Sunday, July 19, 2015

Dalits, Jats clash in Jind village over panchayat land; 1 dead.Dalits Media Watch - News Updates 19.07.15

Dalits Media Watch

News Updates 19.07.15


Dalits, Jats clash in Jind village over panchayat land; 1 dead - The Tribune

Dalit boy from Sambalpur struggles to achieve IIT dream - The Times Of India

Moga 'tantrik' lived under fake identity - The Hindustan Times

Pond water here is still 'untouchable' - The Hindu

Hassan village puts an end to untouchability - The Hindu


Yet another 'honour killing' in Ramnad - The Hindu

Four degrees in hand, he still cleans Mumbai's sewers - The Times Of India

Transgenders demand own shelter - Deccan Herald

The writer who brought glory to Telugu Dalit literature - The Hindu





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The Tribune


Dalits, Jats clash in Jind village over panchayat land; 1 dead


Parvesh SharmaTribune News Service


Narwana/Jind, July 18


The Jind administration reportedly tried to allow possession of 146 plots on panchayat land to below poverty line Scheduled Caste families under the Indira Awas Yojna at Dharodi village of Jind district on Saturday

Some persons in the illegal possession of the land,however, refused to vacate it and allegedly attacked policemen, village sarpanch, Panchayat Departmentofficials and others

The ensuing clash claimed the life of one personwhile another sufferedserious injuries



One person was killed and another one seriously injured in a clash that broke out in Dharodi village of Jind district today. An attempt by the Jind administration to allow possession of 146 plots to below poverty line (BPL) Scheduled Caste families under the Indira Awas Yojna reportedly led to the clash between Dalits and Jats.


A group of Jats allegedly attacked houses of SCs in the village and thrashed people, including women and children. The Jats also set a Haryana Roadways bus on fire near their village on the Narwana-Tohana road.


A team of the Narwana police, some officers of the Panchayat Department, village sarpanch Mahinder Singh and around 50 members of BPL families had reportedly gone to take possession of 146 plots carved out on five acres of panchayat land. Shamsher Singh and some others who had encroached upon the land, however, refused to vacate it and allegedly attacked policemen and others accompanying them. "Shamsher, along with 100 others from our village, attacked us with sharp-edged weapons. They did not spare even the policemen and Panchayat Department officers.


They pelted government vehicles with stones. I, along with my family, am hiding at some place as Shamsher and his accomplices have been trying to attack us and set my house on fire," village sarpanch Mahinder said.

The person killed in the clash was identified as Vikram Singh (28) while the one who suffered serious injuries was identified as Sandip. 


He was admitted to a hospital in Hisar. Policemen and Panchayat Department officials were among those injured in the clash. They were admitted to a hospital at Narwana.


"After the death of Vikram, members of his community attacked our houses. They beat up our women and damaged our houses. We informed the police on phone number 100, but to no avail. There is tension in the village as our houses might be attacked again," a villager said. Jind Superintendent of Police Abhishek Jorwal and other senior police officials later reached the village and tried to pacify the people who were blocking the Narwana-Tohana road.


"The situation is under control now and we have deputed police force in the village. We are trying to convince both sides to maintain peace. Action will be taken against all those involved in the clash," Jorwal said.

At the time of filing this report, the SP was holding a meeting with representatives of both communities to restore peace in the village.


The Times Of India


Dalit boy from Sambalpur struggles to achieve IIT dream


Minati Singha,TNN | Jul 18, 2015, 11.13 PM IST


BHUBANESWAR: While the story of dalit brothers from Uttar Pradesh, who cracked Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) overcoming poverty and social stigma became inspirations for many overnight, Sumit Sindhria an IIT-qualifier from a remote village of Sambalpur district has been struggling to arrange funds for taking admission to the premier technical institute.

Sumit, a dalit boy from Jamankira village, has secured 840 rank (scheduled caste) in the IIT (Main) entrance. His father Narangdhar Sindhria, who works as a sweeper in state government, could not arrange Rs 80,000 required for his admission in IIT.

Sambalpur collector Balwant Singh said "When we came to know about the weak financial condition of the boy, we offered him funds required for taking admission in the IIT. But meanwhile Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (MCL) agreed to pay the admission fee." 

The boy has been selected in mechanical engineering stream in IIT, Rapor in Punjab. "He attended the counseling and submitted Rs 20, 000 for registration. Then he returned to arrange the rest of the amount," said N K Mishra, a senior officer in MCL. 

Student of Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, Sambalpur till class-X, Sindhria has been a bright student from childhood. "After class-X the boy was selected by a Bangalore-based institute where they provide him scholarship for plus two along with coaching for IIT. It was his hard work for which he became successful otherwise I don't have money to arrange a square meal for my family let alone having money for his education," said his father. 

MCL sources said, they gave Sindhria Rs 80,000 for admission fee as he left for Punjab urgently to attend the admission process on Monday.


The Hindustan Times


Moga 'tantrik' lived under fake identity


HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Moga


The 80-year-old 'tantrik' who had allegedly killed himself after killing five Dalits at Kotla Mehar Singh Wala village near Moga recently, lived at the gurdwara under a fake identity.


He has been identified as one Bikkar Singh who had left his native village in Ludhiana district about 15 years ago. On searching his room in the gurdwara the police found some aphrodisiacs.


The investigation found that the real name of Harinderpal Singh Sodhi was Bikkar Singh and he was a native of Sekha village under Malaud sub-division of Ludhiana.


The police approached his family at Sekha village on Saturday evening. The family and the panchayat confirmed that Bikkar had disappeared from the village about 15 years ago and did not return.


SSP Jatinder Singh Khaira said Mukhtiar Kaur, wife of Bikkar Singh, sarpanch Kamaldeep Singh, nambardar Gurdas Singh and panch Jagjit Singh had identified him as Bikkar Singh.


"However, the investigation is underway. The post-mortem on the body will be conducted at the Moga civil hospital on Sunday and then it will be handed over to the family," Khaira said.


Meanwhile, Baldev Singh, brother of deceased Sandeep Kaur, and Gurpreet Singh, father of Rajpal Kaur, said the sharpedged weapon used for murders belonged to the priest.


The Hindu


Pond water here is still 'untouchable'


Updated: July 18, 2015 05:47 IST | Sathish G.T.


People residing in Dalit colony in Kuruvanka village in Channarayapatna taluk are not allowed to touch water in the village pond. This has been the practice from time immemorial. If they want water, they have to request someone from the 'upper' castes in the village to pour water in their pots.


When this reporter visited the village on Friday, an elderly woman from the colony was seen requesting girls from 'upper' castes to help her get water. "This has been the practice for many years," said another village resident, matter-of-factly.


In the village, which is about 10 km from Channarayapatna town, there are about 200 houses, including those of 20 Dalit families. The Dalits are neither allowed inside the Mahdavaraya temple, which belongs to the Muzrai Department, in the village nor allowed to take water from the pond. Many Dalit organisations have raised this issue, but there has been little change.


"Here the system continues even today," lamented Manju Dandora, an activist. "Recently in a meeting on atrocities on Dalits, convened by police officers, I raised this issue and demanded measures to put an end to the discrimination. I wish the district administration takes the matter seriously," he said.


The Hindu


Hassan village puts an end to untouchability





Dalit families allowed to fetch water from pond.


Following media reports on the practice of untouchability at Kuruvanka village in Channarayapatna taluk, the Hassan district administration officials rushed to the place on Saturday and held a meeting with the residents. The Hinduon Saturday, had carried a report on Dalits not being allowed to fetch water from a public pond.


N.R. Purushottam, District Social Welfare Officer, Bheemashankar S. Guled, Assistant Superintendent of Police of Holenarsipur sub-division, and Vijaya, Assistant Commissioner, visited the village.


The officers told the residents that the pond belonged to everybody and imposing restrictions on a section of them would attract strict action.


Mr. Purushottam said, "The people were convinced. We invited some members of the Dalit families and made them fetch water from the pond in the presence of other residents. We have warned them of legal action if they continued the age-old practice," he said.


Members of Dalit families were also happy with the development, the officer said.


The Hindu


Yet another 'honour killing' in Ramnad




Death of woman lawyer turns out to be murder


The suspicious death of a woman lawyer at Parthibanur near Paramakudi in September 2013 has turned out to be a "honour killing" as the district police filed a charge sheet against her parents and brother, accusing them of murdering her for marrying a Dalit classmate.


The police said foul play in the death of lawyer Sangeetha Priya (28) came to light in August last year, almost a year after the incident, when the police arrested Muniasamy, her maternal uncle, who had helped in bringing her body from Parthibanur and dispose it of at the cremation ground at Zamindarvalasai in Devipattinam near here.

Giving details of the charge sheet here on Saturday, Superintendent of Police N.M. Mylvahanan said that he had ordered a detailed probe into the death after the victim's husband, Sundaresan (29), lodged a complaint three months after her death, stating that he could not contact his wife after she was taken home by her parents.


The police initially registered a case under Section 176 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for disposing of the body without informing the police but altered the section and registered a case under Section 302 after finding that the woman was strangulated to death by her parents – Velusamy and Rani – and younger brother Anandaraj, the SP said.


When the police intensified the investigation, the trio absconded and obtained anticipatory bail, stating that Priya died of chest pain but the police harassed them.


The investigation, however, revealed that they committed the murder, "a clear case of honour killing", as Priya had eloped with Sundaresan after completing her studies and married him, he said.

After the couple lived in Tirupachur in Tiruvallur district for nearly two years since 2011, the accused brought her home promising to arrange a wedding reception for them. Priya, belonging to a backward community, fell in love with Sundaresan while studying at Salem Law College, the SP said.


The police filed the charge sheet before the Fast Track Mahila Court here recently, the SP said, adding they had also arraigned Ramalingam, a community leader at Zamindarvalasai, as an accused for helping the accused dispose of the body and failing to inform the police.


Superintendent of Police said he had ordered a detailed probe after the victim's husband lodged a complaint three months after her death


The Times Of India


Four degrees in hand, he still cleans Mumbai's sewers


Anahita Mukherji,TNN | Jul 19, 2015, 01.56 AM IST


MUMBAI: Sunil Yadav does not believe in heaven and hell. But he knows what hell feels like. "Narak" is the word he uses to describe what it was like the first time he waded through open sewers with floating garbage and dead rats when, at 25, he took over his father's job as a municipal conservancy worker in Mumbai.

Part of an almost entirely Dalit taskforce, Yadav figured that, much like Babasaheb Ambedkar's pursuit of an education, he, too, would have to study further to better his lot.

But a decade on, with four degrees under his belt, Yadav, who pursued an MA in globalization and labour at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), continues to work as a conservancy worker with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). While Yadav, now 36, is currently working on an MPhil at TISS, he spends his nights cleaning Mumbai's garbage.

Yadav, who grew up in the slums around Arthur Road in the 1980s, during the heyday of Mumbai's underworld, says he felt the full force of social inequality when he joined the BMC. After his MA degree, when he applied for better positions in the civic body — for which he was well qualified — he was rejected even though there were vacancies, he says.

"I could not afford to quit work and study because I have a family to support," he says. He hopes that, someday, his degrees will get him a less degrading job.

Yadav, whose family has been involved in conservancy work for three generations, recalls his father coming home drunk after a day's work and routinely beating up his mother.

"My mother believed in Ambedkar and wanted all of us to study hard," says Yadav, who studied till Class X in a municipal school, but failed his SSC exams. He went to work as a delivery boy at a share firm, carting 300kg of shares across the country in the pre-Internet era. He also worked as a security guard and an office boy. It was only when his father suffered a stroke that Yadav took over his job. "Even to get that job, I had to pay Rs 2,000 as bribe to push the file," he says.

When he got time off from cleaning the city's garbage, Yadav would pore over newspapers. He came across an advertisement issued by the Yashwantrao Chavan Maharashtra Open University (YCMOU) offering those who failed the Class X exam the opportunity to pursue a degree if they cracked the university's entrance test. Yadav credits his general knowledge for the ease with which he breezed through the exam.

He went on to do a BCom and a BA in journalism from YCMOU, a diploma in social work from Nirmala Niketan, and a master's degree in social work from Tilak Maharashtra University before he joined TISS and bagged another MA.

Now, Yadav lives in a pint-sized room in a Chembur chawl with his wife and two daughters. He says his wife has been very supportive of his studies.

He is still bitter about being denied study leave when he was pursuing an MA at TISS. "The BMC's rules and regulations allow for 24 months of paid study leave. Very few people know about it. Usually only bureaucrats in the department avail of it. But when I applied for it, the civic authorities said they could not give it to someone like me," says Yadav.

His colleagues and professors at TISS did their utmost to support him in his quest for study leave. Yadav did not get the two-year break, only three months of leave when, in the course of his MA, he was selected to travel to Johannesburg by a Swiss development agency.

Yadav still wants to fight inequities with his education, like Ambedkar. He does not want to give up his job, but aims to challenge the system from within.


Deccan Herald


Transgenders demand own shelter


Deccan Chronicle | July 18, 2015, 03.07 am IST


THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The document prepared as part of TG Suraksha Project of the NGO Dale View has proposed construction of a shelter for people belonging to the transgender community.


The document was released by city police commissioner H. Venkatesh at his office here on Friday.


Dale View project manager B. Jose Suraj said one of the immediate requirements of the transgender community was a space of their own.


"Now they assemble in various parks in the city. However, they are facing harassment from cops and security personnel there," Mr Suraj told DC.


"One of the peculiarities of the transgender people is their desire to cross-dress. They could not do it in the public space because of various taboos. At present, we provide such a space by setting apart one room in our office at Karamana where they are allowed to behave in their true self".


Another problem is that most of the members of the community live in rented houses either as single or in group as the families discard them when they realise of their identity.


"There are also problems for getting houses on rent for transgender community members," Mr Suraj said. "At present we have identified 306 transgender community members."


The Dale View currently provides classes in communicative English, computers and vocational training for members of the transgender community.


The Hindu


The writer who brought glory to Telugu Dalit literature





Young poet and short story writer Pasunoori Ravinder not only earned name and fame for his literary work but also brought recognition to Telugu Dalit literature at the national level by winning the Sahitya Akademi Yuva Puraskar recently.


Born into a poor family in Shivanagar in Warangal in 1980, Ravinder was influenced by the Leftist ideology at an early age. He got to know more about inequalities and caste discrimination, which continued to haunt him and provoked him to question them in his writings.


Despite the challenges of poverty, he went on to complete his studies, specialising in Telugu literature. He did his Ph.D from Central University and is currently pursuing post-doctoral studies.


Mr. Ravinder was actively involved in the separate Telangana movement and contributed to it through his writings – songs and short stories. Speaking to The Hindu , he said, "My stories revolve around discrimination and caste because they are an integral part of our lives. However educated and civilised we are, caste consciousness cannot be taken away from our lives."


Mr. Ravinder also strives to expose Dalits, who for their selfish ends try to exploit their own community, in his writings.


The Sahitya Akademi honoured him for his anthology of short stories titled Out of coverage area .

Besides editing anthologies, he came out with his own writings – Ladai , a long poem and Madiga Poddu, an anthology of poems.


The Pioneer



Saturday, 18 July 2015 | MANAS JENA


The Millennium Development Goal (MDG) report 2015 says though progress is taking place in different spheres but it has not been inclusive. The poor and disadvantaged are being left out in spite of increase in official aid for their development by developed countries, Governments and private sector spending during last 20 years.

UN report on MDG says the official development assistance from developed countries has increased by 66 per cent in last 15 years. The countries such as Denmark, Norway, Sweden and UK have been contributing more than 0.7 per cent of their gross national income which is more than the UN official development assistance target. Along with a number of development programmes, the food subsidy of the Central Government has increased by 25 times during last 20 years; by 2012 it was Rs 75,000 crore. After the change in The Companies Act 2013, many of the foreign and national companies are getting involved in the programme that target to reduce poverty and inequality.In the context of Odisha, the international aid, Central assistance and corporate funding have increased in fighting poverty but still the progress is very discouraging and the poverty gap among social groups and regions is a matter of concern.


A number of reports by the Government and private bodies revealed that poverty reduction in Odisha is very slow and the incidence of poverty is higher in southwest and northwest region of the State. It is more acute among STs followed by SCs, and agricultural workers. There are more numbers of people living below poverty line in southwest Odisha and SCs and STs continue to be a majority among the poor. There are backward areas having poor social infrastructure and very marginal State investment has been done in building basic infrastructure, connectivity and communication, such as linking road, sanitation, drinking water supply and electricity, telephone and assets to provide educational and health services to the marginalized people. There are seven districts in the State which have no railway link and other infrastructure. Majority of the rural households have no productive assets such as land and landlessness is relatively higher among Dalit households all over the State in comparison to other social groups.


The last Odisha Economic Survey Report 2014-2015 says that given the Poverty Head Count Ratio (PHCR) percentage by different social groups for rural Odisha for the period 2004- 2012, the overall poverty level has reduced from 60.80 per cent to 35.69 per cent but in case of STs it has very marginally reduced from 84.40 per cent in 2004 to 63.52 per cent in 2011-2012 which is just less than two per cent per year. Similarly in case of SCs, it has reduced from 67.90 per cent to 41.39 per cent but in case of OBCs and others, the PHCR has come down from 52.70 per cent to 24.16 per cent and 37.10 per cent to 14.20 per cent respectively. The PHCR in case of coastal regions has come down to almost 50 per cent from 41.60 per cent to 21.65 per cent but in case of southern region, which includes the KBK districts, it has come down from 73.40 per cent to 48.00 per cent and in northern region, it is from 70.50 per cent to 39.97 per cent. The incidence of poverty in KBK region has been remaining high and not being reduced to the desired extent.


In spite of continued spending in the backward districts, they still remain below the State average in many aspects even in achieving basic minimum. The district wise household access to toilets within their premises data for the year 2013-2014 says the districts features below State average of 22 per cent are mostly from southwestern and northern districts. The Odisha Economic Survey data 2013-2014 says the districts of Gajapati, Rayagada, Koraput, Malkanagiri, Kandhamal, Boudh and Nawarangapur have very less percentage of village covered under rural electrification which is below the State average. Drinking water has been a major issue in these districts for a long time and all villages have not been covered under national rural drinking water supply programme.


The district development and diversity index report for India by US India Policy Institute in 2015 says there are eight most backward districts in Odisha which featured in the most backward 50 districts of the country. They are Malkanagiri, Nuapada, Nawarangapur, Boudh, Mayurbhanj, Gajapati, Kandhamal and Kalahandi. Among these districts, Boudh is the most poverty- stricken district, followed by Malkanagiri,


Mayurbhanj and Kalahandi. The survey said none of the 30 districts of Odisha featured in the top 100 developed districts of the country. The KBK plan was started in 1995 by the then Prime Minister to improve productive infrastructure in the region and develop livelihood of marginalized communities. Mid Day Meal (MDM) also started in the same year in the State as per direction of the Supreme Court of India. The Backward Regions Grant Fund (BRGF) started in 2006-2007 in 20 backward districts of the State and later an additional Central assistance special scheme was introduced for Left wing extremism affected districts covering around 15 districts in 2010-2011. Apart from these there has been regular Central assistance to TSP area and SCSP for SCs since 1979 and grant under Article-275 (1) of the Constitution for the 5th scheduled areas. These Central Government programmes have been mostly for the backward districts of southwest and northern Odisha.


The international agencies such as Department for International Development (DFID), UK, International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) and World Food Programme (WFP) have been supporting jointly the Odisha Tribal Empowerment and Livelihood Programme (OTLP) since 2004-2005 primarily for tribal food security and livelihood development in seven districts. There have been additional programmes by the State Government such as Biju KBK, Biju Kandhamal O Gajapati, and Western Odisha Development Council etc. Added to them, a number of popular Central Government schemes such as NREGS, NRLM, ICDS, IAY etc which primarily target the backward communities and backward areas are also in operations in the vulnerable districts, but unfortunately all such schemes have not created desired impact in improving the condition of the poor in the region though it shows that the districts in southwestern Odisha have been getting maximum anti-poverty programme in different ways. It is also observed that  mostly the Central Government has been spending in these backward region for the development of backward region and communities, but the ineffective implementation by the State has not earning the desired results.


The Regional Imbalance Inquiry Commission headed by Justice SK Mohanty submitted his report in 2008 with several suggestions which have not been widely discussed and worked out by the State Government in its planning and programme implementation. The commission has suggested classifying the districts and blocks based on their development status to mitigate regional imbalance within the State. It has been argued that there has been lack of coordination among different players of anti-poverty programmes and also lack of integration among different interventions. The planning process is very poor without long term vision and focus. The State level planning board and district level planning committee have no role in shaping the vision of the people. There has been lack of disaggregated data on status of different social groups and regions within the State by the State Government and it is mostly the Central Government which provides data through census and NSSO based on which development planning and evaluations are taking place.


The research reports, a number of studies and recommendations have been an eye opener to the situation of the people which needs to be discussed at appropriate bodies of Government such as State Assembly and State Planning Board and needs to be reviewed to re-strategize the policies and programmes that target to eradicate poverty and inequality among different social groups and regions within the State. The State Government should have a special department for anti-poverty programme to coordinate several initiatives and give direction to different players by integrating their interventions in common direction to mitigate unequal development and geographical imbalances.



News monitored by Girsh Pant & AJEET




.Arun Khote
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