Sigaranahalli Dalits want to be relocated – The Hindu
Scraping dry toilets with their bare hands: Survey shows rural households ignore ban on manual scavenging – India Today
‘Dalits deprived of govt benefits’ – The Statesman
250 families may lose homes as police sit on harassment plaint – Deccan Herald
Transgenders denied entry into city mall – The Hindu
NRI aid for shelterless, Dalit family of village – The Tribune
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Sigaranahalli Dalits want to be relocated
We cannot withstand the social boycott imposed by ‘upper castes’, they say
People belonging to Scheduled Castes in Sigaranahalli of Holenarsipur taluk appealed to the district administration to relocate them away from the village as they cannot face the social boycott, allegedly imposed on them by the ‘upper castes’. The Dalits told officials that it had become difficult for them to live in the village, where they were being denied entry into a temple and a community hall.
Deputy Commissioner Umesh H. Kusugal had convened a meeting along with other senior officials in the village on Monday evening. Both the Dalits and ‘upper castes’ were invited for the meeting. However, ‘upper caste’ people did not attend the meeting, in spite of repeated requests.
Rajaiah, a Dalit resident, told the officials: “Better shift all of us to some other place and grant us some land there to earn a living. There is no point in living in the village without self-respect.”
Swamy, another resident, said: “We do not want to live in a village where we cannot enter a temple or go to a community hall, constructed by the government.”
Recently, some people of the village had imposed penalty on a Stree Shakti Sangha for taking four Dalit women into Basaveshwara temple. Following this, a case was filed and the officials convened a meeting to ensure peace in the village.
However, the differences between the two communities continued, leaving the Dalits without jobs as ‘upper caste’ people stopped offering them work on their lands.
After an interactive session with the members of Dalit families, the Deputy Commissioner said the district administration would submit a detailed proposal to the State government regarding the needs of Dalits. “We will ensure that all Dalit families get help from different agencies of the State government to take up income-generating activities, besides digging borewells in their lands and houses.” He directed officials of the Social Welfare Department to conduct a survey in the village and make a list of benefits that Dalit families required. Further, he stated that Dalits could not be restricted from entering the temple and the community hall.
Superintendent of Police Raman Gupta, Assistant Commissioner E. Vijaya and District Social Welfare Officer N.R. Purushottam were present.
Scraping dry toilets with their bare hands: Survey shows rural households ignore ban on manual scavenging
About 5,400 let loose pigs to eat human feces; and about 13,000 households simply flushed ‘nightsoil’ into open drains.
About 1.56 lakh households in rural India- mostly in Uttar Pradesh – had humans to scrape excreta out of dry latrines with bare hands , and carry the same in buckets to dump sites, an ongoing government survey has found.
About 5,400 (more than half in Karnataka) let loose pigs to eat human feces; and about 13,000 households (UP again on top) simply flushed ‘nightsoil’ into open drains, says the survey which has so far touched 85 per cent of 2.51 lakh gram panchayats or nearly six lakh villages in India.
India banned manual scavenging in 1993 but the ban remained largely unenforced. In September 2013, Parliament passed a new law prescribing imprisonment of up to five years for hiring people to clean dry toilets, besides provisions for employment aid for former workers.
States were required to survey existing dry toilets by February 6, 2014 and ensure their subsequent destruction and conversion into flush ones within six months of that date. Clearly, nothing much happened.
“You’re leaving out the fact that about 68 per cent of these dry toilets identified during the survey have been converted into flush ones. Survey and conversion are happening together. We have asked all states to finish the survey and ensure zero insanitary latrines,” said a senior official of the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation.
The findings coincide with the first anniversary (October 2) of Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s Swachh Bharat Mission that primarily looks at building toilets. Half of India’s population relieve themselves outdoors, a serious risk to health and women’s security. Officials claim the first year of the mission has facilitated about 80 lakh toilets in states.
The 2011 Census data showed 24.6 crore households in India had 26 lakh insanitary toilets as they discharged excreta directly into open drains (13.14 lakh) or were cleaned manually (7.94 lakh) or ‘serviced by animals’ (4.97 lakh). These figures had a 70:30 rural urban ratio. UP has been on top.
The current situation may actually be much worse as the ongoing survey has covered less than 5 per cent of villages in Bihar, Goa, J&K, Manipur and Puduchery. This is particularly significant for Bihar which has a large number of villages.
Dunu Roy, director of NGO Hazard Centre, said, “There seems to be gross underreporting of data if studies done by Dalit groups are taken into account.” “We would also like to know if health conditions in villages have actually improved where sanitary latrines have been provided. The government must also come clean on the rehabilitation of scavengers,” he said.
The 2011 Census data shows states such as Andhra Pradesh, Assam, J&K, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal account for more than 72 per cent of the insanitary latrines in India.
The Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013 mandated a survey based on the 2011 Census data. More than Rs 1,000 lakh has been released for the survey.
Thaawar Chand Gehlot, union minister of social justice & empowerment, told Mail Today, “The survey has not been conducted properly and needs to be finished immediately.”
The situation in the national Capital itself is very bad. The Delhi High Court early this month rebuked municipal authorities and asked them to finish a survey of manual scavengers in the city in two months. The 2011 census figures showed Delhi had 583 toilets cleaned by manual scavengers and 633 ‘serviced by animals’.
Dalits, the lowest caste in India’s social pecking order, do this wretched, inhumane job for livelihood and face massive social discrimination. In his monthly radio programme, Modi in April said that manual scavenging would not be tolerated and sought people’s cooperation to end the scourge.
The latest Socio-Economic Caste Census data released in July reveals that 1, 80, 657 people are engaged in manual scavenging for a living. “So far have identified about 13,000 manual scavengers- 80 per cent in Uttar Pradesh-in 13 states. We have begun a process of their rehabilitation through cash assistance and skill training,” Gehlot said.
Environmentalist Manoj Misra strongly advocates for rehabilitation of manual scavengers but says that even flush latrines kill water bodies by producing and dumping sewage. “The way forward is eco-sanitation where human urine and fecal matter gets separately collected and utilised as much needed urea and manure,” he said.
Facts that the study reveals
Conversion of latrines involving human scavenging into flush toilets is nil in Gujarat; below three-fourth in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand.
Conversion of latrines flowing night soil into drains to sanitary ones is poor in Arunachal, Assam, Gujarat; below average in Kerala and Rajasthan
Conversion of latrines ‘serviced by animals’ into sanitary ones is poor in Arunachal, Assam; below average in Rajasthan
Bihar, Haryana, Jharkhand, Karnataka, MP, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and West Bengal have done well
UP is the only state to report such a large incidence (1.5 lakh) of manual scavenging and claims to have eradicated about 70 per cent of it
‘Dalits deprived of govt benefits’
SNS Balasore, | 30 September, 2015
Dalit people of Khaira block are deprived of the benefits provided by the government, alleged leaders of the community here on Tuesday.
A delegation of SC and ST community members of Khaira met the district collector here and complained of the neglect that they are being subjected to. The members alleged that the head mistress of Arjunpur UGME School under Palasa gram panchayat had misappropriated government funds, including the stipend of SC students, since the last two years. The free uniform provided by the government had not been given to students, they charged. Similarly, students of Class 10 of Rustrampur high school in the block had not been given bicycles provided by the government, they said.
They alleged that a SC minor girl was sexually abused in Talamundi village and though a FIR has been filed no action has been taken by the police for the last three months.
The delegation under the leadership of Madha Mallick, Gajendra Jena, Om Prakash, Ratnakara Das and others also apprised the collector about various other issues.
“The people of Khaira and Simulia would embark on an agitation after a week if the collector and SP do not take immediate action against the rape accused and the school heads involved for swindling the amounts meant for stipend, uniform and cycles,” said Damodar Das, a leader of the Adivasi Harijan Kalyan Samiti.
250 families may lose homes as police sit on harassment plaint
Bengaluru: Sept 30, 2015, DHNS
Three acres and 30 guntas of land, which was reportedly granted under ‘Scheduled Caste Grants,’ has been restored twice as per the provisions of the Karnataka Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Transfer of certain Lands) (PTCL) Act, even though the land was sold as sites to over 250 people.
The land – once used for quarrying – was filled up with garbage and later sold as sites of dimensions as small as 15X20 feet.
The Janaadhikara Sangharsha Parishat (JSP), which has collected documents pertaining to the land, said Tare Muniyappa, father of M Muthuraj and M Muniraju, had illegally sold the granted land to a third party for Rs 95 lakh. Despite this, Revenue officials allowed the application for restoration filed by Muthuraj and Muniraju.
In September 1996, Muniyappa obtained khata and an extent of three acres and 30 guntas of land was podified (divided) into survey numbers 397, 398 and 400. Before lands were podified through a government notification in March 2005, Muniyappa assigned a General Power of Attorney in May 2001 to one Shaik Imtiyaz with an express authority to “sell the land.” Later, in March 2006 and March 2007, Muniyappa sold the land in all three survey numbers in three different absolute sale agreements for Rs 95 lakh in favour of Ameer Jaan and Chand Pasha.
These two sold the sites to different persons, including some persons belonging to SC/ST community. Muniyappa passed away in 2009 and his sons filed an application under Section 5(1) (2) of PTCL Act, claiming the restoration of land.
“In 1980, on the report of the tahsildar and other revenue officials, suo motu proceedings were taken up by the then Assistant Commissioner and an order was passed, restoring the land. The land in question is at Begur village in Begur hobli and there was large-scale quarrying in the area. The very grant is suspicious since there is no grant certificate and certificate number,” Adarsh Iyer of JSP said.
Muthuraj and Muniraju, in the second application for restoration filed in June 2010, said that the lands were sold to third parties not once but thrice.
Despite this, an order was passed by the Assistant Commissioner in March 2015, again restoring the land.
“The residents here are from backward classes and are facing threats. Their complaints against Muthuraj and Muniraju of harassment and causing hurt have not been attended to. The inspector of Electronics City police station has not taken any action despite instructions from the Deputy Commissioner (Bengaluru Urban),” Iyer said. The JSP members will file a complaint with the Lokayukta against the inaction by the police and revenue officials.
Transgenders denied entry into city mall
In a glaring instance of discrimination based on sexual orientation, a group of youngsters, including two transgenders were denied entry into a swanky multiplex, Inox inside a plush mall – GVK One.
The incident elicited the ire of scores of members of the community on social media platforms, including Instagram, twitter and facebook.
Ironically the group had gone to the mall to watch the queer themed film, Time Out.
The first to be stopped was a transgender Vyjayanthi Vasanta Mogli, who works in a corporate company in Hyderabad.
She was stopped and asked to leave as she was standing in front of the ticket counter of the mall, she said. According to the group, the man who tried to shove them off identified himself as the head of security.
“He asked bluntly why I was at the mall. And even after I explained that our group was there to watch the film Time Out, he insisted that we should leave,” she said.
Her friend Madhumati, another transgender was also questioned. As the group vehemently opposed the security personnel’s move, the management representative refused to apologise to the group. “We are sure that they identified us as transgender and stopped us. But, when asked why we were stopped the person, who confronted us only flashed his authority and said it was done randomly,” Ms. Mogli said.
Her friend, Shyam Konnur, a gay rights activist, who posted the group’s picture on Instagram, is a corporate employee based out in Pune, who had come to the city for a short visit. “I was startled by the invasion. And it was very clear that they wanted us to leave,” Mr. Konnur said.
Ms. Mogli said that after arguing for close to an hour, the mall staff let the group in.
According to the members, such instances are common, as transgenders are identified easily. “Corporate companies should implement Nalsa judgement that makes it mandatory for institutions to comply by rules that protect the interests of transgender people,” Ms. Mogli explained.
The group plans to lodge a complaint against human rights violation.
NRI aid for shelterless, Dalit family of village
Tribune News Service Kapurthala, September 29
There has been a big reprieve from foreign lands for the poor Dalit family at Bhawanipur village on Goindwal Road that had gone shelterless after its house had collapsed in a storm last month.
After Jalandhar Tribune highlighted the family’s plight on August 19, NGOs Teach International and Dr Ambedkar NRI Association based in the US have come forward for their help.
After the aid reached Bhupinder Kaur and her three children a few weeks ago, the re-construction work has begun on the 1.5-marla plot. The demolished room, along with a new bathroom, is being reconstructed, with the walls completed and roof work to be done in a few days.
Philanthropist Bachchu Lal, president of the Dr Ambedkar NRI Association, said on phone from the USA that he had got sent a draft of Rs 45,000 through his acquaintance earlier to Bhupinder Kaur and would sent the second installment of Rs 35,000 in a day or two. Her home walls are almost complete and soon, she would get done her work.
Ever since the incident, the family is forced to live under a tarpaulin put up in the verandah of their neighbours. Bhupinder Kaur (46), a widow, her two daughters Prabhjot Kaur (22) and Geeta (19), and son Jodha Singh (17) have been forced to camp like this with their household items. The family, that has a meagre source of income from her occupation as a part-time cook, did not have enough money to either pay for rent anywhere else or start re-construction.
Bhupinder’s husband used to run a small tea shop, but had died of cancer eight years ago. Her two daughters have been studying at Hindu Kanya College and her son is in class XI. She had been somehow managing their fee expenditure by working as a part-time cook. Politicians had given her only plain assurances but no government help came for her.
News monitored by AMRESH & AJEET