National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights

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National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights (NCHDR) is a coalition of Dalit Human Rights activists and academics with the aim of putting an end to caste-based discrimination. It was founded in 1998 and over the years, it has expanded its work throughout the country.

It is centered in Delhi, with offices in 14 states of the country. The objectives of NCDHR as mentioned on their website, are the following: (1) to increase visibility of Dalit issues at various levels; (2) to bring international attention and media coverage to Dalit rights; and (3) to hold the State accountable for all Human Rights violations committed against Dalits.[1] Their manifesto declares that they mean to fight Casteism and discrimination in countries where such things are prevalent, such as India, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Japan (see Burakumin), Pakistan, Senegal, Rwanda, and Sri Lanka.[2] Their website states:

Movements Initiated[4][edit]

NCHDR is a coalition of four independent movements, each movement working on eradicating some form of caste-based discrimination.

  • Dalit Arthik Adhikar Andolan (DAAA)

This movement aims to promote economic, social, educational and cultural rights of Dalits, using the Union and State government budgets in order to track the administration of entitlements for Dalits. With an objective to improve policies and ensure accountability and transparency, it addresses policy makers and executives.

  • All India Dalit Mahila Adhikar Manch (AIDMAM)

This movement aims to address the issues of Dalit women, often suffering "double discrimination" as Dalits and as women. Dalit women are also often targets of caste-based sexual violence[5] by members of higher castes. It challenges various oppressive structures working together and contributing to the exploitation and marginalisation faced by Dalit women, namely, patriarchy, caste, culture and class oppression. They have mobilised women time and again to protest against this discrimination and exploitation, culminating in public meetings and protest marches like Dalit Mahila Garima Yatra,[6] and Dalit Mahila Swabhiman Yatra.[7]

  • National Federation of Dalit Land Rights Movements (NFDLRM)

This movement aims to secure land rights and livelihoods for Dalits. It was initiated by more than 250 Dalit land rights initiatives from 16 states.

  • National Dalit Movement for Justice (NDMJ)

This movement aims to secure legal redressals in the form of proper legal responses and economical remedies for those affected by caste-based atrocities and violence.

Other initiatives[edit]

  • The National Dalit Watch (NDW)

The NDW aims to develop methods and tools to document and mitigate while preparing for and responding to disasters and to monitor Disaster Response and Preparedness for Inclusion & Equity.[8] It was initiated in 2009, after an extensive study conducted on the 2004 Tsunami and later of massive flooding in Bihar (2007–08), which highlighted the rampant caste-based discrimination in rescue programmes during disasters. Since its inception, various tools and methods have been instituted to identify, expose and document caste-based discrimination and used the experiences of the people to influence disaster management guidelines by the central government.[9]

The objectives of NDW as spelt out on the NCDHR website are as follows,[10]


NCDHR has developed a vast variety of resources on topics like 'Hidden apartheid, the dalit story: a journal',[11] 'Dalit women speak out : violence against Dalit women in India';[12] ranging from newsletters, publications, fact findings, annual reports, etc.[13][14]


In 2007, National Campaign for Dalit Human Rights was awarded the Rafto Prize, which was received by Vincent Manoharan, Secretary General, Dr. Vimal Thorat, Co-Convenor and Paul Divakar, on behalf of the organization. It was awarded for its work promote Dalit rights and for kindling conversations about the issue internationally.[15][16][17]

See all[edit]


For Further Reading[edit]