Monday, December 06, 2004

Dalits demand 'restoration of dignity' on 'World Dignity Day'

New Delhi: To mark the 'World Dignity Day', eleven dalit organisations and activist groups from across India today joined hands at the 'Peoples' Dignity Rally' here to highlight the hopes and struggles of the underprivileged.

Demanding the right to reservation in private sector, legislation to protect the interest of unorganised workers and artisans and implementation of land and agrarian reforms, leaders at the rally said the move was imperative in order to address the concerns of the marginalised people.

Besides, they said, state governments should immediately stop eviction of forest tribes and slum dwellers from their habitation and accord 'schedule caste' status to dalits among Muslims and Christians.

The suffering and miseries of farmers, artisans, weavers, displaced people, unemployed youth and the downtrodden have long been ignored which needs to be corrected and addressed, they added.

The leaders later discussed strategies and plans of action against social exclusion, neo-liberal policies and religious fundamentalism.

The event also marked the formal launching of the 'World Dignity Forum 2004' to evolve a coherent agenda and influencing policy decisions collectively.

Rally leaders from organisations includings the National onference of Dalit Organisations, National Forum for Forest People and Forest Workers and Lok Shakti Abhiyan among others, later submitted a memorandum containing their demands to the Prime Minister.

Source:, December 06, 2004


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