DAM 2014

Dalit Adivasi Adhikar Andolan (DA3)

“For ours is a battle not for wealth or for power. It is the battle for freedom. It is the battle of reclamation of human personality.” Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar.

Dalit Adivasi Manifesto 2014

Dalits and Adivasis constitute 25% of India’s population as per the 2011 census data (SC’s 16.6% & ST’S 8.6%). India will vote for the 16th Loksabha election in this April and May 2014. All the major political parties have concentrated on the agenda of corruption, regional identities, virtual development, Hindu nationalism and so forth. The core issues of India, caste and caste discriminations is completely absent on Political agenda. Annihilation of caste and eradication of caste system is silent on any agenda of the so called National Parties who make tall claims of development. The core issues of Dalits and Adivasis, are not at all debated in any election campaign. Though the issues of corruption and development do indirectly affect Dalits and Adivasis but still the major issues of Dalits and Adivasis are not brought in the election manifestos of Major Political parties. Promises made to the Dalits and Adivasis in the past during election have turned out to be a mockery of the Constitutional mandate and a betrayal of the marginalised voting population. We the Dalits and Adivasis of India Collectively affirm our political, social, cultural, educational and economic rights in the Electoral manifesto of India. We appeal to all major political parties to respond on the following g issues raised by the Dalits and Adivasis of this Republic Nation.

  1. Education:

Discrimination against Dalits and Adivaisis in Education system is age old and widespread. Structural discrimination against Dalits and Adivasis in schools, colleges and Universities are often so stigmatising that they are forced to dropout from education. Dropout rate amonsts Dalits and Adivasis from school remains very high. Despite professed governmental focus on SC’s and ST’s the literacy rate of SC’s and ST’s continue to be lower than that of other castes. As per the 2011 census, the SC literacy rate was 66.1 %overall.  This was much less than the general literacy rate of 73.0 %.   Neo liberal policies have added to the caste discrimination against Dailts and Adivasis. Privatisation of education had commertialised education in India and have created educationalist having the sole object of profiteering out of education. Privatisation of education from Primary to University education had adversely affected the Dalits and Adivasis the most.

  1. Employment:

Dalits and Adivasis continue to be one of the poorest segments of the Indian population. Dalits remain confined to their traditional menial and lowly valued caste occupation every day. They form a bulk of informal, unorganised sector workers, agricultural labourers, who subsist on low wages with poor working condition and no social security. Government policies and legislative measures to promote equal rights and opportunities for Dalits and Adivasis in employment have not made sufficient inroads into this situation till date. They remain sufficiently underrepresented in professional jobs and private sector. Their representation in India’s high Industries, Import and Export, is dismal. Disinvestments in Public sector have left large number of Dalits and Adivasi employees jobless.

  1. Share in Economy (Budget):

Dalits and Adivasis still remain far away from mainstream development of this country. For economic development of SCs and STs the most important policies approved so far are the Tribal Sub Plan (TSP) and Special Component Plan (SCP), according to which funds are reserved across Central Ministries in the Government of India and Departments in the State Governments in proportion to the SC/ST population. In practise these two policies have not been implemented effectively, according to planning commission report. The crucial problems are inadequate allocation, non-utilisation and diversion of allocated funds. The report says that there is evidence which shows that the implementation of SCS/ TSP has been gravely deficient both in the states and at the Centre. Analysis of various Five year plans shows that, every year thousands of crores are missing from allocation in centre as well as states. In 11th Five year plan, a total amount of Rs. 96,236 Crores was not allocated under SCSP  and Rs. 44,200 crore was not allocated under TSP in accordance with the SC population proportion of 16.2% and ST population proportion of 8.2%.

Denial of full allocation under the SCP/TSP happens every year at Centre as well as at various States for last 30 years.

  1. Violence against Dalits and Adivasis (Caste Atrocities):

Every person is equal before the law and is entitled without any discrimination to the equal protection of the law; however the reality for Dalits and Adivasis is different. Despite prevention of Atrocities Act, caste atrocities are on rise according to the Crime in India 2012 NCRB report. Dalit and Tribal women are worst sufferer in all forms of physical and sexual violence. The Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of atrocities) Act 1989 aims to eliminate atrocities that occurs against the Dalits and Adivasis, however , its implementation remains very weak and the conviction rate are shockingly low.

  1.  Land and Housing :

Land distribution in India closely follows social hierarchy, while the large landowners invariably belong to the upper castes; the cultivators belong to the middle caste and the agricultural workers largely to the Scheduled Castes and Tribes. Though the members of scheduled castes and tribes mostly reside in the countryside and derive their livelihood by working on land, they are the most disadvantaged in respect to land. The incidence of landlessness is more pronounced among these groups, the bulk of whom are agricultural labourers having minuscule holdings or are sharecroppers or other types of insecure tenants. A look at the recent available data brings out these facts quite clearly. About three-fourths of the SCs live in rural areas, where the main source of livelihood is either farming, wage labour or some kind of non-farm business. Adivasis have been at the lower end in all indicators of living conditions and household assets. In the last decade, economic and living conditions of scheduled castes and tribes have experienced changes, but the gap between SCs and STs and of both these groups and the rest of the population has widened.  Disparities are found with respect to access to tap water, access to drainage, toilet and bathrooms facilities, which is health risk to women in both urban and rural areas.

The condition of Adivasis and Dalits in India is pathetic even after 66 years of Independence. All political parties do speak about development but have ignored crucial issues relating to Dalits and Adivasis which directly affect their life, dignity, security and development. We the 25% population of this Republic Nation appeal all political parties to consider following demands of Dalits and Adivasis and make their position clear before going for poll.

Demands of Dalits and Adivasis.

All Political Parties should commit itself for abolishing the Caste System and all forms of caste oppressions.

Education.

  1. Equitable and quality education for all.
  2. Education from K.G to PG should be funded by Government.
  3. Amend RTE to include free and quality education upto 12th standard for all.
  4. Set up hostels for Adivasi students at District places for Graduation and post graduation students.
  5. Full fees of Dalit and Adivasis Students  who seek admission in Premier education institutions for professional courses should be waived by the government.
  6. Special program and campaign should be initiated to realize ‘discrimination free education institutions’. Enact strict legislation to punish perpetrators who discriminate against Dalit and Adivasi students and faculty members in Educational premises.
  7. Good quality ITI’s may be established in every block under the National Skill Development mission exclusively for Dalit, Adivasi and DNT youths.
  8. Setting up adequate hostels for higher secondary and graduation studies for dalit and adivasi girls.
  9. Publish a comprehensive white paper on Diversity index in educational institutions.

Employment.

  1. Come out with a time bound plans for complete eradication of manual scavenging alongside alternative and sustainable occupation for rehabilitation of manual scavengers.
  2.  Ministry of labour should undertake comprehensive survey on job opportunities for both organized and un-organised sectors.
  3. The Unorganised Workers Social Security Bill should be adopted immediately and social security provisions for workers must be implemented without any delay in the unorganised sector.
  4. Exclusive employment exchange for Dalit, Adivasis and DNT girls
  5.  Provisions of 30% quota in procurement for goods and commodities
  6. Social security provisions for workers in unorganized sector need to be implemented urgently by union and state government
  7. Diversity index in management of corporate houses to be made public and reservation in private sector should be applicable in all spheres. Enact a legislation to provide reservation in Private sector for SCs and STs.
  8. Reservation Backlog in Union and State government and public sectors to be filled immediately.

 Economic Rights.

  1. Enact legislation for Special Component Plan for Scheduled Castes and for the Tribal Sub-Plan. Make allocation of funds for Scheduled tribes and Scheduled castes ain proportion of their population.
  2.  Establish standing committee to monitor the implementation of the Plan with direct benefits for the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.
  3. Include Buddhist population in Scheduled caste category for budgetary allocation as per constitutional amendments done in the year 1990.
  4. Set up National Bank for Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes to ensure accessibility to capital markets.
  5. Pension facilities to old age, widow and single women.
  6. Make schemes for allocation of shops/ outlets to SC and ST enterprises for trade in commercial complexes in the main market at blocks and district headquarters.
  7. Waive off loans of Scheduled Castes extended by NSFDC and SCDC’s as declared by Government and promised in earlier manifestos.
  8. Make utilisation of finances available for the Sun plans within the financial year itself without lapsing at the end of the financial year.
  9. Provide entrepreneurial education to Adivasi youths so as to empower them and give the mining areas on lease to Adivasi youth when there is a possibility of mining.

 

Women and Child

  1.  Prohibit child labour upto 18 years.
  2.  50 percent of all SCSP and TSP related schemes must be specifically focused on Dalit and Adivasi women.
  3. Give more powers to elected Dalit and Adivasi Women sarpanch for empowerment of women at local level.
  4.  Extend ‘Ajivika’ program to women from manual scavenging for alternate and sustainable employment

Health

  1. Ensure the facilities to access and utilization of health care services and insurance for dalit and adivasis.
  2. Schemes for elimination of neo-natal mortality, infant and child mortality, maternal mortality, malnutrition among children and women.

Issues of Violence and Access to Justice

  1. Legislate Amendment on Prevention of Atrocities Ordinance 2014, and implement it effectively in letter and spirit. Strengthen the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act with appropriate amendments to include expanded grounds that constitute discrimination.
  2. Ensure effective rehabilitation of dalit or adivasi women affected by violence by allocating 5 acres of dry land or 2.5 acres of wet land at rural and employment at urban level.
  3. Introduce Prevention of Torture bill so as to prevent custodial deaths of Minorities, Dalits and DNT’s
  4. Enact a special legislation to ensure protection of human rights defenders.
  5. Those thousands of innocent Adivasis who are arrested in the name of being branded as Maoists and are languishing in the jails should be released immediately and a white paper be issued on this matter with immediate effect.
  6. Repeal Armed force (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA).

Water and Housing

  1. Establish access to adequate housing, water and sanitation as legal entitlements.
  2. Develop a time-bound plan of action to ensure adequate and discrimination free housing, water and sanitation facilities in proportion to urban and rural population of dalits and adivasis.

Land issues:

  1. Conduct a time bound survey of land available with Dalits and Adivasis. Identify surplus and ceiling land. Grant titles to those dalits and Adivasis who are cultivating on village common land property or waste land or village grazing land.
  2. Enact special legislation for distribution of land to Dalits and Adivasis.
  3. Where no land is available in a village , government should purchase and allot land for landless SCs and STs for Indira Awas Yojana.
  4. Special schemes should be implemented that priorities reallocation of surplus land, ceiling land to landless Dalits and Adivasis with the land title registered in in the name of Dalit women or as joint title.
  5. Encourage and promote collective farming amongst dalits.
  6. Undertake programe to evict illegal encroachers on the land of Dalits and Adivasis.
  7. Protect land rights of Adivasis and restore land illegally alienated from them.
  8. Implement the Scheduled Tribes and other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) act 2006 in total spirit. Amend the Act to include other traditional forest dwellers with a cut-off year.
  9. Implement all other laws related to the rights of the Adivasis like; Fifth Schedule of the Constitution, Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996 (PESA), Chotanagpur Tenancy Act, 1908, Santal Parganas Tenancy Act, 1949, etc.
  10. Declare the Adivasis as the original inhabitants of India. Implement the United Nation’s Declaration on the “rights of the indigenous people”, 2007.
  11. Quash the existing Special Economic Zones (SEZ) in scheduled areas with immediate effect.

 

We appeal to individuals, activists and organisations to pursue the above mentioned demands with political parties, leaders and candidates in your constituencies.

Jai bhim, Jai Prabuddha Bharat.

 

Convener:

Adv. Priyadrshi Telang
Dalit Adivasi Adhikar Andolan
C/o Manuski Centre, Deccan College Road, Yerwada, Pune
+91 967 33 131 77      pktelang@gmail.com

State Co-ordination Committee Members:

1. Dr. Nitish Nawsagaray, Pune          2. Kabir Kamble, Beed                        3. Yogita Salvi, Mumbai

4. Dhammadeep Balande, Latur        5. Kanifnath Devkule, Osmanabad

6. Dr. Sanjay Dabade, Pune                7. Siddharth Londhe, Thane

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