Dalits Media Watch -News Updates 27.05.16

Two manual scavengers dead, another critical at Cuddalore after entering drainage pipe – The New Indian Express




Jobs cleaning human excreta are illegal, why do they still continue? –The News Minutes


Appointment process of BDCC bank anti dalit, OBC- JD(S) – The Times Of India


Conditional bail for caste outfit leader held for murder of Dalit youth –The Times Of India


PM reviews disbursal of scholarships – The Asian Age


The Third Gender: through lenses of Harikrishnan – The New Indian Express


The New Indian Express

 Two manual scavengers dead, another critical at Cuddalore after entering drainage pipe


By K Ezhilarasan | Express News Service, Published: 27th May 2016 04:41 AM, Last Updated: 27th May 2016 04:41 AM

CUDDALORE : Two manual scavengers who were clearing blockages in the drainage system at CISF quarters in Block 15 of the Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC), died after being suffocated by toxic gases. Another scavenger is undergoing treatment at PIMS in Puducherry. The deceased were identified as Thangarasu (45) and Chinnadurai (37). David (35) is undergoing medical treatment.

Chinnadurai (L) and ThangarasuPolice said, “Following repeated complaints from the CISF quarters, the Office of Water Supply and Drainage Maintenance (OWSDM) sent three workers to clear the drainage system. They opened two manholes in the drainage system and cleaned them. When they opened the third manhole, Thangarasu was knocked unconscious by the toxic gases. Chinnadurai, who tried to rescue him, also fell unconscious. The third worker, David, who was witness to this, called the Fire department and NLC officials for help.”

Sources said, “The Fire Department, with the help of David, rescued the two unconscious workers. David entered the manhole to take his fellow workers out of the pit. and also fell unconscious. All three workers were rushed to the NLC General Hospital. Doctors declared Thangarasu and Chinnadurai as  brought dead. David has been referred to PIMS in Puducherry for better treatment.”

Following repeated complaints from the CISF quarters, the OWSDM sent 3 workers to clear the drainage system. When they opened the third manhole two workers fell unconscious

The Pioneer



Friday, 27 May 2016 | Staff Reporter | Bhopal | in Bhopal

A 35-year-old man was nabbed for sexually assaulting a Dalit girl in Shahpura on May 21; a case was registered after the victim lodged a complaint at Shahpura police station on Wednesday.

According to the police, the accused Vikram Singh accompanied the 18-year-old victim to his house for cleaning the house and later sexually assaulted her.

The victim, shocked of the incident did not report the incident to family members on the day of the incident but later when she reported illness after two days of the incident and was taken for treatment where the incident came to light after which family members took her to Shahpura police station and lodged a complaint. 

In her complaint the victim claimed that after her work at the site on May 21 when she was on her way home the accused offered her to drop but later took her to his house for cleaning purpose and raped her.

SHO of Shahpura police station said that the accused was arrested after the complaint was lodged. The accused helps his father in his construction business and was looking after the construction work at Shahpura. The victim used to work as labour at the construction site and was accompanied by the accused to drop her safely at her home.

Based on the complaint after the preliminary investigation the police have registered a case under section 376 and section 3(2) (5) of SC and ST Prevention of Atrocities Act. Accused was nabbed and later the case has been transferred to SC/ST police where the further investigations would be conducted.

The News Minutes

 Jobs cleaning human excreta are illegal, why do they still continue?


Thousands across India continue to die in sewers and remove human excreta with bare hands

Friday, May 27, 2016 – 09:36

By Chaitanya Mallapur, IndiaSpend 

It is a criminal, non-bailable act, but “manual scavenging” continues unhindered, as this video of three men—all Valmikis, or Dalits, lowest of Hindu castes—working with no protective gear in a sewer in a Gujarat town reveals.

“We do not have any illegal forms of work,” Charu Mori, chief executive officer of Dhangadra town in Surendranagar district, told Video Volunteeers, a global advocacy that provides disadvantaged communities with story and data-gathering skills. “Manual scavenging (cleaning sewers and clearing human excreta from open-pit toilets) is a prohibited act.”

So what are these workers doing? They are employed by contractors, whose responsibility they are, said Mori. The situation in Dhangadra illustrates why thousands across India, almost all Dalits, continue to die in sewers and remove human excreta with bare hands, even in cities with sewer-cleaning machines.

As many as 12,226 manual scavengers were identified across India—82% of these are in Uttar Pradesh—according to a reply to the Rajya Sabha (Parliament’s upper house) on May 5, 2016, by Minister of State for Social Justice Vijay Sampla. These are clearly under-stated official figures. Gujarat, for instance, admits to having no more than two manual scavengers, according to government data.

The persistence of manual scavenging is linked to the Hindu caste system, with about 1.3 million Dalits, mostly women, make a living as manual scavengers across India.

Primitive latrines—where excreta is physically cleared—prime reason for manual scavenging

As many as 167,487 households reported a member of the household as a manual scavenger, according to an earlier reply in the Lok Sabha (Parliament’s lower house) by the Ministry of Rural Development on February 25, 2016, based on the Socio Economic and Caste Census 2011.

Manual scavenging is prohibited under the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013, a law promulgated on December 6, 2013, nationwide, except Jammu and Kashmir.

The prime reason why manual scavenging continues, according to the government, is the existence of primitive “insanitary latrines”, meaning those without water, where the excreta must be physically removed.

Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Jammu and Kashmir, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal accounted for more than 72% of insanitary latrines in India, according to a United Nations report, quoting the House Listing and Housing Census 2011.

There are more than 2.6 million dry latrines in India, according to Census 2011. In addition, there are 1,314,652 toilets where excreta are flushed into open drains and 794,390 dry latrines where human excreta are cleaned manually.

About 12.6% urban households and as many as 55% rural households in India defecate in the open, IndiaSpend had reported earlier. Around 1.7% households across India defecate in the open despite having toilets as sanitation remains a major challenge across the country.

1.3 million Dalits make living as manual scavengers, most are women

Manual scavenging is the practice of manually cleaning, carrying, disposing or handling in any manner human excreta from dry latrines and sewers. Manual scavengers are from India’s poorest and most disadvantaged communities.

The practice of manual scavenging in India is linked to the caste system where so-called lower castes are expected to perform the job, according to this UN report.

An estimated 1.3 million Dalits in India, mostly women, make their living through manual scavenging.

UP, the state with the most officially acknowledged manual scavengers (10,016), admits to 2,404 in urban areas and 7,612 in rural parts.

UP’s Badaun district reported various health and hygiene issues in 2009 because of the widespread presence of dry toilets. The district reported the highest infant mortality rate (110 deaths of infants per 1,000 births) in the state and frequent outbreaks of epidemics like diarrhoea, dysentery, intestinal worms and typhoid. It also reported more cases of wild polio virus than anywhere else in India.

In 2010, the UP State government launched the Daliya Jalao (Burn the Basket) initiative, a reference to the basket in which excreta are carried.

As many as 2,750 manual scavengers were freed within a year by converting nearly 80,000 dry latrines into pour flush latrines. No new polio cases were reported since 2010. Diarrhoea cases declined by 30% in one year from 18,216 in 2009-10 to 12,675 in 2010-11.

Manual scavengers are given one-time cash assistance of Rs 40,000 each.

Maharashtra reported the most–68,016–manual scavenger households, accounting for 41% of such households nationwide.

Madhya Pradesh (23,105) is next, followed by Uttar Pradesh (17,390), Karnataka (15,375) and Punjab (11,951). These five states account for 81% of India’s manual scavenger households.

The government aims to make India scavenging-free by 2019.

The Indian Railways are the largest employer of manual scavengers, with an unknown number on their rolls, IndiaSpend reported.

(This story is the result of a collaboration between Video Volunteers, a global initiative that provides disadvantaged communities with story and data-gathering skills, and IndiaSpend.)

The Times Of India

 Appointment process of BDCC bank anti dalit, OBC- JD(S)


Ravindra Uppar| TNN | May 26, 2016, 01.12 PM IST

BELAGAVI: Belagavi District Central Cooperative (BDCC) bank is carrying the appointment process of 100-second division clerk posts. JD(S) has alleged the board of management of the bank headed by former MP Ramesh Katti has deliberately subverted the reservation related guidelines, taking anti dalit and OBC stand.

Addressing the press conference here on Thursday, party’s district spokesperson Channappa Vaggannavar said party will approach high court questioning the irregularities in the appointment process. Bank had invited applications for the appointment of 100 SDC posts on October 28, 2015 and examination is scheduled on May 29.

Waggannavar alleged, the bank has called applications according to reservation but not applying the same in appointment. According to rule, if the candidates belonging to SC/ST or OBC received more marks than general category candidates in the examinations, they must be considered in general category for appointment. But here that rule is subverted.

Besides, in order to appoint the candidates of their wish, board of management has increased the marks of Viva examinations to 25 from 15, which is against the Cooperative Act. Waggannavar demanded chairman of the bank Ramesh Katti and chief manager Suresh Alagundi to withdraw the appointment related notification immediately cancelling the examinations.

The Times Of India

 Conditional bail for caste outfit leader held for murder of Dalit youth


A Subramani| TNN | May 26, 2016, 03.52 PM IST

CHENNAI: More than seven months after his surrender, Yuvaraj, a caste outfit leader suspected to be involved in the murder of Dalit youth V Gokulraj, was grantedconditional bail by Madras high court on Thursday. Yuvaraj was heading a caste outfit, Dheeran Chinnamalai Gounder Peravai, in the Gounder-rich western Tamil Nadu.

Vacation judge B Gokuldas, granting bail to Yuvaraj, directed him to stay at Tirunelveli untill further orders, and sign at the Town police station twice a day daily. He must sign at 10am and 5pm daily, the judge said, adding that he should execute a personal bond for Rs 10,000 and furnish two sureties for a like sum each.

Gokulraj, a Dalit engineering student, was found murdered on June 24, 2015 after his relationship with a non-Dalit girl was objected to by the latter’s family. Since then Yuvaraj had gone underground, triggering widespread condemnation from political parties and social organisations. While he was underground, Yuvaraj released audio tapes blaming senior police officials of planning to foist the case on him. This put additional.

The tale witnessed yet another twist, when a woman deputy superintendent of police R Vishnupriya, who herself was a Dalit, was found dead on September 15. While police sought to close her death as suicide, her father raised doubts about the death and said the officer had been pressured by her seniors to handle the Gokulraj murder in a particular manner. He also moved the high court for CBI probe.

In the end, Yuvaraj surrendered with a lot of fanfare on October 11, 2015, exposing police inefficiency to track him down.

The Asian Age

 PM reviews disbursal of scholarships


May 27, 2016 – Animesh Singh | 

Expressing concern over the incessant delay in disbursal of scholarships to students, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has urgently sought reasons for the delay and has directed the concerned officials to expedite distribution of the much-needed scholarship funds to needy students, especially those from economically weaker sections of society.

According to official sources, the Prime Minister reviewed the handling of grievances related to long-pending disbursal of scholarships to students at a high-level meeting on May 25.

This newspaper had on May 23 reported how a cash-strapped social justice ministry was unable to disburse funds to states for providing post-matric scholarships to Scheduled Caste (SC) students. Owing to lack of funds, the Central ministry is battling a two-year backlog of funds (2014-15 and 2015-16) to distribute the scholarship money to the states.

Sources said the PM, during the meeting where all the secretaries of Union ministries were present, also enquired about the progress of Aadhaar linkage to disbursal of benefits to students. He is learnt to have urged the concerned officials to increase the speed of addressing students’ grievances.

Sources privy to the development informed this newspaper that the social justice ministry’s backlog runs into thousands of crores of rupees.

While states like UP, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, and Bihar have the highest density of SC students, sources revealed that almost all the states across the country, where these scholarships are disbursed, are unanimous in their demand for arrears.

So severe is the cash crunch that the social justice and empowerment ministry has already used up almost 90 per cent of the funds allocated for the scheme in the Budget for 2016-17 for meeting the arrears of various states. The revised estimates for the head titled “Welfare of SC/ST/OBCs” was Rs 708 crore in 2015-16.

The budgetary allocation for this head in 2016-17 came down to 591 crore.

The objective of the post-matric scholarship scheme for SC students is to provide financial assistance to SC students at the post-matriculation or post-secondary stage to enable them to complete their education.

Scholarships are paid to students whose parents’/guardians’ income from all sources does not exceed Rs 2,50,000 per annum.

The scheme is implemented by the states, which receive 100 per cent central assistance from government of India for the total expenditure under the scheme, over and above their respective committed liability.

The New Indian Express

The Third Gender: through lenses of Harikrishnan


By Shevlin Sebastian | Express News Service, Published: 24th May 2016 02:49 AM , Last Updated: 24th May 2016 02:49 AM

KOCHI: Three years ago, magazine photographer Harikrishnan G had gone to Chennai to take photos of a disabled doctor by the name of Aishwarya Rao who had done a lot of work to rescue sex workers. One day, Aishwarya took Harikrishnan to a locality where sex workers and transgenders lived. “That was the first time I had been to a place like that,” he says. “The memory stayed with me.” Recently, while Harikrishnan was recuperating at home, following a surgery, the images of the transgender colony came up in his mind. That was when he got the idea to do an exhibition on them.

Through his media contacts, he got in touch with Sheetal in Thrissur. And after long discussions on the phone and a hour-long meeting, Sheetal and her friends Deepthi and Sonu agreed to do a photo shoot. The fruit of that work can be seen in the exhibition, ‘Trans – A Transition For life’. Eight photos, 6’ x 4’ each, have been put up. Printed on archive paper, each costs Rs 75,000. “It is a labour of love,” he says. “I have spent my own money.”

The photos are striking. In one Sheetal (a man who has become a woman) stands, her face turned sideways to the camera, and eyes closed, because coloured powder has been thrown at her. “This is the powder that is used during the Holi festival,” says Harikrishnan. “And it signifies a celebration of transgenders.” In the next photo, Sheetal is wearing a white frock, with long black hair cascading towards her shoulders, kaajal-rimmed eyes and red lipstick. She is standing behind an open bird cage while paper birds hang on thin strings from the ceiling. Nearly all the birds are outside the cage. Is freedom is coming for transgenders seems to the silent query?

The third photo is stunning. Deepthi has posed half-nude, with her breasts covered by her two hands. There is a tattoo of a heart being pierced by an arrow over her left breast, a shining gold necklace around her neck and plastic flowers in her hair.

But the striking feature is her eyes: it has a mix of defiance and excitement. This is Deepthi’s first opportunity to express herself as a transgender in a society that has all but made them invisible. In another heart-warming picture, Sonu and Deepthi sit next to each other and hold hands.

Harikrishnan has also taken a photo of Sonu, as a nude man, but, at his hips, he has placed a triangular mirror. When you stand in front of the photo, you end up seeing your own face. “What I wanted to tell the visitors was that we have both male and feminine traits within us,” he says. “So we should learn to accept those who are different from the normal.”

Unfortunately, in Kerala society, there has been a marked lack of acceptance. As a result, transgenders have a difficult time. “They find it hard to get a job or rent a house,” says Harikrishnan. “They get no support from their families. When they walk on the streets, people pass cruel comments. So, many have been forced to leave the state.”

Harikrishnan is hoping that his show will cause a change in the mind-set. “I want to make people aware that transgenders are normal people, just like you and me,” he says.

The exhibition, at the Durbar Hall gallery, concludes on May 27.

News monitored by AMRESH & AJEET


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