Garib banks for Dalits
Madhuri Singh, 43, is known to the women not only in Shankarpur village in Varanasi, but also in more than a dozen others. Her claim to fame is garib banks, which she has created without any outside support. These banks are self-help groups (SHGs) which have instilled confidence in Dalit women by giving them economic freedom.
Dalit women (there are more than 400 now) are now saving Rs 100 to Rs 200 a month. The money collected is kept in the accounts opened in regional banks in their names. Members are given what can be called passbooks to keep a record of their dealings. Money is given to a person only after it is approved in the meeting. A watch is kept on repayment and those who default without adequate reason are made to pay a nominal penalty. Women can use these savings to get loans for self-employment, such as selling eggs or opening a small shop. The increasing network and the savings over a period of time have reached a point where Dalits are even taking agricultural land on patta (lease) from land owners. Sarita, a teacher at a Dalit school in Shankarpur, narrates how members from different villages came together to get a piece of land.
Dalits to vacate Indu Mills land today
Published: Friday, Dec 30, 2011, 8:00 IST
By DNA Correspondent | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA
Republican Sena activists on Thursday decided to vacate the Indu Mills land after the state assured Dalit leaders that it was willing to construct a memorial of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar at the spot. The government also assured them that it would request the PM to hand over the entire land for the purpose.
The decision came after home minister RR Patil appealed to the Republican Sena activists, who have forced entry into the mill compound since December 6, to leave the premises.
Republic Sena leader Anandraj Ambedkar informed the people gathered at the Indu Mills compound that he has received a firm assurance from chief minister Prithviraj Chavan that the entire land would be given for the memorial.
“This is a temporary retreat after government representatives assured us that the land will be used only for the construction of the memorial. We will vacate the mill land by Friday morning. But the busts of Lord Gautam Buddha and Dr Babasaheb Ambdekar will remain inside the mill compound forever,” said Ambedkar.
Earlier, home minister RR Patil and minister for water conservation Nitin Raut attended a Dalit rally at Worli, where Patil assured the crowd that the entire 12.5 acres of Indu Mills land will be given for the memorial. “If the National Textiles Corporation (NTC) wants to construct anything other than the memorial, then all the permissions will go through the state government and the BMC. Rest assured, we will do whatever needed for the memorial,” Patil said.
Meanwhile, except RPI leader Ramdas Athwale, all the prominent leaders of Dalit movement attended the rally in Worli and extended their support.
The Times Of India
Cops implicating partymen in false cases: Cong delegation
TNN | Dec 31, 2011, 03.47AM IST.
LUCKNOW: Led by UPCC president Rita Bahuguna Joshi and CLP leader Pramod Tiwari, a party delegation met governor B L Joshi on Friday and handed over a memorandum against the alleged witch hunting of Congress workers by police and administration across the state. Making a specific case of harassment in Ghazipur, the delegates complained that the district has seen growing atrocities against dalits, while police officials are booking Congress workers under false complaints. The Congress leaders brought up the issue of a wrongful arrest of Shailesh Singh, a leader from Ghazipur, who is languishing in prison under NSA.
Singh, according to the memorandum, was arrested with six party supporters for demanding a probe into the murder of one Dharmendra, a dalit. The delegates recounted six incidents of alleged murders where the police have yet not initiated action. They also demanded punitive action against guilty cops and immediate release of Congressmen who have been implicated in false cases.
Meanwhile, CLP leader Pramod Tiwari slammed the BJP for playing spoiler in the passage of Lokpal Bill. Samajwadi Party and the BSP, Tiwari said, had always lacked the will and courage to fight corruption but by opposing Lokpal in parliament, the BJP has been totally exposed. Highlighting the need for an ombudsman, Tiwari said that in UP alone, more than 22 ministers and MLAs have been found guilty by the Lokayukta, and therefore, the institution of Lokayukta in states is a necessity to maintain a corruption-free system.
Book on struggles of Dalits released
Contemporary Dalit narrative is marked by struggles -- struggles for identity, struggles for rights, struggles for equality and struggles for inclusion. However, it was a different kind of battle that laid path for all these articulations of emancipation.
It was fought by those Dalit forefathers, who sensed the import of educating their offspring, even if it meant pushing them into the unremittingly hostile waters that higher education had been.
Yelikati Baliah, the protagonist of the narrative ‘My Father Baliah' which was released here on Thursday, was one such unsung hero. An autobiographical memoir penned by his son and retired principal Y.B.Satyanarayana, the book traces through the arduous journey undertaken by four generations of Dalits towards progress.
“I look upon it as a source book for the implementation of Right to Education,” declared the chief guest and retired IAS officer K.R. Venugopal, and strongly prescribed the book for those debating on the standards to be set in governance for education, health, nutrition, and other such developmental parameters.
Describing the theme of ‘Education' as a golden thread that runs through the book, he said it was an ‘epic story of a Dalit family'. Dr. Ambedkar is now an iconic figure for all the Dalit struggles, but deserving rich tributes were those forefathers who strove for education in anticipation of Ambedkars, Mr. Venugopal asserted.
Author and president of Centre for Dalit Studies Dr. Satyanarayana said the book speaks of cultural, economical and social changes marking the history of Dalits through four generations, with the last generation producing three doctorates in a single family.
He attributed the progress amply to his father, sister and elder brothers.
Journalist Mallepally Lakshmaiah who presided over the event said it was the first time an international publisher such as Harper Collins came forward to publish the work of a Telugu writer. The book was released by prominent journalist and editor of HMTV K. Ramachandra Murthy.
Kiran hikes age limit by 2 yrs for jobs
January 1, 2012
DC , Hyderabad
Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy said the upper age limit for government jobs is increased by two years. The age limit for general category has been increased from 34 years to 39 years, while it has been increased from 39 years to 41 years for SC/ ST/ BC candidates.
Similarly, for physically-challenged categories, the age limit has been increased from 44 years to 46 years and for all existing state government employees from 39 years to 41 years. For physically-challenged existing government employees, the age limit has been increased from 49 years to 51 years. However, for the ex-servicemen category, there is no change in the age limit.