Dalits Media Watch – English News Updates 24.09.15

Assigned land farmers begin protest in Thullur – The Hindu


Man arrested for rape of minor girl – The Hindu


‘Children face caste bias even in private schools’ – The Times Of India


 ‘No protection for honest police officers’ – The Hindu




Dalits organise rally in Vadodara to pay tribute to Ambedkar’s resolve – The Indian Express


15-Year-Old Sushma Verma, Daughter Of A Sanitation Worker, Is India’s Youngest PhD Student – MensXP


‘Low caste’ woman awarded £183,000 compensation in discrimination case – The Telegraph


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The Hindu

 Assigned land farmers begin protest in Thullur



Dalit farmers cultivating assigned and ceiling lands in Tullur staged a relay hunger on Wednesday demanding compensation and annuity payments similar to the disbursals being made to owner farmers under the Land Pooling Scheme.

Wearing black gags, the protesters confined themselves to their houses and participated in a relay hunger strike as the police had imposed Section 144 in the area, restricting gatherings of people.

They sported black scarves around their mouth. The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) ignored the interests of Dalits after coming to power. As many as 380 farmers were cultivating 206 acres land in the village.

The Dalit families said the Capital Region Development Authority (CRDA) had promised to pay compensation to all farmers holding title deeds in Tullur but was now taking the ruse that their land was assigned land.

“How did the CRDA enter into agreements with us without verifying the records? These are cheap tricks,”” said one protester.

The farmers confined themselves to their houses as police have been slapping cases against those participating in protest programmes in public, said CPI(M) capital region convener Ch. Babu Rao.

The Hindu

 Man arrested for rape of minor girl



Gudalur All Woman Police on Tuesday arrested M. Anil (30) of a village near Thorapalli in Gudalur for allegedly raping a 16-year-old girl of a nearby village. The issue came to light after a medical examination on the girl confirmed that she was pregnant. Police sources said that the accused and the victim were in love.

Based on a complaint lodged by the girl, Anil was booked under Section 376 (rape) of the Indian Penal Code and Sections 3 and 4 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act and he was arrested on Tuesday. The police said that the accused would also attract sections under The Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act as the victim is a tribal girl.

The Times Of India

 ‘Children face caste bias even in private schools’


TNN | Sep 24, 2015, 02.08 AM IST

BENGALURU: Differential treatment towards Dalit children is as much a reality in private schools as it is in anganwadis, speakers observed at a seminar on Wednesday. Moderating the seminar ‘Early childhood education in anganwadis – partnerships and opportunities’, educationist Rohini Nilekani spoke about caste at the pre-school level. She said the way Dalit kids are being treated in anganwadis could be the reason for them switching to private schools. Child Rights Trust’s managing trustee R Padmini said caste is still a problem in villages. “It is there in private schools as well,” she said. 

Raising a pertinent question, Rohini said a child from an upper community may have access to digital channels but what can be done to provide the same accessibility to poor pre-school kids? “Today, the mobile phone has become commonplace everywhere in India. How can it be used for the benefit of 200 million children in the country,” she asked. 

Women and child welfare minister Umashree announced that a child-safety policy will be approved within 15 days. Victims of acid attacks will be given a lifetime pension of Rs 3,000 per month, she added.

The Hindu

 ‘No protection for honest police officers’



The Communist Party of India (Marxist Leninist) seeks CBI probe into the suicide of Tiruchengode Deputy Superintendent of Police Vishnupriya.

 The Communist Party of India (Marxist Leninist) staged a demonstration near the South Taluk Office in Coimbatore on Wednesday seeking CBI probe into the suicide of Tiruchengode Deputy Superintendent of Police Vishnupriya and the murder of Dalit youth Gokularaj .

The cadre led by the party’s State Committee member R. Dhamodharan and District Secretary K. Balasubramanian, alleged that the suicide of the police officer stood testimony for the height of police atrocity and high handedness against the department personnel themselves. There is no protection for Dalits or minorities and for police officers conducting fair investigation on incidents involving Dalits or minorities.

Mr. Dhamodharan said that Gokulraj’s murder should have been investigated by a senior police officer who could have handled the situation better, than involving a young officer – Vishnupriya in this case – who was unable to bear the pressure and harassment and eventually ended her life.

They also blamed the interference of caste Hindu leaders involved in the murder of Gokulraj. They added that CBI alone could conduct a fair probe into these two deaths.

The Pioneer



 Wednesday, 23 September 2015 | Pioneer News Service | Lucknow | in Lucknow

Peeved at demotion from their present posts following SC directive, Dalit state employees have asked all political parties to spell out their stand on the reservation in promotion for the SC/ST.  

Spearheading the agitation, the Arakshan Bachao Sangharsh Samiti maintained only BSP chief Mayawati had spoken in favour of their demand and lent her support albeit after they started a `chuppee todo’ (break the silence) campaign.

Mayawati, in a statement issued on Tuesday, said: “Both the Congress and the BJP are against the idea of reservation. Both parties are anti-Dalit and are the two sides of the same coin. They do not want reservations for Dalits to continue.” The BSP chief alleged that the two parties appeared to be poles apart but had identical vision on reservation.

A Samiti spokesman said that though the BJP had distanced itself from RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s opinion against reservation, the party should also clearly state its stand on whether it supported the passage of the Constitution (117th amendment) bill pending in Lok Sabha. The bill was earlier passed by the Rajya Sabha in 2013. 

“After support to the Constitution (117th amendment) Bill envisaging reservation in promotions for SC/STs by the BSP, other parties should also spell out their stand,” felt the spokesman .

The Indian Express

 Dalits organise rally in Vadodara to pay tribute to Ambedkar’s resolve


A large number of people belonging to the Dalit community gathered at the Navlakhi compound where Raule addressed the gathering.

 The Dalit community on Wednesday turned out in large numbers to commemorate the 98th anniversary of the Sankalp Bhoomi — the spot inside Vadodara’s iconic Sayajibaug (Kamatibaug) garden, where Dr B R Ambedkar resolved to “change the lives” of the Dalits in India.

Although the Dalit spiritual leaders who addressed the rally described the event as apolitical, the community leaders said they would give up their reservation status if the government was willing to bestow upon the community the rights to cast two votes as per Ambedkar’s original demand.

Dr Karunasheel Raule, a Buddhist monk who arrived from Haryana to participate in the rally, organised by the community on Sankalp Bhoomi Day in Vadodara, told reporters, “The fact is that the Dalits never asked for reservation status. Dr Ambedkar had, in fact, demanded that Dalits be given the right to cast two votes. It was the government that provided reservation instead of the right to cast two votes. So, if anyone has a problem with the Dalits receiving benefits from reservation and wants to revoke the privilege, they can do so by bestowing upon the Dalits the right to cast two votes.”

Raule clarified that Wednesday’s Vadodara rally, organised by the Dalits, was not to be seen as the “political show of strength” or as a “reply to other groups and communities demanding reservation”.

He added that the Dalit community had gathered in Vadodara’s iconic Sayajibaug to pay tributes to Dr Ambedkar as it was here that he pledged to “change the circumstances” of the Dalits on September 23, 1917.

“It was on September 23, 1917, upon his return from England that Dr Ambedkar had arrived in Vadodara and was staying in a Parsi guesthouse, where he was insulted and his belongings were thrown out. He resolved to return from Vadodara to Mumbai that very moment, but unfortunately, his train was late by about five hours and he was forced to spend his time in Sayajibaug. He chose to sit under the banyan tree inside the garden, which is known today as Sankalp Bhoomi around the world. It was here that he resolved to change the way Dalits are treated in the country. The rally is only commemorating the decision made by Dr Ambedkar on that day,” Raule said.

Earlier on Wednesday, a large number of people belonging to the Dalit community gathered at the Navlakhi compound where Raule addressed the gathering and urged the Dalit community to follow Dr Ambedkar’s principles of universal compassion.

From there, the rally proceeded to Sankalp Bhoomi in Sayajibaug where a prayer service was held to pay tribute to Dr Ambedkar. The rally included a statue of Gautam Buddha perched atop a jeep, a beeline of cars and two-wheelers, with patrons waving the Buddhist flags and life-size cutouts of Dr Ambedkar.


 15-Year-Old Sushma Verma, Daughter Of A Sanitation Worker, Is India’s Youngest PhD Student


In a country where more than 35 per cent of girls are discouraged from studying and going to school, young prodigy Sushma Verma from Lucknow has a different story to tell! At age 7 when most of us were barely able to dedicate 30 minutes to studying, Sushma had already completed her 10th. At the young age of 13, she had enrolled herself in college and was getting her Master’s Degree in Microbiology from Lucknow University.


And now, at the age of 15, she has achieved yet another milestone by becoming the youngest Indian to have been enrolled as a PhD student at Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University (BBAU) in Lucknow—a course where her classmates are probably eight to nine years older than her, at least!

Truth is that there are many bright, exceptional students hailing from poor families but there is only one Sushma Verma. In 2007, she entered the Limca Book of Records as the youngeststudent to clear the class X exam. At age 10, she was already sure of her career path and wanted to be a doctor for which she gave the Uttar Pradesh Combined Premedical Test (UCPMT). University rules, however, prohibited her from pursuing her academic goals and her result was withheld.


Wise and way matured for her age, Sushma told The Times of India in an interview, “A person should always be judged by his or her talent and potential, not by age. I desperately wanted to become a doctor but now I have to wait till I turn 17 — it’s a huge disappointment for me.”

What’s also truly amazing is that this kind of badassery runs in her family. Her older brother, Shailendra, proved his mettle when he became the youngest computer science graduate in India at the age of 14 in 2007. However, what has truly made all her accomplishments special is the fact that she graduated from the same college where her father works as a sanitation worker. Her 51-year-old father Tej Bahadur was in fact a daily wage worker before Vice-Chancellor of BBAU college Dr R V Sobti helped him get a job on campus as a sanitation supervisor, so that he could support his daughter and rest of the family.

It’s rather obvious that Sushma is an inspiration for every student alike. The nation is truly in awe of her spectacular achievements. And if children like Sushma are India’s future pioneers, then rest assured ‘India Shining’ is more of a reality, less of a dream!

The Telegraph

 ‘Low caste’ woman awarded £183,000 compensation in discrimination case


Permila Tirkey, who was paid 11p an hour for an 18-hour day, wins claim in landmark employment tribunal against former employers Ajay and Pooja Chandhok

By David Barrett, Home Affairs Correspondent

5:46PM BST 22 Sep 2015

A “low caste” Indian woman has been awarded £184,000 in compensation from her employers who made her work 18 hours a day for an hourly rate of 11 pence.

Permila Tirkey brought the claim after being forced to work for a wealthier British-Indian family for more than four years.

Miss Tirkey worked seven days a week and was forced to sleep on the floor of Ajay and Pooja Chandhok’s home in Milton Keynes.

Her lawyers said the case set a new legal landmark by establishing that workers in Britain who are treated poorly because they are from a lower Indian caste are protected by race discrimination laws.

The employment tribunal hearingin Cambridge heard Miss Tirkey, now 39, was also barred from contacting her family and from bringing her Bible with her when the Chandhoks recruited her from Bihar, the poorest of the Indian states, in 2008.

Miss Tirkey said: “I want the public to know what happened to me as it must not happen to anyone else.

“The stress and anxiety that this sort of thing creates for a person can destroy them.

“I have not been able to smile because my life had been destroyed.

“Now I am able to smile again. Now I am free.”

Victoria Marks, her solicitor from charity the Anti Trafficking and Labour Exploitation Unit, said: “This is a very useful judgment for victims of modern day slavery.

“We hope that it will give other victims the courage to come forward and seek redress.”

The tribunal ordered Mr and Mrs Chandhok to pay their former employee £183,773 to make up the shortfall in what she should have received under the national minimum wage.

It ruled she was a victim of unlawful harassment and indirect religious discrimination.

Mrs Chandhok, who hired the employee, was born in India to Afghan Hindu parents and has been a British citizen since 2005.

Her husband was described as a Hindu born in Afghanistan whose parents sought refuge in Britain during the Afghanistan war in 1985 and has lived in Britain since 1999. He remains a German citizen.

Miss Tirkey, from from Bihar, the poorest of the Indian states, arrived in Britain in May 2008 and cared for the couple’s twins, a boy and a girl, and performed other domestic duties such as cooking and cleaning.

The Chandhok’s “concocted” a story about her working for them over an earlier period in order to circumvent immigration rules, the tribunal said.

After hearing evidence about Miss Tirkey’s accommodation the tribunal found that she slept on the floor of several rooms within the house and on occasion had to sleep without a mattress.

The panel also accepted her evidence that she worked 18 hours a day, seven days a week, and outside those hours she was “on call” to do the family’s bidding.

The Chandhoks had claimed Miss Tirkey’s hours were five and a half or six hours a day only with either one or two days off per week.

Mrs Chandhok would call Miss Tirkey “girl”, despite being younger than her, which the tribunal accepted was “demeaning”.

Miss Tirkey left their employment in 2013 by resigning “in circumstances which amounted to a dismissal”, the ruling said.

The tribunal said the Chandhoks “wanted a servant in the Indian style”.

“They wanted someone who would be not merely of service but servile, who would not be aware of United Kingdom employment rights and whom they could treat in the United Kingdom as [Mrs Chandhok’s] father treated his servants in India,” the ruling concluded.

It found the employers had also breached the European Union working time directive over her rest hours and annual leave.

In addition to the compensation awarded by the tribunal a further hearing to determine remedies for the discrimination and other matters will be held later this year.

News monitored by AMRESH & AJEET


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