Dalit Foundation (DF) has been actively involved in promoting and protecting Dalit human rights and it has been strengthening the Dalit leadership at grassroots level since 2003. Over the past decade DF’s support and initiative through grants and individual Scholarships to the grassroots Dalit and marginalized groups has elevated the caste based issues to public discourse in most of the DF intervention areas. Nonetheless, the individual Dalit activists and group fellows has accelerated the process of change in the lives of Dalit communities, which is visible indeed through their actions. So, the support has imbedded with multiple effects of change in — addressing caste based discrimination, struggle for equality, building capacity of Dalit communities and partners, and developing their leadership across the nation.
As one is aware that India as a nation is undergoing global economic transition for the past two decades, along with social communication which is moving at fast phase. The caste based identity politics possess perfect biggest challenge to the goal of social change, though; promotion of social and religious diversity further becomes even critical. To ensure this two pivotal elements— caste based identity and diversity, DF will uphold and practices definition of the term ‘Dalit’ and diversity in its all approaches.
With this aim DF has planned to strategies its future initiative and actions through group Scholarship to address pressing multiple issues that continue to dehumanize Dalits and their lives on daily basis in every part of Indian region despite of legal mechanisms and policy frame due to patriarchal structure and social construct that prevents Dalits communities from to leave life of dignity.
The group Scholarships are implicit and it is effective in addressing the issues that are heinous in nature— caste based atrocity, chronic poverty, conflict and dispute over natural resources — land, water, forest and lack of accesses to other entitlements all these elements evidently impacted on women and their lives further resulting in violence and discrimination. Therefore, this form of structural violation and discrimination requires huge strength of critical mass to address the issues efficiently and effectively. Henceforth, this process involves large scale community participation. And, also the process requires initiating several popular public campaigns on the issues at wider level. It also facilitates better monitoring and evaluation of the programme implementation at the field by the fellows.
Besides the group Scholarship process would assist in careful selection group fellows in given depleting financial resources and funding crunch. Hence this process would enable fellows to take carefully crafted strategic intervention in selected villages in order to build right perspective among communities and address human rights violations that impacts lives of Dalit and other marginalized communities.
This will also help in promoting idea of building need based approach through vocational education and further enhance on self-depended on livelihood and it is expected to reach out to larger beneficiaries.
The strategy intended to moot new approach and criteria of common minimum programme under this Scholarship. The aim is to facilitate better planning of the partners work, better monitoring and evaluation of the programs successes, gaps and challenges across the region. The outcome, learning, challenges and results will be shared among the partners and to networking groups of DF.
The Common Minimum Program aims to following criteria while implementing the programme at ground zero.
- Caste Discrimination and Untouchability: in Public School, among village Panchayat members and accesses to safe water and other resources.
- Mobilization: Caste based violence, violence against women, minimum wages under NAREGA, rural livelihood mission, agricultural labour, and other unorganized sector, youth organization, sensitize panchayat members and other stakeholders
- Organization: Social justice committees, Sub-caste discrimination, all poor platforms, art/culture/food festival
- Education: common program of all children and children library and theatre group
Application and concept note are invited from potential CBOs and groups, the applications need to accompany with two page concept note on proposed work, strategy and time frame of the programme intervention.
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Field Visit: Intense field visits will be carried out.
Project Selection Workshop: Intense workshop for 3-4 days for the identification of partners.
- Joint planning and monitoring with tangible outcome.
- Raising local resources for the sustainability of the programmes.
- Skill building training for the volunteers (2 per village).
Agreement Letter will be sent and after the consent of the partner, financial disbursement will be carried out.