions of basic services to the deprived communities, gender mainstreaming and ending the discriminations practiced gender wise and caste wise across the state.
  • - The organization in this process has also established a strong networking relationship with the government departments as well as with a large number of civil society organizations.