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  • Eradication of Manual Scavenging Campaign — Welcome to Navsarjan
    and all caste based occupations in all their manifestations 2 To create pressure on the State for the rehabilitation of scavengers into dignified occupations 3 To assist scavengers in finding alternative and or self employment 4 To eliminate sub caste divisions and discrimination within the Dalit community 5 To promote and encourage participation and representation of Valmikis at all levels both within Navsarjan and the larger Dalit movement 6 To prevent Valmiki children s inheritance of the caste based occupations of scavenging and dragging away dead animals 7 To address other violations of rights such as non implementation of minimum wages forced wages etc Concrete activities of the Manual Scavenging Eradication Campaign include Lodging court cases and forcing the government to take action Research to assess the extent and magnitude of the problem and to further publicize a practice that many would prefer to ignore Working to gain arable land for Valmikis through government programs Running life insurance programs for those engaged in dangerous unclean occupations Conducting meetings with Valmikis to educate them concerning their rights and organizing unions Encouraging Valmiki youth to join Dalit Shakti Kendra and gain skills to support themselves Developing and implementing Ecosan ecological sanitation facilities that eliminate the need for manual scavenging Coordinating with other national and international institutions to continue to develop new strategies to combat manual scavenging Impacts and Challenges Positive impact of this program has included 1 Landmark court victories resulting in the court demanding action from the Gujarat government 2 The Gujarat State setting up a sanitation workers welfare board 3 Hundreds of sanitation workers demanding and being given their minimum wages 4 Dozens of life insurance claims awarded helping Valmiki families move out of scavenging work 5 Court ordered demolition of dry latrines 6 Reduction of sub caste divisions Challenges

    Original URL path: http://navsarjan.org/programmes/eradication-of-manual-scavenging-campaign/ (2016-04-30)
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  • Human Rights Value Education — Welcome to Navsarjan
    terms of gender and otherwise 10 Ensure that the most disadvantaged Dalit communities such as the scavengers Valmiki community receive priority based opportunities 11 Reduce sub caste discrimination among the Dalit communities 12 Focus on female students and give them priority based opportunities 13 Create a duplicable model of social empowerment Bhimshalas Bhimshalas Bhim from Bhimrao Ambedkar and shala from the Gujarati word for school are a key part of Navsarjan s grassroots education strategy Bhimshalas are extra curricular education centers run by a Navsarjan trained volunteer from the local community usually out of her or his home The Bhimshala volunteer plays a key role in eliminating discrimination at school by lodging protests with the school administration and with the help of Navsarjan taking legal action when necessary Activities done with children in Bhimshalas include educational games cultural programs programs in which the students can share their experiences of discrimination at school picnics and exposure to public places such as the police station post office railway station PHC Primary Health Center and milk cooperative and games and sports Nearly all Bhimshalas function with Navsarjan libraries a collection of about 100 books designed to encourage literacy and maintain interest in education These libraries include educational children s books written by Navsarjan founder Martin Macwan designed to encourage Dalit and non Dalit youth to question caste and gender discrimination Due to the Bhimshala program discrimination has been drastically reduced in dozens of village schools and Dalit children are getting extra help with their studies receiving further encouragement to stay in school Children s programs and camps As the twin evils of caste and gender based discrimination are forced upon children at a young age Navsarjan strives to establish a counter consciousness and sense of unity within the minds of children to combat such discrimination Children s programs and camps run by Navsarjan s fieldworkers bring together all the Dalit children of one village across sub caste lines In many villages Dalits of different sub castes do not interact frequently and untouchability between sub castes is often practiced These children s programs emphasize unity and equality through cultural programs book readings and group discussions Educational kits are frequently distributed to the children These kits include books including those written by Martin Macwan to challenge caste and gender discrimination and to encourage children to ask questions and crayons to encourage creativity For many children these are the first books they have ever owned Among other achievements the books foster literacy in areas where illiteracy is rampant especially for girls Impact on Dalit children In addition to ending discriminatory practices in many schools around Gujarat and encouraging Dalit communities to value education through donations to Navsarjan s primary education work Navsarjan s Human Rights Value Education Program has led to important changes in regard to the children themselves 1 Children express the fact of their discrimination For the first time children have begun to stand up and raise their voices in protest against the discrimination

    Original URL path: http://navsarjan.org/programmes/human-rights-value-education/ (2016-04-30)
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  • Youth Awareness and Motivation — Welcome to Navsarjan
    some of their own issues Youth in Gujarat are facing a serious crisis Those who have managed to obtain some education have found few employment opportunities in the organized sector and are forced to work as daily wage laborers in fields or factories They are frustrated with the lack of opportunities available to them and with their social status in relation the perceived glamour of the city A powerful cynicism has resulted leading to addictions to drugs and alcohol and a stark increase in the suicide rate Those who suffer most from this situation are the youth from the socially marginalized communities the scheduled castes Dalits the scheduled tribes Adivasis and the Other Backward Castes OBCs to be specific Today the historic legacy of social exclusion based on caste has a strong influence on economic status as well Navsarjan s Youth Awareness activities work to educate youth on village government schemes land laws the Panchayat village council system addictions to combat alcohol and tobacco and gender issues all of which help to lessen feelings of powerlessness and cynicism Once formed Village Youth Forums meet once or twice a month to discuss local issues such as village infrastructure atrocities against Dalits

    Original URL path: http://navsarjan.org/programmes/youth-awareness-and-motivation/ (2016-04-30)
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  • Local Governance and Political Rights — Welcome to Navsarjan
    Raj Act of 1993 officially reserves seats within the Panchayat village government for Dalits and women in practice the power often remains in the hands of the dominant castes Dalit or women dummy candidates are often fielded by the dominant castes to prevent candidates from taking office who would actually stand up to unequal power structures and work for the betterment of their communities There are many cases of a Dalit or woman Sarpanch chief of Panchayat never stepping foot in the Panchayat office and being called only to sign or thumbprint documents the individual cannot even read Untouchability practices as well are common within the Panchayat office as many Dalit Panchayat members and Sarpanches are unaware of relevant laws designed to protect them The same power hierarchy that exists outside the Panchayat in the rest of the village is replicated and a Dalit Sarpanch or not is told to drink from a separate cup and sit on the floor while the rest of the Panchayat members sit on chairs Navsarjan s Local Governance and Political Rights campaign aims to empower Dalit and women Panchayat members and Sarpanches by educating them on relevant laws their legal rights and the necessity

    Original URL path: http://navsarjan.org/programmes/local-governance-and-political-rights/ (2016-04-30)
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  • Digitization of Research and Documentation — Welcome to Navsarjan
    data concerning ground realities and then analyze and utilize that data While Navsarjan has been doing this since its inception the emphasis of the Digitization of Research and Documentation Program is to involve more professionals and widen the scope and size of our data collection The following ten subjects have been targeted for data collection and digitization 1 Prevalence of untouchability practices 2 Violence and atrocities 3 Implementation of land reforms 4 Manual scavenging 5 Primary education 6 Labour and migration 7 Women and health 8 Poverty 9 Political representation 10 Minimum wages and their implementation Once these data are collected and analyzed they can be used to help identify trends and changes to help file class action suits to organize based on taluka or district to effectively raise a particular issue to lobby at the international level and to provide a replicable model for other organizations around India In collaboration with the RFK Center for Human Rights and the University of Maryland Navsarjan is now conducting the first of these surveys on the prevalence of untouchability practices around Gujarat This survey will provide an unprecedented view of the extent to which untouchability is actively practiced in Gujarat today Navsarjan

    Original URL path: http://navsarjan.org/programmes/digitization-of-research-and-documentation/ (2016-04-30)
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  • Women's Rights Campaign — Welcome to Navsarjan
    that need to be addressed in other Navsarjan programs Running awareness camps in the villages The purpose of these camps is to educate Dalit and non Dalit women and men on women s rights The contents include information on the Domestic Violence Act and the Atrocity Act and health issues Though the camps focus on issues affecting Dalit women many of the same issues also face non Dalit women The camps therefore serve to bring women together across caste lines while empowering women about issues that matter to them Establishing Women s Rights Committees Navsarjan has organized women to establish hundreds of Women s Rights Committees in villages across Gujarat These committees exist for women leaders and take up local issues especially those relating to women such as domestic violence and creating spaces for women s leadership in the Panchayats village councils These Committees increase the power of women within the villages bringing women together to talk about common issues and encouraging women to speak out raising their confidence Linking Dalit women to foster their empowerment In many villages there are few examples of successful woman s leadership to inspire other women to take action Though women have reserved spots in local government they are often forced to simply provide a rubber stamp while all the important decisions are taken by men In events such as state wide gatherings of all Dalit female Sarpanches and hundreds of Dalit female Panchayat members Dalit women can interact with other Dalit women from around Gujarat who are able to use their power effectively This inspires them to gain the confidence to take action in their villages Encouraging women s leadership within Navsarjan In addition to Navsarjan s Executive Director 7 of the 9 Zone Coordinators within Navsarjan are women Strong women leaders within

    Original URL path: http://navsarjan.org/programmes/women-s-rights-campaign/ (2016-04-30)
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  • Impacts and Challenges — Welcome to Navsarjan
    laborers Manual Scavenging Eradication Campaign Impact Many young people from the Valmiki community are choosing vocational training such as that offered by Dalit Shakti Kendra instead of manual scavenging Issues of manual scavenging and sewage work have remained in the media regularly A landmark court victory in 1996 in which the Gujarat government was forced to admit that it employed thousands of Valmikis to do manual scavenging Many practicing manual scavengers are now vocal about the fact that their work is manual scavenging whereas in the past they never talked about it They had been afraid to admit that it was manual scavenging in fear of losing their jobs Many have now gained the confidence to speak about their work to the media government officers and in the local government offices Challenges It is often difficult to convince manual scavengers to leave their work which many consider stable because they are government employees and receive a regular paycheck The government frequently refuses to take action as it continuously drags its feet and evades responsibility Government officers at all levels repeatedly claim that there is no manual scavenging in Gujarat because accepting that the process exists would mean that they have a responsibility to end it They are all comfortable with the status quo It is often a challenge to convince non Valmiki Dalits to accept the manual scavenging problem as their own Many non Valmiki Dalits do not want to make manual scavenging a Dalit issue Loans meant for the rehabilitation of practicing manual scavengers into dignified occupations are given by government officers to people from the Valmiki community who have political connections but are not involved in manual scavenging That way government officers can claim that they are helping Valmikis when in reality they are doing nothing to help those engaged in manual scavenging Valmikis who are actually engaged in manual scavenging need a certificate certifying as such from the government but the government officials refuse to grant such certificates They provide no support and often do not give any response at all As a result practicing manual scavengers are unable to get the loans they need to change occupations Some manual scavengers who do get loans do not spend the money on finding a new occupation or starting a business but spend it however they like Valmikis who open up a tea stall or some other small shop often face untouchability based discrimination both from non Valmiki Dalits and from non Dalits and they cannot get enough customers to make any money Land Rights Campaign Impact Thousands of acres of land have been awarded to formerly landless Dalit poor Dozens of housing plots have been awarded to Dalit poor in women s names Hundreds of families have joined the Land Rights Army Jamin Adhikar Sena a community group dedicated to securing land rights for landless poor Sustained awareness and training programs as well as training of Land Rights Army leaders has led to individuals taking up and fighting cases on their own without Navsarjan s assistance Seasonal migration has decreased among those families who have gained posession of agricultural land Untouchability and other forms of discrimination have decreased due to cooperation between Dalits and non Dalits on this issue Challenges Dominant caste members often provide resistance to acquisition of land by Dalits The Government itself often refuses to actually follow through on its plans for land redistribution and on its court awards There is nearly always violence or threat of violence in response to acquisition of land by landless Dalits Continuous land encroachment and crop damage presents on ongoing problem Youth are less interested in farming compared to their parents There is a lack of irrigation infrastructure forcing small landholders to migrate for a portion of the year A large amount of land is being sold by small landholders tempted by high land prices Center for Dalit Human Rights Impact By intervening in cases of atrocities CDHR has ensured that cases of atrocities are properly registered and investigated by the police and effectively prosecuted by the government and that victims of atrocities are sufficiently compensatied Through its media advocacy CDHR has sensitized the media with regards to the number and types of atrocities committed against Dalits By pressuring government officials to intervene in cases of atrocities against Dalits CDHR s efforts have also resulted in some degree of government sensitization on issues facing Dalits including the non enforcement of Dalit protective legislation More urban as well as rural Gujaratis are becoming aware of their human rights through community meetings empowering them to register complaints of human rights violations on their own Village paralegals are sufficiently trained to register cases of atrocities and combat untouchability on their own Navsarjan has won major court victories particularly those of rape and murder sending the message that those who commit atrocities will be held accountable The conviction ratio of cases fought by Navsarjan is increasing and the number of victims who want to accept a compromise for money is decreasing Training of District Human Rights Defenders DHRDs has led to a vast increase in the number of complaints filed with the National Human Rights Commission As a result Gujarat now stands as the state with the second highest number of complaints filed against it in all of India Challenges While the number of convictions in atrocities cases are increasing the prison sentences perpetrators face remain lower than what is mandated by law A number of obstacles continue to exist delaying the timely and accurate registration of First Information Reports FIRs absolutely crucial for the investigation and prosecution of a crime In particular for atrocities cases Police officers seldom care about atrocities cases Police officers believe that Dalits are registering false cases Police officers are unaware of provisions of The SC ST Prevention of Atrocities Act or its existence altogether Police officers turn a traumatized victim s statement into the FIR rather than the carefully drawn complaint submitted by CDHR on behalf of

    Original URL path: http://navsarjan.org/impact/impactontheground (2016-04-30)
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  • Impacts and Challenges — Welcome to Navsarjan
    Programmes Impact on the Ground Documents Reports Our Staff Dalits Who are Dalits What is Untouchability Atrocities and Interventions The Dalit Movement Today Send this page to somebody Fill in the email address of your friend to send an email with the address Address info Send to Required The e mail address to send this link to From Required Your email address Comment A comment about this link Navsarjan is

    Original URL path: http://navsarjan.org/impact/impactontheground/sendto_form (2016-04-30)
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