All of us know that Dalit Foundation (DF) and Indian Institute of Dalit Studies (IIDS) were established at the national level to prepare skilled human resource for Dalit Activism on the one hand and, to generate knowledge-resource for Dalit movements and advocacy initiatives across the country. It may also be noted that both these institutions have essentially been the product of collective efforts of numerous Dalit activists and intellectuals/academicians etc.
There are certain illustrious names worth mentioning in the process of the institutional development: Vincent Manoharan ( Former gen. Sect. NCDHR), Paul Divakar (NCDHR & DAAA), Ruth Manorama (NAWO), Henri Tiphagne (Forum Asia & PW-TN), Fr. Aloysius, Prof. Vimal Thorat (AIDMAM & NCDHR) etc.
Over the years, these twin institutions have played a pivotal role in intensification of grass-root activism and consequent emergence of Dalit movements, platforms, advocacy groups. With them in the backdrop, Dalit struggles in the country have got renewed idioms and sense of purpose.
What prompts us to write this appeal to all of you is that the some vested interests have developed in these premiere Dalit institutions. According to reliable sources, there is a move to shift the Dalit Foundation from New Delhi to Ahmadabad, besides removing the founding executive director. It is also being said all this is being done at the instance of the board of trustees.
It is high time for all of us to mediate in the process and enable the board to refrain from unilateral decisions without taking the community in confidence.
If they are really serious and committed to the institution, we would suggest then to institute an independent evaluation committee to take stock of the situation and, to develop a roadmap of future course of development. Finally, it is to be reiterated, that the board cannot take any such decision. It is community, the Dalit [people of the country, the owner of these institutions, to take any final decision, if at all necessary.
We appeal all the founding members and stakeholders to make a representation to the board to desist their decisions concerning
- the shifting of Dalit Foundation from New Delhi to Ahmedabad and removal of its founding executive director and,
- Institute an expert committee to evaluate the performance of the institution and, take the recommendations to the community.
Please do your communication / response to the trustees and copy that to solidarity group: email@example.com
The details of Boards of trustees are:
Chair: SyedaHameed :firstname.lastname@example.org
Martin Macwan :email@example.com
Jennifer Liang :firstname.lastname@example.org
Pramila Swain : email@example.com
Chief Executive- PMARC