Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Workshop on Dalit rights ends


Speakers illustrated examples of irregularities and unfair treatment met out to women panchayat members and Dalits.

Chandigarh: SPEAKERS dwelt on the various problems ailing Panchayati Raj institutions in the north western part of the country on the concluding day of a workshop organised by the Indian Council of Social Science Research, North Western Regional Centre.

Presenting their papers on issues pertaining to empowerment of Dalits and women through reservation in Panchayati Raj institutions of north west India, the speakers illustrated examples of irregularities and unfair treatment met out to women panchayat members and those belonging to the dalit community.

Tanzin Wangyal, Director, National Commission for SC/STs brought to light cases from Haryana and Punjab where elected dalit sarpanches were replaced by non-dalit sarpanches on flimsy grounds.

According to Dr Kuldip Puri, Project Officer, Regional Resource Centre, Punjab University, 75 per cent of children studying in Government Schools were Dalits and instead of improving the standard of education for them, the government was considering increased reliance on NGOs which he considered poor substitutes.

Inderjit Singh, State Secretary, Workers' Union, Haryana, talked about khap (clan) Panchayat which gains prevelance over the democratically elected Panchyat.

In his valedictory address Dr Manjit Singh, Coordinator, Ambedkar Centre, suggested that more such workshops should be organised.

Source: The Indian Express, December 01, 2004

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