You start your day trying to cheer up your unhappy children. They don’t want to go to school because the teachers make them sit at the back of the class, not because they’re naughty but because they’re Dalits. You don’t want your day to start either because your job (specific to Dalits) is cleaning the flush-less toilets of richer people with nothing but a piece of board and a brush. Or, worse (?), working in the fields of a landlord who gives you a small portion of rice instead of wages as you are locked into a loan with his family that will, in reality, never be paid off. And when you go out you have to be careful about what you wear so as not to ‘offend’ people of caste, including taking off your shoes when you walk down certain streets. You wait at the bus stop and even though it is incredibly hot you’re not allowed to take cover under the nearby tree because that’s where people of caste sit. You arrive at your destination and go to a tea shop to take a welcome break but the owner will not let you use the same cups as everyone else and asks you to squat on the ground away from his other customers….
VST and its partner Arogya Agam:
- Support Dalit activists who campaign against discrimination.
- Take up cases of injustice so that abuse and exploitation do not go unpunished and by ensuring a response help change public attitudes.