Dalits Media Watch – English News Updates 02.08.15

Dalits attacked for deciding to boycott panchayat polls – The Hindu


Land-owning Dalits lack legal awareness: study – The Hindu


Child labour in Meghalaya coal mines figures in US report – The Shillong Time


After expose by The Hindu, Collector, SP visit Pathapalli – The Hindu


State scholarship sends 30 SC/ST to US for master’s – The Hindu


Landless farmers to get ownership rights – The Tribune


Fate uncertain of panel on SC/ST quota  – The Tribune


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The Hindu

Dalits attacked for deciding to boycott panchayat polls



Eleven Scheduled Caste Buddhist families at Ansurda village in Osmanabad district of Maharashtra have been attacked by upper caste men as they decided to boycott the August 4 gram panchayat elections in protest a social boycott on them.

In a report headlined “Dalit families in Maharashtra want to relocate” in The Hindu, June 5, the families had demanded that they be relocated because of the social boycott and threat of physical violence. The social boycott started after they took out a procession to mark the birth anniversary of Babasaheb Ambedkar on April 28 and played songs dedicated to the Dalit icon.

A few weeks after the police protection given to them was lifted, the Dalit households were attacked on Friday night. Six of the injured have been admitted to a hospital in Osmanabad for treatment.

District Collector Prashant Narnaware and Superintendent of Police A.B. Trimukhe have sought a report on the attack.


The police have registered a complaint against the upper caste villagers. The first information report, however, does not invoke sections of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

“I have asked for a detailed report and posted a special officer to see that social harmony remains intact in the village,” Mr. Narnaware said.

The sarpanch’s post is reserved for the Scheduled Caste category, and each of the two panels contesting the elections has chosen a candidate from the Chambhar caste for the post.

“Despite the police protection, the social boycott continued. As a mark of protest, we decided to boycott the gram panchayat election and that angered the upper caste households,” Babasaheb Gharbudwe of one of the families told The Hindu on the phone.

Another person, Anita Humbe, said: “They started beating us without provocation. We were secure till a police van was parked in the village. Their [upper caste] activities have begun as the police left here,” she said.

“We know that this is a sensitive village. We will ensure that no untoward incident takes place,” Mr. Trimukhe said.

The Hindu

 Land-owning Dalits lack legal awareness: study



While the social suffering germinating from not owning a piece of land haunts scores of Dalit families, even those owning a few acres suffer from several kinds of problems that snatch away their social pride.

Inaccuracies in land records and title deeds, absence of passbooks and land inherited not mutated in the name of actual owners are some of the issues which continue to haunt Dalit families over the decades, revealed a survey done by Rural Development Institute (headquartered in Seattle USA), and the NALSAR University of Law.

A pilot survey done in three villages of Jangaon mandal of Warangal district revealed that every SC/ST family faces at least four to six land problems and they are unable to solve these due to lack of legal awareness, says Sunil Kumar, State Director of Rural Development Institute (RDI).

Among the 413 SC and ST families studied, 217 of them possess one to two acres of land and each face up to six problems. Altogether, more than 1,000 problems have been listed in these three villages itself. “In fact, in entire Telangana more than 10 lakh problems exist with regard to land owned by Dalits and it is a big test for the government that has promised to provide three acres of land each to landless Dalit families,” says Prof. V. Balakista Reddy, Registrar, NALSAR University of Law.

The research revealed that even now people purchase land through ‘sada binama’ (unregistered sale transactions) as they can’t afford high registration fee. Most don’t have passbooks as lands are not mutated, thus they lose several benefits. Dalits continue to be stifled by insecurities and these have to be first driven away, says Mr. Sunil, adding that the situation is more or less the same across the country.

Change was visible in Warangal with Dalit families – with help of RDI and NALSAR, opening a ‘Land Centre’, in the district courts premises in 2013 – to provide free legal advice to the poor on land problems, spreading legal awareness and training various stakeholders working on land matters, including revenue officials, police and journalists. It was inaugurated by L. Narsimha Reddy and V. Easwaraiah, then Judges of A.P. High Court.

The Shillong Time

 Child labour in Meghalaya coal mines figures in US report



From C K Nayak

NEW DELHI: After several reports unearthing forced child labourers from neighbouring Bangladesh and Nepal in the rat hole coal mines of Meghalaya which ultimately were closed following a National Green Tribunal order, now even the United States in its annual report highlighted the same malady. But the report also admitted that volume of such child labour has gone down owing to the closure of the mines.

The US State Department recently placed it in the second best category of Tier 2 countries including India for the fifth year in a row.

“India is a source, destination and transit country for men, women and children subjected to forced labour and sex trafficking,” it said in the congressionally mandated Trafficking in Persons Report 2015.  Tier 2 ranking is given to countries that do not fully comply with the US Trafficking Victims Protection Act’s (TVPA) minimum standards, but were making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance with those standards.

Suggesting that forced labour constitutes India’s largest trafficking problem, the report said, “Men, women and children in debt bondage, sometimes inherited from previous generations, are forced to work in industries such as brick kilns, rice mills, agriculture and embroidery factories.”

“90 per cent of India’s trafficking problem is internal and those from the most disadvantaged social strata — lowest caste Dalits, members of tribal communities, religious minorities,  and women and girls from excluded groups — are most vulnerable,” it said. And this problem continues to rise due to increased mobility and growth in industries utilising forced labour.

Due to a number of constraints, this process resulted in victims, especially those from Bangladesh, spending  four years or more in temporary shelter homes before being repatriated. The government worked to improve repatriation of Bangladeshi trafficking victims, including through high-level bilateral talks; however, there were long delays in processing paperwork, lack of coordination between concerned agencies, and lack of clarity and cooperation concerning submission of critical papers which act as hindrance.

In India, the report said thousands of unregulated work placement agencies reportedly lure adults and children for sex trafficking or forced labour, including domestic servitude, under false promises of employment. Begging ring leaders sometimes maim children to earn more money.

Children, reportedly as young as six, are forcibly removed from their families and used by terrorist groups such as Maoists in Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, West Bengal, and Odisha to act as spies and couriers, plant improvised explosive devices, and fight against the government. Experts estimate millions of women and children are victims of sex trafficking in India.

A large number of Nepali, Afghan, and Bangladeshi females — the majority of whom are children — and women and girls from Asia and Eurasia are also subjected to sex trafficking in India, the report said. Prime destinations for female trafficking victims include Kolkata, Mumbai, Delhi, Gujarat, and along the India-Nepal border.
Traffickers pose as matchmakers, arranging sham marriages within India or to Gulf States, and then subject women and girls to sex trafficking. Most of the open cast coal mines in Meghalaya have been closed since past some months due to a ban order by the NGT on ground of pollution and forced child labour by the Natioanl Commission for Protection of Child Rights.

The Hindu

 After expose by The Hindu, Collector, SP visit Pathapalli



The Collector and Superintendent of Police of Mahbubnagar on Saturday visited Pathapalli village in Pebbair mandal which was the scene of clashes between members of dominant Boya community and minority Madiga community a few days ago to bring rapproachment between the two groups. The district bosses and other officials had lunch with about a hundred villagers, including sarpanch Subhadramma, to sort the issue. It may be recalled that the incident was prominently highlighted by The Hindu .

The visit was aimed at instilling a sense of confidence among the approximately 45 families belonging to the Madiga community against the threat they perceived from over 400 families belonging to the Boya community. Collector T.K. Sreedevi ordered temple entry to those belonging to the Scheduled Castes, apart from promising them safe drinking water.

On the question of extension of burial ground of Boyas into assigned lands of SCs, the Collector said it would not be allowed. .

SP Mr. Vishwa Prasad said he would ensure that the picket posted in the village would be continued till the issue was sorted out.

The lunch was boycotted by a struggle committee against casteism which had been organising a relay hunger strike at Pebbai for the last 25 days.

The Hindu

 State scholarship sends

30 SC/ST to US for master’s



Born in a daily labourer’s family, Kannekanti Sudev Yashwant of Ibrahimpatnam worked hard and graduated as an engineer (ECE) from the Nuzvid IIIT on the strength of scholarships. Just as he was wondering what to do next, he managed to make it to the list of 30 candidates whose master’s education overseas will be sponsored by the State Government under the B.R. Ambedkar Overseas Study Programme.

“It is a dream come true. I wanted to pursue my Master’s and gain international exposure,” said a beaming Yashwant, who is scheduled to go to the US on August 11 to pursue a Master’s degree in computer science at Texas A&M. The State Government plans to send 300 candidates like Yashwant for overseas education in different countries. This year it has shortlisted 30 candidates for the programme. The second batch will be finalised in January 2016.

Under the programme, the government sponsors each candidate to the tune of Rs 10 lakh. An additional Rs. 5 lakh will be facilitated as a loan from the Scheduled Caste Corporation, said Social Welfare Minister Ravella Kishore Babu.

In 2013, 66 candidates were sent overseas for higher education from the erstwhile Andhra Pradesh, 48 from Telangana and 18 from Seemandhra. In 2014, 32 candidates were so sponsored.

Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu presented cheques for Rs. 10 lakh each to the selected candidates here on Saturday. Among the 30 candidates, six candidates, three male and three female, hail from Krishna district. The candidates said they were screened by a team of senior officials in Hyderabad. Chatla Mallika haails from Chimalapadu village in A. Konduru mandal in Krishna district. Her father is a tenant farmer. She completed the engineering course from Nuzvid IIIT and is travelling to the US for her master’s in civil engineering at Alabama University. Didla Vamsi from the city and his father D. James is a lorry driver. He is an engineering graduate and is heading to the US for a PG programme in computer science at New Hampshire University.

Ajay Kumar from Penumalauru, born into a low-income family. He completed his B. Tech from Andhra Loyola College and he too is heading to Texas A&M for a master’s programme in computer science. P. Krishna Manjira hails from Challapally. Her parents too are daily labourers. An engineering grad from R.V.R and J.C College, Guntur, she bagged a seat in the IT programme at Maryhordin Belar University. T. Aparna is from Bhavanipuram and the daughter of car driver. She bagged a seat in the computer science programme at Polytechnic University, California.

The Tribune

 Landless farmers to get ownership rights


 BD Kasniyal, Pithoragarh, August 1

The Udham Singh Nagar district administration has started the process of giving ownership rights free of cost to farmers, who have occupied not more than 3.25 acres of government land and are doing farming on it, in Bazpur subdivision. The state government has issued an order to this effect.

The order says people of the general category occupying government land will have to pay 25 times of the revenue generated from the land or 25 per cent of the prevailing circle rates for the regularization of the land they are possessing.

“We have received instructions from the District Magistrate to go ahead with the process of giving ownership rights to farmers who are in possession of the government land other than of village ways, canal route, cemetery and pasture land. They will get ownership rights under Section 13 of the Zamindari Abolition Act of 1950,” said Sudesh Chand, Tehsildar in the Bazpur subdivision.

According to administration sources, members of the BPL, SC/ ST and Antyodaya category families will get the ownership right free of cost. “The orders have been issued to all Sub Divisional Magistrates of the district to give ownership rights to people of these sections who are occupying the land from before June 30, 1989,” said the tehsildar.

The district administration has started the process of listing the farmers under the category. “The proposal will have to be sanctioned by the District Magistrate, only after that the farmers will be able to get transferable land rights,” the sources informed.

Bazpur MLA and Revenue Minister Yashpal Arya said he had fullfilled the commitment he made at the time of being MLA from Bazpur. “On the demand of farmers, technical snags have been removed in the way of giving ownership rights to the farmers occupying category-4 government land. The government is also committed to take decision on other problems of the farmers,” said Arya in Bazpur.

The Tribune

 Fate uncertain of panel on SC/ST quota


Fate uncertain of panel on SC/ST quota

Tribune News Service Dehradun, August 1

Uncertainty rules the fate of the Justice Irshad Hussain Commission set up on quota in promotions for Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST) employees in the Uttarakhand state.

The tenure of the commission ended yesterday but it is yet to submitted its report. The state government had set up the commission after the general and SC/ST employees were in conflict over the issue of quota in promotions.

The one-man commission headed by retired Justice Irshad Hussain was initially given six months but as its task of compiling data regarding reservation for SC and ST employees in various government departments remained incomplete, it was given five extensions.

However, after the Chief Minister announced that it would no longer extend the tenure of the commission, it was assumed that it would now finally submit its report.

News monitored by AMRESH & AJEET


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