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Showing posts from March, 2016

Discrimination writ large on 50 Dalit youth to gathered learn empowerment skills

By Rajiv Shah  Discrimination is writ large on their face, whether it was distribution of water, entry into the temple, getting haircut from the local barber, or constructing toilets. Around 50 of them had come all the way from different parts of India to be “empowered” at the Dalit Shakti Kendra (DSK), a unique institute about 20 kilometres south of Ahmedabad, set up by Dalit rights activist Martin Macwan more than a decade ago. A few of them, like Babloo from a small village in Dehradun district of Uttarakhand, has faced attacks from dominant castes when they tried entering into the local temple. “We tried doing it by forming a group of 150. We were attacked. Police refused to take complaint. Even today, they threaten me”, he says. Yet another youth hailing from a nearby village in the same district, Dinesh Jonsara, said, entry into the temple, situated in Lakshiyar town, is banned for Dalits even those who helped construct it. “My father was a mason. I helped him build the temple in