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Gujarat coin campaign to end untouchability: Dalit rights NGO begins donations drive

By Our Representative 

As part of a unique campaign to melt all the brass utensils and articles collected from across India and mint a 1111 milligram diameter coin, on which the image of Dr BR Ambedkar's famous anti-untouchability Mahad satyagraha of 1927 will be engraved, Gujarat’s top Dalit rights organisation, Navsarjan Trust, has begun a major donations drive from people willing to take part in what has been called “no rallies, no sit-ins, no slogans and no call for Bharat bandh” programme.
Talking with Counterview, Martin Macwan, founder of Navsarjan and leader of the campaign, said, the cost of minting the coin – which will be offered to all the members of India’s Parliament so that it is placed beneath the new Parliament building as a "reminder" to implement the anti-untouchability provisions of the Indian Constitution – will be “around Rs 16 lakh”, pointing out, “I have been traveling to villages and towns to pick up brass utensils, already gathered by people.”
He said, “We will have to melt all the brass utensils that we gather and convert it into a huge coin. We think it will turn into a two kg of coin. We are seeking donations from our well-wishers for Rs 1111 each for this, as we are really short of funds.”
Those wanting to send donations by cheques, he said, can sent it the following address: Navsarjan Trust, Dalit Shakti Kendra, village: Nani Devti, Sanand-Bavla road, Taluka Sanand; District Ahmedabad, 382220. As for those willing to make bank transfers, the details, he added, are as follows:
In an article, published in a Navsarjan Trust-supported blog, he said, “The coin will be donated to all the members of Parliament, to lay the same in the foundation of the new house of Parliament to be constructed of the largest democracy of the world, to remind ourselves of an unfinished promise to abolish untouchability.”
He added, “People will also contribute 1 Rupee coin as a contribution for the upcoming Parliament house. After all, Parliament is the only political and moral temple of all Indian citizens, which is mandated to protect the rights of all its citizens as enshrined in the India’s Constitution. The coin and the donation shall be presented to the members of Parliament on August 15, 2022.”
Explaining the significance of placing the coin beneath the new Parliament building, Macwan, recalling the legend of Megh Maya, an “untouchable” who agreed to King Siddhrajsinh Solanki’s demand to sacrifice his life for ending famine provided his community was freed untouchability, said, today, in memory of Magh Maya, Macwan said, “Every new house constructed is laid with a coin in the foundation, a symbol of a dream of peace and prosperity for all its dwellers.”
The Dalit rights leader added, “We need to lay a coin in the foundation of the upcoming Parliament house to ensure that it can truly build India as a democratic nation, free of untouchability. With the presence of untouchability, India cannot become undivided Nation.” The aim of the campaign to ensure that India is declared untouchability free till on 100 years of India’s Independence, August 15, 2047.

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