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Saturday 15 January 2005

India: Field Report on Dalit Relief Activities

Srinivas Mirle of AID-Cincinnati reports:

Dalits comprise about 17% of India's population and continue to struggle to be included in mainstream India. They have been marginalized in India for ages and, surprisingly, they are not faring better even in the aftermath of the tragic tsunami disaster. This was evident from field visits that I made today with Ms. Shabnam Hashmi of ANHAD to the tsunami-affected areas of Velankany, Nagapattinam and Kesavanpalem in Tamil Nadu. Ms. Shruti Parthasarathy, a volunteer from Bangalore who is working with AID on coordinating relief activities in the village of Kuttiyandyur, has also observed the Dalit denigration.

In the tsunami affected areas of Tamil Nadu, there are about 8000 Dalit families who live in about 95 hamlets. About 30 hamlets were severely affected and about 5000 huts have been washed away, according to Mr. Vincent Manohar of the NCDHR, National Campaign for Dalit Human Rights.

Read full report here
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