National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights

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National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights (NCDHR) 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.

It is centered in Delhi, with offices in 14 states of India. 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]

Movements[edit]

NCHDR is a coalition of four independent movements, each movement working on eradicating some form of caste-based discrimination.[3]

  • 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 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,[citation needed] and Dalit Mahila Swabhiman Yatra.[4]

  • 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.

Initiatives[edit]

The National Dalit Watch (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.[citation needed] It was initiated in 2009, after an extensive study conducted on the 2004 tsunami and later of massive flooding in Bihar (2007–08), which NCDHR said highlighted 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.[5]

The objectives of NDW are [6]

To ensure a truly inclusive disaster preparedness mechanism; To get in place a just system of Recovery and Rehabilitation; To develop a vulnerability mapping tool which would also assist other organizations in assessing vulnerability causes of the socially excluded sections; and, To advocate policies and legislation that recognize discrimination that exists by default, and thereby make it imperative for state and its agencies to have a special focus on the inclusion of Dalits and other marginalized communities.

Resources[edit]

NCDHR has developed a variety of resources, ranging from newsletters, publications, fact findings, annual reports, etc.[7]

Awards[edit]

In 2007, NCDHR was awarded the Rafto Prize for its work promoting Dalit rights and for kindling conversations about the issue internationally.[8]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

For Further Reading[edit]