ADVOCATING THE RIGHTS OF THE DALITS AND THE MARGINALISED
15 YEARS OF HUMANITARIAN SERVICE IN INDIA
Dalit Solidarity, Inc. was established as a 501(3)© charitable and tax-exempt organization in 2000 to promote equality and justice for Dalits who have been marginalised and segregated for centuries under the shadow of Caste oppression in the sub-continent of India. Even today, at the dawn of twenty first century when India has become a super power, the pain of untouchablity is strongly felt as ever before by more than three hundred million dalits. Although some dalits have achieved success in getting political, economical and social status, still majority of dalits live in extreme poverty and continue to go through severe discrimination in all walks of life. According to the latest estimates of the Planning Commission Report of 2010, 323 million people live below poverty line in India. This indicates that 37.2 percent of the Indian population is living below poverty line. It can be certain that a huge majority of this population are dalits who suffer not only economical disparity but also painfully the social discrimination. Despite the existence of different schemes and programs to improve the socioeconomic conditions of the poor and marginalized, the plight of the Dalits still remains largely unchanged. It is reported that 80 percent of Dalits live in rural areas, 86 percent are landless, 60 percent are dependent on occasional employment and only 30 percent are literate. No other race in the world has ever suffered like the Dalits who continue live through the stigma of Untouchablity under the pretext of religion.
For the past 15 years, Dalit Solidarity has worked steadily to provide India’s Dalits with the tools they need to make better lives for themselves and their families. We advocate tirelessly on behalf of India’s Dalits, addressing the issues of caste and untouchability, and standing strong for one of the world’s most oppressed populations. Our program is designed to build awareness regarding the social injustices faced by the Dalits; to promote activism in the Dalit movement; and to provide resources. We are registered as a charity in the states of Pennsylvania and Illinois to work toward the empowerment of dalits.
Dalit Solidarity works with the Dalits, the poorest members of Indian society. Formerly known as "untouchables," Dalits are the victims of an ancient form of persecution and segregation in India known as the caste system. Dalits suffer discrimination in education, employment, and health care. Their occupation and status in life are predetermined from birth. Approximately 25% of India's 1.1 billion people are Dalits. Most Dalits live in severe poverty, earning less than $1 a day. There are 250 million Dalits in India-about 1/6th of the total population.