Dalits Media Watch
News Updates 21.06.15
2 Arrested in Rape Case- The New Indian Express
Youth found dead in Haryana village- PTI
One killed, 12 injured in clash between Dalits, Rajputs- Business Standard
Tablets fuel learning desire in slum kids- The Times Of India
'Don't want to burden my family, so applying for loan'- The Times Of India
Tribes denied right to collect forest produce- The Hindu
Voice of dissent- The Tribune
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The New Indian Express
2 Arrested in Rape Case
BALANGIR: Two persons accused in the rape and murder of a minor Dalit girl of Sargipali village here were arrested by Balangir police on Saturday. They are Jagyan Saraf (22) and Supal Meher (24), both belonging to the same village.
The victim had gone missing on May 22 and her body was found from the village nullah on May 23. Police said the girl was raped and murdered by unidentified miscreants before being thrown into the nullah.
Youth found dead in Haryana village
Rewari (Har), Jun 20 (PTI) A Dalit youth was found dead near Bhoorthala village here, police said today.
The victim has been identified as Sandeep, they said.
In a complaint, his father Mangat Ram alleged that Sandeep was murdered by the employees of a cowshed located at Kosli, who later dumped the body on the road near the village last evening, police said.
On the basis of the complaint, a case of murder and causing disappearance of evidence of the crime has been registered, they said.
The body has been sent for post-mortem, they said.
Some persons were today detained and are being questioned, they added.
One killed, 12 injured in clash between Dalits, Rajputs
"Shyam Narain was killed when the two groups clashed over supremacy in Pallia village last night," Additional Superintendent of Police K C Goswami said.
The injured were admitted to the community health center from where five persons have been referred to the district hospital.
The body has been sent for post mortem, police added.
The Times Of India
Tablets fuel learning desire in slum kids
VARANASI: For Amina, four-year-old daughter of a daily wager, it is a luxury to learn alphabets using a branded tablet. "Bara maza a raha hai padhai mein," a happy Amina said showing the tablet. Similarly, Neha (7), whose father is a tempo driver, had never thought of using any electronic gadget for her studies but now is using on for primary education. Perhaps 'Achhe Din' have come for them.
A group of curious children, all slum dwellers, could be seen busy with tablets under a neem tree in Mawaiya slum in Sarnath area. While some were learning alphabets and numbers, others were trying their hands in drawing. It is their first encounter with the electronic gadget.
A set of 50 tablets uploaded with study materials were provided to these underprivileged children under a literacy project supported by the Dalai Lama Centre for Ethics and Transformative Values at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (USA), Sir Dorabji Tata Trust and the Prajnopaya Foundation Charitable Society.
"It is a fun to learn English words and draw sketches on tablet," said another girl Sanya, whose father is also a labourer. About 25 children at the Mawaiya centre run by an NGO Human Welfare Association (HWA) have been given tablets for primary learning purpose.
"Tablet software images were downloaded from a central server maintained by the research team of MIT through WiFi," said HWA president Rajni Kant. According to him, the Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values at MIT provides technical support in uploading the study material, while the programme known as Global Literacy Project is supported by Sir Dorabji Tata Trust and the Prajnopaya Foundation Charitable Society. Apart from the Mawaiya centre, another such centre is also being run at Bhaisori village in Sarnath area. "It is the first project of its kind in the country," he claimed.
"The kids are very happy using the device and are quick in learning," said teacher at Mawaiya centre Sheila Devi. "In a two-hour session we can provide tablets to 25 kids only while the others wait for their turn," she said adding that the study material is meant for the 3-8 years age group. But, the kids above this age also want to use the device, shw added.
"We are responsible for maintaining regular and consistent communication with the research team, and also work with them to test and implement web-based feedback system for sites to provide child tablet-use information to maximize educational value and to monitor tablet use," Rajni Kant told TOI.
The Mawaiya slum close to Sarnath, the famous Buddhist site, has a mix population of Muslim, Rajbhar, Maurya (OBC) and Dalit. Maximum people from marginalized community are engaged as wage labourers and nearly 50% women work as domestic worker in the nearby houses. The HWA is facilitating a non-formal education centre in the slum for last 10 years.
Similarly, the Bhaisori situated in Chiraigaon block consists of other backward community (OBC) Rajbhar- and dalit community like Mushar and Nut. About 70% population is landless and working as wage labourers in the nearby area.
The Times Of India
'Don't want to burden my family, so applying for loan'
BENGALURU: A few years ago, Bittu Kumar, a Dalit from Bairi village in Bihar, persuaded his family to let him go to a government school as he was unwilling to work in the half-acre land his father cultivated.
Today, Bittu has secured an all-India ranking of 15 (in the Scheduled Caste category) in IIT JEE Advanced. A student of JNV, Bagalur, near Bengaluru, Bittu says one day he'll own a mobile phone.
Bittu studied at his village school until he was five and then moved to the JNV , Kai mur, in Bihar, for Class VI. "That happened only because some of my father's friends and a few relatives convinced Baba. I am grateful to them," Bittu told TOI.
He moved to JNV Bagalur, which provides free coaching for JEE exams through a coaching centre, to chase his dream of getting into the IIT.
"It was when I moved here that I was first introduced to a computer. Now I have applied for a loan to be able to pay the fees at IIT, Mumbai, I don't want my family to bear any expenses as it is already difficult for them to make ends meet," he said.
Tribes denied right to collect forest produce
Forest dept. has not renewed licence of tribal coop. societies
: The Forest Department's refusal to renew the annual licence of 27 cooperative societies under the Kerala State Development Corporation for SC/ST Communities (KSDCSSC) to collect minor forest produce (MFP) has put to difficulty a large number of tribal beneficiaries in areas such as Attappady, Idukki, and Wayanad.
The annual licence of the societies expired on March 31. Since then, the Forest Department has not allowed tribespeople to enter forest areas to collect 147 MFP, including honey and broom grass.
The traditional right of Adivasis to collect the produce is recognised under the Forest Rights Act.
According to Forest Department sources, the State government has delayed the process of renewing the licence on the basis of certain proposals to hand over the rights to Forest Development Committees (FDCs). The FDCs are constituted by the department, but have meagre representation of tribespeople.
If implemented, the majority of tribal beneficiaries would be denied the right to earn a steady income. The two cooperatives in Attappady have 4,600 tribal beneficiaries; most of them belong to the backward Kurumba community.
"Renewing the licence is an annual affair normally involving no complications. The Chief Conservator of Forests issues the order and each society should sign a direct contract with the Divisional Forest Officer concerned. But no such process has taken place in the last three months, and this is the right time to collect honey in abundance," says P.V. Santhosh, who works at a society at Sholayur in Attappady.
Move to hand over right to forest panel alleged
Annual licence of coops. expired on March 31
Voice of dissent
Singer Bant Singh, who stood up for his daughter, croons words that voice the concerns of a father
Inked in the blood and tears of a struggle that cost him both his arms and a leg, Bant Singh's story is that of a common man, with uncommon strength, endurance and perseverance. More often than not, the intellectualism of the elite dismisses dissent as subversion, and there are not many mediums that accommodate a platform to voice the concerns of underprivileged and suppressed. Not so the case with Bant Singh, a landless Sikh Dalit, based out of Buraj Jhabbar village in Maansa, for when he croons, he brews a hurricane of words that stir into motion the concerns of not only landless labourers belonging to the Dalit community, but also that of a father.
My daddy strongest
In 2000, Bant Singh's eldest daughter, then a minor studying in the ninth standard, was gang raped. Their family was pressured to accept cash to keep the incident quiet, and threatened with violent repercussions if they didn't. The village panchayat told them not to go to the police. They were offered Rs 10 lakhs, gold ornaments and land to make up for a brutal gang rape. Bant Singh, however, refused to stop short of anything but justice.
While the accused were finally proved guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment in 2004, the 'jatt da badla' implicated rather badly, in fact critically on the life of this Dalit labour. It was January 5, 2006 when Bant Singh was on his cycle and some people on cars and scooters, brandishing a revolver to prevent any resistance set upon him with iron rods and axes beating him to pulp.
"I was left to bleed to death and was rushed to PGI, where my both arms and my leg were amputated since gangrene had set in by then. They can cut off my arms and legs, but they cannot amputate my spirit," says Singh.
"I am an uneducated labourer, who started off with selling cosmetic products here. If I can stand up and put up a fight for my daughter, every father can," says Bant.
Bant denounces any recognition of a society that dismisses its women of the respect they deserve. "They told me that now my daughter will never get married and look at her, she is married, happy and is living her life with dignity," he smiles while singing—Mere daaj vich devi pistol baabala, a poem by Jagrup Singh Junir.
Face the music
Now in his late 40s, Bant Singh is an activist with the Mazdoor Mukti Morcha (MMM). He continues to sing songs of protest that detail not just his story, but also that of poor, low-caste labourers across the country.
"I have been singing since 15 years now and I am really inspired by Sant Ram Udaasi's poetry, which I often sing," he says. Bant also has been featured in Word Sound Power Project by Neuclya, A Delhi-based rapper, who also made a documentary on him.
"It was really nice singing for Neuclya. Besides, I also have a few original songs to my credit, including O Suchha Singh Si Soorma and Teri Maut Da Suneha Mainu Aaya," he says while singing a line of each song he mentions, leaving us with notes of revolution...
News Monitored by Girish Pant & AJEET
On behalf of
Dalits Media Watch Team
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Peoples Media Advocacy & Resource Centre- PMARC has been initiated with the support from group of senior journalists, social activists, academics and intellectuals from Dalit and civil society to advocate and facilitate Dalits issues in the mainstream media. To create proper & adequate space with the Dalit perspective in the mainstream media national/ International on Dalit issues is primary objective of the PMARC.a