Swachchakar Dignity

A blog to give you first hand reports on the conditions of Swachchkar community, their issues and concerns. A campaign for complete abolition of scavenging practices and brigning forth the growing voices of change with in the community.

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Learning through working. Working at the grassroots made me realise the big difference between those who claim to represent communities as well as the communities themselves. Common man is crushed between the ambitions of various individuals to lead and dominate. The dominant and high numbered communities will always dominate our discourse and the most marginalised are losing in this entire discourse. That is the reason why Mushahar remain at the marginalised and the issue of manual scavenging still not on our top agenda and to eliminate that the community has to decide its own organisations..

I am devoted to freedom of ideas and expression. I personally feel that we in the subcontinent want to dominate and control our discourse and each one of is a ultra nationalist in terms of their caste and community. Nationalism is not just national and political but it is equally in term of religion and caste. I feel each kind of nationalism is a dominant discourse which deny the dissenter a right to speak.

At the end, we all want to listen the truth suitable to us.. we have become expertised in the art of speaking truth of convenience. As long as that remain hall mark of our society and we speak to already converts, this society will remain stagnant, it will always try to control our ideas and choices. We need to oppose any such perception, ideas that want to control our mind and victimise us.

To understand India further, I feel, it is good to do foot walk, ( Padyatras) to various parts of the country. I have so far done it thrice covering nearly 1500-2000 kilometers. It is always interesting to see how people are coping their issues and what is the reason of their exploitation.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

We want our land back...

Over the year, the greedy builders are eyeing the land where most of the scavenger community live. With the politicians including so-called Dalit leaders also not interested in their cause, they have no way other than to resort to such protests. Karnataka has seen such protests in the past and the government seems to have done very little. One hope that the like minded groups, human rights activists, Dalit organisations will consider this issue of utmost importance and join hand.


http://www.mid-day.com/news/2010/aug/170810-Ambedkar-Colony-protest-Vidhan-Soudha-property.htmNo sh*t! we want our land back'
By: Manjunath L Hanji Date: 2010-08-17 Place: Bangalore

Ambedkar Nagar residents cover themselves in faecal matter; demand action against corporates that have allegedly encroached upon their property

THIS group of Dalit protesters will go to any extreme to be seen, heard and probably, even be smelt a mile away. Residents of Ambedkar Colony in Whitefield on Monday gathered in front of the Vidhan Soudha, covered in human excreta, to get their point across - that they are being treated as 'shit' by the authorities.

The issue at hand is alleged land grabbing by corporates. Led by local Dalit leader AR Annayya, the protesters claimed that the Prestige group of companies and Joy Ice Cream had encroached upon land allotted to them by the government. They also accused inspector BN Gopal Krishna of the Whitefield police station of harassment.

Covered in human excreta, protestors from Ambedkar Colony in Whitefield gathered in front of the Vidhan Soudha yesterday.

The state government had, in 1974, granted over 70 acres of land to the residents of Ambedkar Nagar. Over time, 600 flats came up on the land.

However, the state government gave away over three acre of the land in Ambedkar Nagar on lease to Prestige and Joy ice cream. The protesters now allege that the two companies have started encroaching upon the rest of the land too.

The residents claim that despite requests, the companies have not cleared the land they had encroached upon. With even the government maintaining silence over the issue, they were forced to stage a protest in this manner, the agitators said.

Blame game is on
Monday was not the first time the group had staged this form of protest. On Saturday, the protesters had gathered in Whitefield area covered in excreta. The police claim that the protesters beat the men in uniform. Krishna said that Annayya is a history sheeter.

"Annayya has over five cases registered against him with the Whitefield and HAL police stations since 2003. The protesters are alleging harassment because I did not support them. I will now act as per my seniors' orders," Krishna said.

Annayya's associates deny Krishna's claims. Rafiq, a close friend of Annayya, said, "The police have registered false cases of robbery and theft against Annayya. On Saturday, Krishna lodged another complaint against him for assaulting a police officer.

How can anyone beat up a cop, especially if the media glare is on him? Krishna has a grudge against Annayya, which is why he has falsely implicated our leader."

Seeking justice

"We want justice from the government as well as the police. The two companies have acquired our land, but the police are acting hand-in-glove with them.

The higher authorities should remove Whitefield inspector."

However, V Gopal, senior vice-president (projects and planning), Prestige Group said, "I am not aware of the issue. Our public relations officer would be able to throw light on the matter."

It all started in Savanur
The Bhangi community of Savanur, Haveri district has literally been picking up the faeces to protest against land grab.

They smeared human excreta over themselves as their form of a stir against those they claim are trying to evict them from their homes.

The municipal corporation of Savanur has planned to build commercial complexes in the area, where the community has been residing in for the last 70 years.

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