Dalit Freedom Network is committed to freeing India's 250 million Dalits from a life of poverty, exploitation, and slavery through quality English education, healthcare, and economic development.
Through vocational training and business assistance, we are empowering Dalit men and women to lift themselves and their families out of poverty.
Our health initiatives bring education and treatment to our students as well as to rural communities across India.
We are offering freedom through education to nearly 25,000 children at our 107 schools across India. Our students are often the first in their families ever to attend school.
Dalit Freedom Network Canada is committed to freeing the Dalits from a life of poverty, exploitation, and slavery through education, healthcare, and economic development.
Ravi is a student at TMP Good Shepherd School. He had been suffering from debilitating...
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Uday is a student at one of our Good Shepherd Schools. He described for us a typical day in his life:
5am When it’s hot, I sleep out in the courtyard to stay cool. I am always awake early because the birds make a lot of noise.
6am My mother milks the cattle and I take the milk to the milk booth. Then I get ready for school. I do not have a father, he died six years ago. My mother alone takes care of the family and the home.
7am I do my studies and homework and then walk 1Km to get to school
8am We line up for our daily assembly. The principal makes announcements and then we sing. I would like to lead the singing but I don't sing very well.
8:30am Classes. Now that I'm in second grade, I have to study hard. We study English, Telugu, science, geography, history, math and art
10:45am Recess. Most kids bring packed lunches from home. The other boys play during recess, but I don't really like rough games. I prefer to sit and talk.
11am More classes. Our school has computer lessons. I’ve never seen a computer but I’ll take private lessons when I’m older. I know these days everything is done on a computer.
12:30pm I eat my lunch which includes steamed rice with tomato curry and pickle.
1:30pm More classes. We often have drawing classes in the afternoon. Those are great fun. We are learning to use water colours.
3pm Back home. If there’s a lot of homework, I start working as soon as I get back. If not, I play for a bit with the other kids. My mother does not like me to stay out of the house after dark. When I finish my homework, I do chores.
6pm I collect my cattle from the field.
8pm Dinner time. We all eat together.
Learn more about our child sponsorship program and how you can give children like Uday the opportunity to go to school.
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.