Skip to main content

Govt of India bullying Gujarat Dalit NGO Navsarjan into silence, return FCRA license: Panchmahal rights group

Panchmahals Dalit group which submitted memorandum
By Our Representative
Taking strong exception to cancellation of Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) license to well-known Gujarat-based Dalit rights NGO Navsarjan Trust, Dalit activists from several districts in Gujarat have sent memorandums to President Pranab Kumar Mukherjee terming the step an effort to “bully the organization into silence, motivated by an anti-Dalit agenda.”
Also calling it “political vendetta against Dalit advocates”, “abhorrent” and “anti-democratic”, one such memorandum, also submitted to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Rajnath Singh, says, it is a “selective targeting” of an organization which advocates “on behalf of the Dalit people”. The government step, it adds, has also taken away the funds which supported 80 activists’ job to carry out social work.
Asserting that Navsarjan has “no hidden agenda”, as it has “aimed at alleviating the Dalit community people from “historical” poverty, untouchability, and caste-based violence by seeking remedies provided by the Indian constitution and laws, the memorandum asks the President the Prime Minister to “restore” the FCRA license.
Submitted by members of the Dalit Human Rights Committee, Panchmahal, under the leadership of senior activist Rohit Manu at the district collector's office in Godhra, the memorandum takes strong exception to the government view that the NGO’s activities are aimed to “prejudicially affect” harmony between “religious, racial, social, linguistic, regional groups, castes or communities”.
Insisting that nothing can be father from the truth, the memorandum says, the Dalit community in “Gujarat and beyond” have come to depend on Navsarjan to provide “essential services and advocacy on behalf of our uniquely vulnerable community”.
Thus, says the memorandum, thanks to Navsarjan, thanks to its petitions in different courts, including the Gujarat High Court, the state government set up Safai Kamdar Corporation, meant to provide alternative source of income to sanitation workers allocating Rs 125 crore.
The memorandum recalls, a major success, thanks to one such legal intervention which went right up to the Supreme Court, was the Government of India forced to come up with a legally-binding time-bound programme of action to end the inhuman practice of manual scavenging and rehabilitate thousands of them across India.
The result, the memorandum says, was that, recently, Parliament amended the anti-manual scavenging law, making it more stringent, and the Supreme Court asking states to provide Rs 10 lakh each to compensate the death of each manhole worker.
All this, according to the memorandum, went alongside organizing members of the Dalit community, educating them not to tolerate caste-based and gender-based violence, use of the law to fight untouchability practice, and be educated to overcome inhibitions of caste and poverty.
Giving examples of educational involvement of Navsarjan, the memorandum says, it set up three primary schools (grade 5-8) in Sami (Patan district), Rayka (Ahmedabad district) and Katariya (Surendranagar district), where mostly school dropouts and belonging to Dalit and other backward communities, have been studying.
As part of its educational programme, it began a “No plastic, No caste” campaign, the memorandum says, adding, Navsarjan also set up 500 Bhimshalas, whose objective is to motivate children not to drop out of schools, even providing them library facilities and other educational material.
Then, the memorandum says, Navsarjan set up a vocational school for Dalit students to learn new skills, where over the last 13 years the school more than 8,000 girls and boys have graduated. Having a labour success rate of 82.5 when last measured, the vocational school has now has been registered as a separate organization, Dalit Shakti Kendra, it adds.

Comments

TRENDING

Modi, Shah 'forget': Gandhi’s first Satyagraha was against citizenship law of South Africa

By Nachiketa Desai*
Hindu fanatic Nathuram Godse assassinated Mahatma Gandhi once on January 30, 1948 but his followers raising the war cry of ‘Jai Sriram’ are killing the Mahatma every day. In his home state of Gujarat, Gandhiji was killed a thousand times in 2002 when over 2,000 Muslims were butchered, their women raped, homes and shops plundered and set on fire and even unborn babies ripped out of the wombs of their mothers.

Union Budget 'moves away' from Right to Education, 1.3 lakh schools closed down

By Dr Aparajita Sharma*
It was a shocking reply by the Union human resource development minister to a question raised in Parliament on closure of schools in a country where lakhs of children are still out of school. On December 2, the minister, Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, told Lok Sabha that the NITI Aayog’s education project, Sath-E, has led to 35,996 schools of different levels being merged in Madhya Pradesh, 4,312 in Jharkhand and 1,803 in Odisha. NITI Aayog is the Central Government’s policy think-tank.

CAA-NPR-NRC will 'target' 99% homeless, who are without birth certificates: NCU

Counterview Desk
Claiming to base on a survey in five states (Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu), which finds that over 99% of the homeless people do not have birth certificates, a civil rights organization which networks activists, researchers, urban practioners, lawyers, informal sector workers, has claimed that the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), as also the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the National Population Register (NPR), are likely to adversely impact this section the most.

Modi 'warned': Will not remain silent when women are labelled terrorists and traitors

Counterview Desk
As many as 13 women's rights organizations and 162 individuals have issued an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi stating that in the light of hate speeches during Delhi elections, especially directed against women, it is his "Constitutional duty to protect all citizens" and tell his partymen "to fight the elections in a manner that upholds the Constitution, not one that increases the fear and insecurity among women."

Law 'governing' world's tallest Statue of Unity refers to local tribals as occupiers

By Rohit Prajapati, Krishnakant*
The recently enacted Statue of Unity (SoU) Area Development and Tourism Governance Act, 2019 in Gujarat comes amidst a terrifying atmosphere of intimidation, house arrests, detentions and FIRs, not to mention the overarching implementation of Section 144 across the state.

Anti-CAA: Mallika Sarabhai joins students, faculty to protest dy CM's 'divisive' talk

By Our Representative
Taking strong exception to deputy chief minister Nitin Patel’s statement against those protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC), well-known danseuse Mallika Sarabhai has joined tens of activists and students and faculty of Gujarat University, CEPT University, Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad, Gujarat Vidyapeeth and Nirma University to say that they are seeking “azadi” from the fascist and communal forces of the country.

Ramchandra Guha on how Gandhi outgrew his Gujarati bania 'parochialism'

By Rajiv Shah
More than a fortnight ago, prominent historian Ramchandra Guha, who calls himself Gandhi scholar and not a Gandhian, came to Ahmedabad. While I was part of a small group of persons who met him at lunch, his lecture on Gandhi in the evening, where he sought to interpret what swaraj meant to Gandhi, surely, interested the selected audience that had been called to listen to him.

Ironical? Hindutva is all 'fire and spite', as Muslim women become apostles of peace

By Sandeep Pandey*
On January 26, Republic Day, 2020, while protests simmered against Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC) throughout India, a dozen North American cities also witnessed historic protests. Indian Embassies have been witness to protests in the past. But this time it was different.

Union Budget: 24 crore people live in the dark, Sitharaman talks of prepaid smart meters

Counterview Desk
The Centre for Financial Accountability (CFA), a Delhi-based advocacy group, commenting on the Union budget 2020-21, has has called it a case of missing wood for the trees, pointing out, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman "missed an opportunity to fix the economy, which is reeling under an unprecedented slowdown, with all indices pointing towards a recession."