Skip to main content

Need to reflect: Why 80% Dalit girls faced sexual abuse, 90% 'considered' suicide

By Our Representative

In a major revelation, top Dalit rights leader Martin Macwan has said that between 75 and 80 per cent girls, who come to study at the Dalit Shakti Kendra (DSK), founded by Macwan about two decades ago off Ahmedabad to offer alternative training options to manual scavenging and other caste based occupations, have experienced sexual violence or harassment.
Speaking a virtual seminar organized by the Impact and Policy Research Institute (IMPRI), New Delhi, Macwan said, girls particularly experience sexual abuse in their villages when go for defecating in the open. Most of the girls who come to study at DSK are Dalit and are from poor background.
Giving a specific instance of interaction with girl students at DSK, Macwan said, “During a session I raised a question to whether anyone of them had ever thought committing a suicide. To my utter surprise almost 90% of them raised their hands, which speaks volumes about the trauma that youth go through.”
Claiming that our schools have failed to fight the trauma Dalit children, especially girls, undergo, Macwan told the researchers participating in the seminar about the need to “capture the impact of caste and gender prejudices in the minds of young people, and investigate social reasons as to why suicide rates have doubled in the last decade.”
Macwan, who was speaking on “Heinousness of many Hathras amidst the Pandemic -- Voluntarism, the Way Ahead for Combating Caste and Gender-based Violence”, wondered why those at the very top of the power structure failed to condemn the manner in which the Hathras victim’s family was treated even after the gangrape incident on September 14 and her subsequent death a fortnight later.
“Her body was forcefully burnt by the power wielders knowing fully well how to destroy crucial evidence that would reveal the crimes”, he said, stating, this stood in sharp contrast to “the right of respectful burial was awarded to dreaded terrorists and the convicts of the heinous crimes as that of Nirbhaya.”
According to Macwan, very unfortunately, even the head of the Indian state, President Ramnath Kovind, though a Dalit, “hasn’t spoken a word condemning the incident.” Further, “There are 680 elected representatives at state and national levels who are Dalits, and their eerie silence to speak against the brutal incidents of caste violence including Hathras is very disturbing.”
Given this framework, said Macwan, political reservation to the scheduled castes is proving to be “futile, as it has become more of personal benefits and has not generated any equality in society or impacted the lives of the Dalits.” He wondered whether suspension of political reservation would bring about any change.

Comments

TRENDING

India's GDP down by 50%, not 23%, job loss 200 million not 122 million: Top economist

By Our Representative  One of India’s topmost economists has estimated that India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) decline was around 50%, and not 23%, as claimed by the Government of India’s top data body, National Statistical Organization (NSO). Prof Arun Kumar, who is Malcolm S Adiseshiah chair professor, Institute of Social Sciences, New Delhi, said this was delivering a web policy speech, organised by the Impact and Policy Research Institute (IMPRI), New Delhi.

Youngest of 16 activists jailed for sedition, Mahesh Raut 'fought' mining on tribal land

By Surabhi Agarwal, Sandeep Pandey* A compassionate human being, always popular among his friends and colleagues because of his friendly nature and human sensitivity, 33-year-old Mahesh Raut, champion of the democratic rights of the marginalised Adivasi people of Gadchiroli, Maharashtra, has been in prison for over two years now.

#StandWithStan: It's about Constitution, democracy and freedom of expression

By Fr Cedric Prakash SJ*  It is more than three weeks now: On the night of October 8, 2020, the 83-year-old Jesuit Fr Stan Swamy was taken into custody by the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) from his residence in Ranchi to an undisclosed destination. According to his colleagues, the NIA did not serve a warrant on Fr. Stan and that their behaviour was absolutely arrogant and rude.

Stan Swamy vs Arnab Goswami: Are activists fighting a losing battle? Whither justice?

By Fr Sunil Macwan SJ* It is time one raised pertinent questions over the courts denying bail to Fr Stan Swamy, who was arrested under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), and granting it to Arnab Goswami, editor-in-chief of the Republic TV, arrested under the charge of abetting suicide of Avay Naik, who ended his life in 2018. It is travesty of justice that a human rights activist is not only denied bail but is also made to wait for weeks to hear a response to his legitimate request for a straw to drink water, while Arnab Goswami walks free.

Human development index: India performs worse than G-20 developing countries

By Rajiv Shah A new book, “Sustainable Development in India: A Comparison with the G-20”, authored by Dr Keshab Chandra Mandal, has regretted that though India’s GDP has doubled over the last one decade, its human development indicators are worse than not just developed countries of the Group of 20 countries but also developing countries who its members.

India performs 'poorly' in Quality of Life Index, ranks 62nd out of 64 countries

Counterview Desk “Expat Insider”, which claims to be one of the world’s most extensive surveys about living and working abroad, in a survey of 20,259 participants from around the globe, has found that of the 64 destinations around the globe, has found that while Taiwan is the best destination for persons living outside their native country, closely by Vietnam and Portugal, India ranks 59th.

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

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".

Namaz in Mathura temple: Haridwar, Ayodhya monks seek Faisal Khan's release

By Our Representative As many as 23 members of the Hindu Voices for Peace (HVP), including the founder president of the well-known Haridwar-based Matri Sadan Ashram, Swami Shivananda Saraswati, and a one of its top monks, Brahmachari Aatmabodhanand, have expressed their “dismay” over the arrest of Khudai Khidmatdar chief Faisal Khan and three others on charges of “promoting enmity between religions” and “defiling a place of worship” after they offered namaz in Mathura’s Nand Baba temple premises on October 29.

Government of India 'refuses' to admit: 52% of bird species show declining trend

Finn's Weaver  By Our Representative The Government of India has been pushing out “misleading” data on the country’s drastic wildlife decline, says a well-researched report, pointing towards how top ministers are hiding data on biodiversity losses, even as obfuscating its own data. It quotes “State of India’s Birds Report 2020” to note that of the 261 out of 867 bird species for which long-term trends could be determined, 52% have declined since the year 2000, with 22% declining strongly.

Dalit, Adivasi protest in Jharkhand against 'illegal' transfer of land for development

By Rishit Neogi Displacement and eviction are not new terms. It is surprising that they are still continuing and have become a tool in the hands of state backed corporates to forcibly occupy lands in the name of development.