Inclusion & Dignity
Every human being has the right to live a life of dignity and propriety, but unfortunately, human society doesn’t leave behind any opportunity to harm the dignity of their fellow mates. Caste, race, sex and disability are reasons due to which society practices discrimination. Inclusion and Dignity are fundamental to live a good quality life.
It should not be about eradicating just economic poverty, but increasing life chances and prospects for a good quality of life. Income poverty can be eliminated with time, but to build a better society exclusion and indignity must be vanished. The social exclusion and indignity faced by individuals and communities of Dalits and Tribals harm their self-esteem and confidence. Therefore to foster their better growth it is necessary we build a society based on Dignity and Inclusion. A society which provides Dalits and Tribals opportunities to prosper and live dignified and respectable lives.
In order to defy and encounter indignity caused due to Caste ‘National Confederation of Dalit Organizations’ founded World Dignity Forum. It is an initiative to build a more Inclusive and Comprehensive society. The purpose is to achieve inclusion by bringing together the struggling sections of the society under one umbrella.
NACDOR organizes Dignity Rally and National Dalit Assembly on 5th December every year. Through these events, critical issues related to Dalits and other socially excluded groups are raised. Such initiatives give the floor to the voices of the most excluded and deprived sections of Indian society. Issues such as unemployment, poverty, hunger and illiteracy among Dalits are raised by NACDOR. Simultaneously, strategies are developed to tackle these issues and at the same time enabling Dalits to live a dignified life.
POST 2015- SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS
In September 2000, Millennium Development Goals were introduced by World leaders in The United Nations Millennium Summit. A set of quantified and time-bound goals were set to address issues such as extreme poverty, hunger, disease, education, gender equality and environmental sustainability. The set goals were to be achieved by 2015.
Now, we have stepped in 2015, which is a crucial year for setting new goals of development. The achievement of MDG’s have been below satisfactory, therefore to achieve development in its real sense a new set of goals are being framed. This will be the post 2015 development agenda which will give birth to new areas of interventions and will address domains which were lagged behind in MDG’s. It will be a worldwide initiative to bring in changes among the MDG’s and setting up new goals according to the needs of the people.
National Confederation of Dalit Organizations (NACDOR) has been a crucial actor in voicing the needs of Dalits and Tribals in India. It had recognized the MDG’s and have conducted grass-root studies to assess and critically analyze the progress of Dalits and Tribals among the various States of India. NACDOR published a status report of Jharkhand to measure the achievements and evaluate the functioning of MDG’s.
Likewise, NACDOR will act as an active body in the Post-2015 development agenda. It will work in the areas of Poverty Eradication, Youth Employment, Natural Resource Conservation, Gender Equality and Women Empowerment, Health, Quality Education, Sustainable Economic Growth, Disaster Management, Water and Sanitation and Capacity Building.
It will address grieve issues such as equal right to economic resources, access to basic services, access to land and other forms of property, reducing the vulnerability of poor to environmental disasters, access to quality technical and vocational skills for employment of youth, raising capacity of women youth and marginalized, increasing the capacity of local communities to pursue sustainable livelihoods, creating leadership among women decision making, reduce the number of people suffering from water and sanitation and many more. It will work hard to achieve development for marginalized and deprived sections by building an empowered and self-reliant society.
CONSTITUTIONAL SAFEGUARDS FOR SCHEDULED CASTES IN INDIA
The Constitution of India is an essential instrument which safeguards Scheduled castes in various dimensions. Article 14 ensures equality before law and Article 15 prohibits the Government from making any discrimination on the basis of caste, sex, religion, race or place of birth. Under Article 17 untouchability has been abolished and the practice of untouchability is declared as a punishable offence. Article 46 of the Constitution offers a special provision to promote education and economic interests of the weaker sections with special care and protection.
A milestone was achieved under the Government of India Act of 1935. In this act reservation was incorporated for the Depressed Classes by the British, this Act came into force in 1937. This act gave birth to the term ‘Scheduled Castes’. The Seventy-seventh Amendment in 1995 restored reservation for the promotion of SCs and STs under Clause 4(a) in Article 16.
Some anti-exploitative and protective measures are also recognized for the weaker sections. These measures include Untouchability Offences Act (UOA 1955) and Protection of Civil Rights (PCR 1976). The Prevention of Atrocities Act was introduced in 1989 encompassing more atrocity cases which remain unaddressed under PCR.
Another stepping stone was introduced under the 6th Five-year plan of India. In this plan, a Special Component Plan was adopted for the continuous flow of funds for the weaker sections. Later on, it came to be known as ‘Scheduled Caste Sub-Plan (SCSP)’
Various schemes have been launched by Government to benefit the weaker sections. For example Integrated Rural Development Programme (IRDP), National Rural Employment Programme (NREP), Training of Rural Youth for Self-Employment (TRYSEM), Jawahar Rozgar Yojana and Scheduled Caste Development Corporation. Other temporary schemes like National Safai Karamcharis Development Corporation, post metric scholarship to upgrade the merit of SCs, centrally sponsored schemes for boys and girls, aid to voluntary organizations and the Dr Ambedkar Foundation these initiatives are developed to enhance the development of the weaker sections.
Every child should have the right to live, develop and grow in a safe and inviolable environment. Unfortunately, the lacunas of human society give birth to an unsafe and insecure atmosphere which severely affects the growth of the child. Issues such as inaccessibility to education, poverty, malnourishment, child labour and sexual harassment hinder the development of a large number of children across the globe.
Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe in India are categories which are highly marginalized and subjugated. The status of the SC/ST children is very low as children are more susceptible and vulnerable to face marginalization. An estimated population of Scheduled Caste children belonging to the age group of 6-17 years is 48.6 million, likewise 24.8 million Scheduled Tribe children belong to this age group. The challenges faced by these children vary from the issues of ‘children’ as a holistic category. Community, school and household are three social institutions which play a major role in affecting or enhancing the growth of the child. The processes that take place within the community, school and household highly affect the confidence and growth of the child. Challenges of exclusion and exploitation faced by Dalit and Tribal children trickle down the confidence and interest level of these children.
More than half the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe children drop out from school between 1st to 10th standard. 59.7% SC girls and 58.50% SC boys, whereas 74.7% ST boys and 75.9% ST girls drop out from school every year. The high drop out and low literacy rate among Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe children in India raise the need to address their issues of education, health, sanitation, abuse and exploitation with special strategies.
National Confederation of Dalit Organizations (NACDOR) in India works as an effective body for understanding and catering to the needs of the Dalit children. It is working to develop a broader approach towards the high dropout rate and low literacy rate, malnourishment among Dalit and Tribal children. The National Campaign on Nutrition for Dignity is working in 10 States across India to improve the nutrition levels among SC & ST children. It is working to strengthen the Integrated Child Development Scheme for enhancing the capacities of SC/ST children. It is working to improve access of Dalit children to Primary Education by forming Dalit Education Committees. Computer Aided Learning and Digital Literacy for school children and Computer-based Functional Literacy to teach using graphics & animated patterns for better understanding. Child sponsorship scheme in Haryana is another major initiative of NACDOR to promote child development. Establishing ‘Bal Centres’ to promote young talents and give them a platform to showcase their innovative ideas and inventiveness.