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  • Mehsana — Welcome to Navsarjan
    Atrocities and Interventions The Dalit Movement Today Document Actions Mehsana Navsarjan began its activities in Mehsana District in 1996 The following programs are currently active in the district Minimum Wage Implementation Campaign Manual Scavenging Eradication Campaign Women s Rights Campaign Legal Aid Centre for Dalit Human Rights Navsarjan Vidyalay Primary Schools students attend the school in Sami in Patan District Human Rights Value Education Bhimshalas libraries etc Dalit Shakti Kendra

    Original URL path: http://navsarjan.org/districts/mehsana/index_html (2016-04-30)
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  • Sabarkantha — Welcome to Navsarjan
    History Programmes Impact on the Ground Documents Reports Our Staff Dalits Who are Dalits What is Untouchability Atrocities and Interventions The Dalit Movement Today Document Actions Sabarkantha Navsarjan commenced activities in Sabarkantha District in 2009 Currently legal assistance is provided through the Centre for Dalit Human Rights 173 325 Dalits live in Sabarkantha District 8 32 of the population Adivasis Scheduled Tribes constitute 20 18 of the population Navsarjan is

    Original URL path: http://navsarjan.org/districts/sabarkantha/index_html (2016-04-30)
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  • Patan — Welcome to Navsarjan
    Interventions The Dalit Movement Today Document Actions Patan Navsarjan began its activities in Patan District in 1995 The following programs are currently active in the district Manual Scavenging Eradication Campaign Women s Rights Campaign Legal Aid Centre for Dalit Human Rights Navsarjan Vidyalay Primary Schools one of the three schools is located in Sami Patan District Human Rights Value Education Bhimshalas libraries etc Dalit Shakti Kendra recruitment of students Land

    Original URL path: http://navsarjan.org/districts/patan/index_html (2016-04-30)
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  • Minimum Wage Implementation Campaign — Welcome to Navsarjan
    and one OBC This was a conscious decision as the makeup of the team reflects the makeup of the laborers More than a decade of work has been done on the ground in Baroda Anand and Mehsana Districts including thousands of day and night meetings to educate people as to their rights Navsarjan and its Minimum Wage Implementation team has worked hard to gain the laborers confidence and trust The results are powerful A laborers union Gujarat Kamdar Ekta Sangathan has been organized and through that union minimum wage rights have been asserted Within the union there is diverse membership that reflects the makeup of the laborers in the targeted areas Union membership cuts across caste and religion 25 are Dalits 50 are Tribals and 25 are OBC There are also some Muslims Because of the diversity within the union Dalits and non Dalits are becoming closer they sit together and drink tea together and fight for their minimum wages together This fact has the added benefit of decreasing untouchability practices in the targeted areas Union members pay Rs 125 to join the Union Navsarjan organizes leadership training camps to help train male and female union leaders the goal is to have the union be totally autonomous and self sustainable Navsarjan has also organized a life insurance plan for Union members Several Union members have died and their life insurance plans have brought Rs 30 000 each to their families Navsarjan has also been involved in campaigning for an increase in the minimum wage which has been achieved as of 2009 minimum wage stands at Rs 100 Impact Often Navsarjan organizes in one village and then the union spreads through self organization of the laborers to other neighboring villages The laborers see how organizing themselves and working together can benefit

    Original URL path: http://navsarjan.org/programmes/minimum-wage-implementation-campaign (2016-04-30)
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  • Community Video Unit — Welcome to Navsarjan
    is well into the tens of thousands Video magazines have been produced on the following issues Below The Poverty Line Health Gram Panchayat Village Council Elections Land Rights Employment Self employment Sanitation Addiction Impact of the CVU Impact Dalit issues Because the screenings are held in the village center and are such big events many people across caste lines attend This increases the connection and relationship between Dalits and non Dalits In many of the villages in which the films are screened Dalits never speak out But the films give voice to issues that face them and after the screenings they have a chance to address the mixed caste audience with a microphone This gives them a feeling of empowerment Non Dalits who have come to the CVU screenings have begun taking part in other Navsarjan programs such as foot marches water meetings training camps rallies and women s groups Women s issues Women across castes get together to talk about their common problems for example alcohol addiction among men is a common problem so through the Addictions film women across caste lines can talk about it Female CVU members were instrumental in the creation of 4 women s rights groups in 4 different villages Villagers and authorities are surprised and impressed that within the CVU the women hold the cameras and have leadership positions Power and politics Local government and the police have grown to fear the CVU because even they i e government and police do not know the law well and the CVU members do know the law well The CVU members sometimes even explain laws to the police After the screenings people accuse the village leaders of corruption and not doing anything and demand action After seeing the Health film Panchayats organized the cleaning of the

    Original URL path: http://navsarjan.org/programmes/community-video-unit (2016-04-30)
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  • Land Rights Campaign — Welcome to Navsarjan
    in the way the rightful possession of land by Dalits Land encroachment by upper caste neighbors Intimidation Political interference Lack of money to legally challenge the authorities Insufficient knowledge of applicable government programs Possession of arable land often coincides with the ability to educate children When a family does not own any land they are often forced to migrate in search of seasonal labor taking their children with them Gaining possession of land for Dalits is one way to stop the cycle of poverty and exploitation Since its establishment Navsarjan has been taking legal action to combat unlawful land encroachment and to make sure land is given to those who are entitled to it Thousands of community meetings and training programs have been held in hundreds of villages and tens of thousands of acres of land have been surveyed for this purpose As a result of these efforts and of legal action more than five thousand acres of land have been legally awarded to hundreds of Dalit farmers giving them a tool to pull themselves out of poverty Navsarjan has also been empowering the community itself to take more responsibility through the creation of grassroots community groups dedicated to working on land issues Navsarjan holds meetings within villages to educate people about their land rights leading to additional applications for land One such community group is the Jamin Adikar Sena or Land Rights Army which has hundreds of members Navsarjan trains the group s leaders both women and men and the group functions autonomously working to gain land for its landless members Navsarjan also coordinates with other NGOs for this campaign helping to procure government assistance for farmers with only small plots of land Impact Thousands of acres of land have been awarded to formerly landless laborers Housing plots have

    Original URL path: http://navsarjan.org/programmes/land-rights-campaign (2016-04-30)
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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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