Every day there are stories in the news about the plight of the Dalits. These articles keep us aware of the struggles that Dalits face on a daily basis. Please click on the titles below to read recent articles.
How Dalits are victims of caste discrimination in Haryana's Samalkha town: This article zeroes in on the daily struggles that Dalits in a small village outside Delhi face. It exposes the marginalization, segregation and abuse Dalit families' experience.
Punished by axe: Bonded labour in India's brick kilns: The BBC shares the disturbing story of a man trapped in bonded labour. The article draws attention to the extreme violence and abuse many modern day slaves endure.
The plight of dalit women: Why it’s time to end the caste system both in India and the UK: "Caste-based discrimination cannot be seen as just a problem of Dalits, or a problem of any specific country. It is a human rights problem affecting millions of people in India, South Asia or wherever the Indian diaspora live worldwide"
Poverty, Child, Maternal Deaths High in India: United Nations: This article highlights some of the key health issues that Dalits in rural India experience.
Ravi is a student at TMP Good Shepherd School. He had been suffering from debilitating stomach pain that prevented him from attending school. Even when he could make it to school the pain was so bad he struggled to concentrate on his studies.
Ravi comes from a poor, illiterate family who had always depended on traditional medicine and were weary of modern healthcare. Our community health worker came alongside the family to provide support, education, and access to medication. The health worker also acted as an advocate for Ravi at the local hospital to ensure he received quality care.
Because the community health worker intervened on Ravi's behalf he is now undergoing treatment for his condition and making a full recovery.
We are so thankful for our incredible Community Health Workers who are having a transformational impact on Dalit communities across India.
Construction of additional classrooms at GYA Good Shepherd School has begun. It is exciting to see the progress! These classrooms will allow us to open the door to more children from the surrounding villages.
GYA School is located in Bihar - which is one of the poorest states in India. The majority of the students at GYA School belong to the Musahar community. Musahar are also known as "rat eaters" because in their poverty they hunt and kill field mice. They live in extreme poverty and face discrimination, ridicule, and abuse.
Every day we are seeing GYA Good Shepherd School bring hope and transformation through quality education. The expansion of this school will allow it to have an even greater impact on the local community.
Every year the students at our Good Shepherd Schools write letters to their sponsors. We recently received a shipment of these letters to our Canada office and will soon be mailing them out to all of our Canadian sponsors.
The students always write thoughtfully and draw beautifully. They are so proud to share their creativity and talent with you! Here is what Sushil (grade two) wrote to his sponsor:
My name is Sushil and now I am in class two. My favorite subject is science. I like to play football and hockey. I love to come to school every day. My best friend's name is Joseph. My favorite color is red. Next year I will be in class three. I love all my teachers.
Thank you to those who are generously sponsoring a Dalit child's education. Without you, students like Sushil would never have the opportunity to receive a quality education.
Click here to learn more about our child sponsorship program.
Recently Human Rights Watch published a report, "They Say We are Dirty," highlighting the discrimination children from marginalized communities face within India's school system.
Many Dalit children were interviewed for the report and the experiences they share are heartbreaking. One child told Human Rights Watch:
"The teacher tells us to sit on the other side. If we sit with others, she scolds us and asks us to sit separately … The teacher doesn’t sit with us because she says we are dirty."
The discrimination that Dalit children face while in school is one of the key reasons so many skip school, drop out, or never attend at all. An education activist interviewed for the report explained:
“Dalit children are made to feel inferior in schools and the schools reinforce caste norms. When it comes to any manual work such as cleaning of classrooms or picking up garbage, it’s always the Dalit children who are asked to do it.”
You can read the full report here.
Our Good Shepherd Schools are helping to bring change by providing Dalit children with quality education in a safe and supporting environment. All of our students no matter what their caste, background, or religion are treated with dignity and equality. They are encouraged to learn together, play together and respect one another. This discrimination-free learning environment helps Dalit children discover their self-worth and frees them shackles of untouchability.