Origin and Background of AIDMAM

All India Dalit Mahila Adhikar Manch (AIDMAM) is a movement initiated and promoted by NCDHR (National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights) at the national level to focus exclusively on Dalit women. Its genesis is rooted in an attempt to address severe vulnerabilities faced by the 80 million Dalit women and girls who are socially excluded and lie at the bottom of India’s caste, class and gender hierarchies.

Our Aims

AIDMAM aims to support and strengthen Dalit women to address violence and access justice and rights through networking, enhancing skills and leadership at district and state level. AIDMAM’s objective is to Empower Dalit Women to challenge against Caste, Class and Patriarchal Norms. Support Dalit Women to liberate Dalit Women from their multi-dimensional issues.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Rajasthan Case Study

Case Study of Banuda Panchayat
(Sikar, Rajasthan)

Manju Devi, 37 years old, is from an educated and economically strengthened family. She is a dalit woman Sarpanch from Banuda panchayat and belongs to the Meghwal community. She has three children, two girls and one boy and they are all studying. Her husband is a government teacher and her father in law is secretary in the Panchayat. She does not have any pressure from her family and she is quite free to do her work independently.

She had a first experience of contesting Ward Panchayat election but she was defeated by 12 votes. However, she contested for Sarpanch election and won by 837 votes. Political Parties BJP and Communist also supported her during the campaign. Now, she is working independently and has started to take decisions on her own.

Initially, in the first meetings she used to sit keep quite, as her father in law used to go with her. He used to address meetings, but later with the motivation and support from her husband, she unveils and started to talk.

She experienced discrimination and humiliation during her sittings in Panchyat Bhawan. She said people thought because she was from lower caste she would not dare threaten them and would do whatever they want.

She faced a lot of pressure from dominant caste people who used to come in Panchayat Bhawan in crowd for their work and used to fall over her. They were trying to touch her from one way or other way. She handled this situation by using her authority and asked them to come one by one and give their complaint to her assistant.

Beside the fact that she was nominated for her good work in her panchayat, the dominant caste people wrote bad reports about her, so she has not been able to get the President award.

Haryana Case Study

Case Study of Bhilpura Panchayat
(Ambala, Haryana)

I am Jaino Devi (54 years old) and I am a Sarpanch of Bhilpura Panchayat. I belong to the Chamar community. Bhilapura and Kapuri villages come under this panchayat. This is a reserved panchayat. The total population of Bhilpura village is 400, in which only 4 houses belong to upper caste people. The Kapoori village has 200 houses with upper caste-Gujjars only. There are no schedule tribe people in this panchayat. I contested the election from the reserved seats and I won.

This panchayat has seven panchayat members, including one Dalit Women and two general women. The Panchayat meetings are going on in my house because we don’t have a Panchayat Bhawan in the village. The Gram Sabha meetings are held in the school once every three months.

For the development work I have passed a resolution in the panchayat meeting, so it has to go to the Block Development Officer and to the Additional District Commissioner for the further process. I have completed the following work in my panchayat:
 Indira Awas Yojna (IAY)
 Streets and drains in SC colony

I also have received Rs. 9, 80,000/- for the development work in my panchayat. I demanded Rs. 10 Lakhs for doing development work for schedule caste people, but I did not receive any funds and grants from the M.L.A.

Dalits are living separately in Harijan Basti, within the village. Only two Dalits possesses the land. Neither untouchability practice nor violence against Dalit exists in this village. However, during the quarrel between us and Jamindars, the police came and supported them. The Jamindars also filed a case against us. Now the case is in the court. The Gurjjars also tried to cancel my reserved seat, but I did not left the sarpanch seat and I keep on doing my work myself.