Skip to main content

Ninety Dalit families face discrimination in distribution of drinking water, alleges Gujarat Dalit rights NGO

Will the CM act?
By Our Representative
With summer at its height, and increasing number of villages facing water shortage in Gujarat, facts have come to light which suggest that backward communities, particularly the Dalits, have once again begun to face the brunt of the shortage. In a letter written to Gujarat chief minister Anandiben Patel, Kirit Rathod, programme director, Navsarjan Trust, a Dalit rights NGO, operating from Ahmedabad, has said that in village Samosar, tuluka Muli, district Surendranagar, 90 families of the Dalit community “face extreme discrimination” at the hands of dominant caste persons, controlling village local body, in the distribution of drinking water.
Asking the chief minister to “immediately act”, Rathod in his letter said, the village has for long suffered from acute shortage of water, and things become particularly worse during summer. “Currently, water is being supplied to the Samosar village from the nearby Umarda village panchayat”, the letter says, adding, “However, as for the distribution of water, it is the job of the Samosar village panchayat, which is where all the mischief is done.”
“The problem has become especially acute because most of the sources for obtaining drinking water in the village are situated in the non-Dalit areas. As for the Dalits, as they live in one corner of the village, they are unable to access any water. There is a source of drinking water in the Dalit area, but here water is generally available for a very short duration. Often, Dalits have to wait for several days to access water”, the letter said.
The result is, said Rathod, the Dalits have to go walk a kilometre in order to access water from a well. Currently, when the marriage season is on, the Dalits have to buy water, which is a very costly affair, as most Dalits are wage labourers. “The situation has continued for several years, and despite representations to local authorities, there is no solution. Things have become particularly worse this seaon”, Rathod alleged.
Asking the Gujarat government to act urgently, the letter wants to state officials to provide water to Dalits via tankers free of cost. The letter said, “Immediate action should be taken to ensure that Narmada waters are available to the village, with clear instructions to the village panchayat not to discriminate against the Dalits while distributing water. There should be separate bore and an overhead tank for the Dalit households, where water could be stored.”
This is the second major representation by the Dalit rights NGO to the Gujarat government this season to end discrimination against the backward community for the provision of water. Earlier, following a representation to the state government and a report in Counterview (click HERE to read), the officials of the state social justice and empowerment department directed the district administration, Mehsana, to begin legal proceedings against the dominant sections of Lunasan village of Kadi taluka for consciously barring Dalits from accessing water.
Finding that the complaint by the NGO – which said that the dominant caste people often breached the water pipeline in the Dalit area – had weight, a letter to the district development official, Mehsana, and the district backward class welfare officer, Mehsana, said the officials must act swiftly to start proceedings against the high-caste persons under the Prevention of Atrocities Act. The official notes that the villagers may be forced to migrate from the village if they are not provided drinking water.
Last year during summer, the NGO in association with the Pani Hak Rakshak Samiti, found that the areas around Ahmedabad, in five talukas of Ahmedabad district – Dholka, Dhandhuka, Sanand, Bavla and Viramgam – there was acute discrimination in the provision of drinking water to the Dalits. “Dalit women have to particularly suffer, as they have to walk long distances in order to get water. They are unable to access water at the source nearby due to untouchability practicies”, said a report prepared on the basis of the survey.
The survey identified 1,200 families of the five talukas which had to particularly suffer because of untouchability in accessing water. “Untouchability prevails in accessing water at common bathing spots, public spots meant to wash clothes, community taps, private and panchayat bores, handpumps, common village wells and ponds”, the survey report said.

Comments

TRENDING

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Gyanvapi case: Use of 'illegal' lawfare to keep the communal pot simmering

By Venkatesh Narayanan, Bobby Ramakant, Manoj Sarang* With a steady drumbeat of bad news for the lives of ordinary citizens --  inflation at a multi-year high , rupee at an all-time low , negative job creation and when all forward indicators as seen by industry leaders point to recessionary clouds on the horizon , what’s a serially-incompetent government to do?  Dust out their time-tested-citizen-distraction playbook. The Gyanvapi-Masjid case is all of this -- as a weapon of mass distraction. This zeitgeist of our times is best captured by a recent opinion piece : "The idea is to keep the pot on a perpetual boil, simmering at the top, whirling feverishly beneath. A restless society forever living precariously on the precipice arouses distrst, uneasiness, fear and discomfort, That is a toxic panoply for manufacturing rage, which can then be effortlessly mobilized at short notice. BJP is creating an eco-system of real-time instant delivery of hate-mongers. That is how we are sudde

Examples of support to Hindu temples, scriptures, saints by 'Muslim' rulers galore

Siya Ram coin issued by Akbar By Bharat Dogra* At a time when the country as well as the world are passing through very difficult times leading to more urgent need for strengthening national unity for meeting several big challenges ahead, unfortunately disputes relating to religious places have been allowed to raise their ugly head once again. It is well-realized by now by many people that it is not historical facts but narrow considerations of political gain and spreading of fanatic ideas of intolerance which are behind such mischief, but due to the increasing threat of mob violence and patronage available at higher levels to groups spreading intolerance many people are reluctant to openly and fearlessly express their views. Hence there is urgent need for broad-based peace committees with wider social support to spread the message of communal harmony and to appeal against the dangers of spreading false messages regarding places of worship which can ultimate

Targeting mosques, churches: 'Roadmap' for 2025, RSS' centenary year?

416 years old Our Lady of Health Church, Sancoale, Goa  By Fr Cedric Prakash SJ*  Fascists use manipulative strategies aimed at whipping up sympathy and support from the majority community, to which they normally ‘belong’. They do so in a variety of insidious and subtle ways. In the past few months, they have gone overboard in their efforts to denigrate and demonize minorities in India, particularly Muslims and Christians. They have spewed hate and divisiveness through their venomous speeches; incited people to violence and have effectively used officialdom to further their vested interests. The results are there for all to see: greater polarisation of the majority community in a country which prided itself for its pluralism and diversity. Their meticulously planned agenda is in order to gain absolute power of the country in the 2024 national elections. More so it is also a roadmap towards 2025 when the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) will complete one hundred years of its existence.

Upholding labour rights, Nehruvian scientific temper, Rajni Patel opposed Emergency

By Harsh Thakor*  Rajni Patel, who died 40 years ago, whatever his flaws, had one great quality: his human touch to offer selfless service and ability to galvanise or influence human beings from all walks of life. Few people would ever go out of the way to help someone or serve as selflessly without aim of personal gain. Rajni championed Nehruvian secular ideas and scientific temper. As a master in public relations he revealed utmost humility. As a barrister, he never appeared against the trade unions or workers. A Fabien Socialist he opposed liberal capitalism and radical socialism. Unlike most lawyers, he did not succumb to the lure of amassing wealth. Rajni was born in Sirsa, in Gujarat, on the very day Gandhi set foot on Indian soil, on 9th January, 1915. He gained his baptism through one of Gandhi's speeches calling for the boycott of foreign goods, which was the virtual turning point of his life. Rajni toed Gandhi to organise boycott of foreign goods. Rajni was able to cros

This varsity succumbed to extra-academic mobocracy, 'ignored' Hindutva archives

By Shamsul Islam* Open letter to Sharda University vice-chancellor Sub: Discarding a Question on Linkages of Hindutva with Nazism/Fascism is blatant Academic Dishonesty! Dear Professor Sibaram Khara Saheb, Namaskaar! According to your esteemed University’s portal: “The name of University, 'Sharda' is synonymous to 'Goddess of knowledge and learning-Saraswati'. She is identified with 'veena', an Indian musical instrument and the ‘lotus’, where she resides. The lotus in our logo symbolizes the seat of learning that the University is created for.  "Variety of colours signify the variety of disciplines the university offers and the overlap between petals creating new colours demonstrate the ethos of collaboration between students and teachers of different programme, nationality, creed and colour working towards creating new knowledge…the University's cherished mission to provide education beyond boundaries and to facilitate the students and faculty to achie

Whither climate goal? Increasing reliance on coal 'likely to worsen' India's power crisis

By Shankar Sharma*  Recent news articles, How to shock-proof India’s power sector and Power minister points finger at states for worsening electricity crisis , have highlighted a few current problems for the ongoing power sector issues as in April 2022. However, there is a lot more to it than a few temporary solutions as indicated in the articles. It should also be emphasised that it is techno-economically impossible to completely shock-proof a highly complex and geographically wide-spread vast power network, such as the one in India, which is only getting more and more complex with the passage of each year due to some irrational policies/ practices in the sector. A business-as-usual (BAU) scenario, wherein more and more of conventional technology power plants, including coal power plants, will be added in the near future, will also necessitate the increased complexity in the integrated national grid, and as a result the instances of power shortage/ disruptions can only escalate for

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

A former Modi ally, Prashant Kishor wanted to enter Congress 'on contract, as trader'

By Anand Sahay*  The Congress Party and the election campaigns specialist Prashant Kishor, whose company has done strategic communications for a host of political parties across ideology, should both count themselves lucky that they could not reach an agreement for Kishor to join the party. News reports suggest that the Congress rejected Kishor’s terms. This is not wholly unexpected. People join a party because they are attracted to it, and wish to serve it in any capacity that the party may see fit. But that isn’t Kishor at all. He gave the impression of entering into a contract, as a trader might. If news reports are to be believed, he sought freedom to report directly to party chief Sonia Gandhi, and sought untrammeled control over party communications. When such ideas did not find favour, the consultant withdrew. It is clear he has no particular love for the Congress, and its ideas, ideology and politics. In contrast, look at the key personae in G-23. They

Haven't done a good deed, inner soul is cursing me as sinner: Aurangzeb's last 'will'

Counterview Desk The Tomb of Aurangzeb, the last of the strong Mughal emperors, located in Khuldabad, Aurangabad district, Maharashtra, has this epitaph inscribed on it: "Az tila o nuqreh gar saazand gumbad aghniyaa! Bar mazaar e maa ghareebaan gumbad e gardun bas ast" (the rich may well construct domes of gold and silver on their graves. For the poor folks like me, the sky is enough to shelter my grave).