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Bangalore Declaration – 2014 – Response to Caste and Dalit Poverty In India

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Bangalore Declaration

About one hundred and fifty Dalit Activists, Dalit Right workers, Dalit led NGO leaders, members of research  institutions, Training Development and Human Rights organisations, leaders of faith communities and human rights activists gathered from different states of India during 5-6 December 2014, in National Biblical, Catechetical and Liturgical  Centre (NBCLC), as a ‘Two-day National Conference on ‘Response to Caste and Dalit Poverty’ and have unanimously adopted this Declaration on this 6th day of December 2014.

We declare:

  1. That the definition of Dalits shall be based on untouchability; those communities and their posterities who suffered untouchability in the past are to be considered as Dalits irrespective of religion, and those communities and their ancestors or posterities who never suffered any kind of untouchability shall not be considered as Dalits.
  1. That there is a positive correlation between caste and Dalit poverty; as the poverty of Dalits is due to the caste system and all the backwardness inflicted upon them by the caste system
  1. That the development sector should coin right terminologies to describe caste discrimination, in the place of traditional terminologies glorifying and reinforcing caste system
  1. That the Dalits in India form 1/3rd of the Global poor (444 Millions) and hence the Dalits deserve a legitimate share of 1/3rd of the global resources set apart for addressing poverty.
  1. The Millennium Development Goals (MIDs) failed to achieve desired targets on Dalit poverty reduction mainly due to the fact that they completely ignored major chuck of the global poor, the Dalits who form 1/3rd of the Global Poor.
  1. That the National and International Aid agencies, Governments, and the Corporate Social Responsibility of the Corporate sector must address the root cause of poverty rather than continuing and content with treatment of the symptoms of poverty
  1. That the Cannon of Equity shall be followed by the aid agencies in sharing resources, specifying ‘Dalits and Caste Discrimination’ as thematic area as against inequality and other similar unrelated jargons.
  1. That the aid agencies must re-define their ideas of empowerment of Dalits as change of caste discriminatory practices as against empowering people for their civic entitlements and insist on disaggregated information of stopping caste discriminatory practices in their Evaluation and Monitoring
  1. That the aid agencies must follow the principle of inclusion of people and personnel from the Dalit background in their international development departments and preferably as country heads in South Asian Countries where 90% poor are Dalits and they must have Dalit Experts in their International Offices
  1. The Aid agencies and International NGOs working in South Asia must review the caste composition of their partner NGOs in South Asia and their capacity to absorb the target population within its decision making circle – including who own the properties bought with aid money, who operate the bank accounts and who take the decision.
  1. That the International Aid Agencies working in India should support Anti- Caste Discrimination campaigns internationally and support the Global campaign against Caste Discrimination as caste discrimination is practiced in 132 countries, including 110 countries, where South Asians have migrated like in the UK, which passed Anti- caste Discrimination laws.
  1. That the Overseas Governments with their India Offices and international Aid Agencies having their Indian country offices should all have their country coordinator with Dalit background or trained in Dalit studies, as 90% of the poor in India are Dalits
  1. That the resources for the development of Dalits shall be routed through the NGOs owned, managed and run by the Dalits themselves, in the place of the existing pattern that these resources are cornered by the NGOs run by the Caste Perpetrators who claim Dalits to be their target groups, and the Aid agencies must take mainly Dalit led NGOs as their partners while addressing the Dalit poverty
  1. That, as the platform for Dalit led NGOs, the DALITAID India shall be accepted by the Aid agencies and Corporate Social Responsibility Departments of the Corporate bodies and shall be promoted with priority
  1. That the National Model Community Development Project (NCDP) that DALITAID India has proposed and to be implemented in Odisha shall be owned by the Aid agencies, church and the Dalit led NGOs
  1. That the rights of all Dalits irrespective religion for equal rights and opportunities for development shall be accepted by the Aid agencies and governments while addressing the Dalit development.
  1. That the Churches in India shall be more inclusive in their approach to Dalits and ensure that Dalits get equal opportunities for inclusion in the various hierarchy of Church, leadership positions and educational and employment opportunities.
  1. That the Central and State Governments in India shall take very strict measures to ensure that the Bode labour in the Textile Industry and other sectors, be abolished,  where the victims are mostly Dalits
  1. That the discrimination in the educational opportunities to Dalits and discrimination in educational institutions shall be addressed effectively by the government and private educational institutions run by the churches and church based institutions; and the forms caste humiliations in higher education shall be addressed seriously
  1. That the Caste and Dalit Poverty shall be included the agenda of the UN Conferences on Development and in the forthcoming summit of September 2015.

1 Comment

  1. Raju Charles says:

    Please try to write in the Western-media,so that the World may know about the plights of helpless Dalits!
    New York Times,Washington Post ,London Times, French and German media,also China Daily!

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