Jhansi in her presidential address has detailed about the work done in the past 5 years, the hard work done day and night has paved good results in a short period. The organisation got good recognition in the state, among the various govt departments, political parties with in short period. Initially we din’t knew anything, felt shy to spell out our names, confined to our homes, but today we have grown up to a stage of discussing about various Acts, rights, identifying issues ourselves and addressing them on our own and raise our voices at state level. I am proud to say that our dependency on others has come down a lot and we are able to deal on our own. Even our functionaries in the districts have come up to a stage of talking to the collectors and SPs over a phone. In general we always speak out about our problems and never even think of our achievements. I am conceited to say that we have brought out a good book on the success achieved by us and which will be released today.
Release of Books: The success stories of our dalit women titled as “Dalit Women March Ahead” was released by B Anand Kumar and the first copy was given to Convener of DSS Jhansi Geddam. The Annual Report of 2010 was released by R Subba Rao and the first
copy was given to victim Pitla Suvarna. The Dalit Women Songs Book was released by Girija Augustin and the first copy was given to DSS Cultural team.
Anand Kumarparticipating as the chief guest has congratulated DSS for doing a tremendous work and it is not so easy to mobilize thousands of dalit women leaders. He has said that his organisation is supporting the dalit movements like DSS in the other parts of the country. I feel
sorry to say whether it is good that we have released the success stories book or should feel regretful for doing the work which is the responsibility of the government. Though Ambedkar has given us the constitution we are unable to enjoy the fruits of it. It is our responsibility to ensure that the entitlements are accessed. We should take Ambedkar as a role model and take forward the movement with commitment.
Subba Rao has said that he is proud to say that the same spark is there in Jhansi which was there 7 years ago the first time he met her. I am conceited that DSS has showed how powerful
dalit women are and the hard work it has done can be seen in the programmes organised these two days. Reservations are due to the mercy of Ambedkar and I could become an IAS officer due to the reservations. The movements should work with Ambedkar ideology. He said about the history of dalits and detailed about various incidents, where Ambedkar faced caste discrimination. He has promised that the State SC/ST Commission will be always with them and will take forward all the cases presented in the Public Hearing to access justice.
Vasantha Kannabhiran has said Ambedkar has given us the constitution and it is our right to enjoy reservations and other rights, but not at kindness. Ambedkar said about untouchability and through constitution has shown the way the government has to run and our responsibility. We have ability to think, are educated, therefore agitate for liberty.
Bharat Bhushan said we got independence 62 years back, but our lives have remained the same. Everyone asks for our background to know our caste and caste is playing an important role in the society and everything in the society is does on the basis of caste. My parents are illiterates and I have come to this position as I am well educated.
I am the only dalit in this big position and every one eagerly waits for me to commit a mistake, so that they can make me unpopular. At the same time I am also very conscious. I always share with them that just I am the only one among you all, but still you all are troubled on that. That is how the society is and caste plays a vital role.
Jhansi KV Kumari said our ears have been filled with lead like substance which is caste and nothing else. Our children are discriminated on caste basis, we face lot of humiliations and the root cause is caste. We need to be cautious, possess commitment and bravely take forward the movement and the support and blessings of the leaders on the dias will be with DSS.
Ramchandraiah has said that the women are prone for injustice, violence, etc and the situation of dalit women is still worse. We need to bring in awareness exclusively for dalit women, strive for equality. It is fine that DSS has been initiated 5 years back. We need curtail the persons who deny our rights and our road map should be towards capturing power.
Sunitha Prasad said that it is great that this many dalit women have been brought to one
I first saw Jhansi singing in a meeting in the year 2004, the power and vigour in her are the same till this day. When one “Jhansi” came forward and could bring many women to one focal point, imagine how wonderful it will be if every one of us become a Jhansi... and make this many leaders. It is important to achieve our aspiration, leadership is a special quality and as you all posses it, you are here for these 2 days.
Girija has said that she has not missed any of the annual conferences for just one reason is that to be with you all, talk to you and learn from you. We all have met here to agitate for our constitutional rights, make the government machinery to function and be accountable to us.
Satyavathi recollecting her childhood has said that she went to cinema with Sakkubai a dalit servant maid and her maternal uncle scolding for going to cinema with an untouchable. Since then it made her to think on discrimination and untouchability. I like to work with you all continuously, Bhoomika is yours and it is at your disposal.
Subhadra, I had a feeling that strong dalit movements are there in other state, but we don’t
have. But today, after seeing DSS, I feel proud that we have our own platform, we can sort out the problems on our own, and we know what to do and so on. When all the children of others go to school, but our children is bonded labour. Sitting together at state level for two days and discussing on cruelty of dominant communities and police is really great. We work very hard, due to which our hands and legs get bubbles and our lives remain same. I work in Panchyat Raj department, there is lot of misuse of funds, our dalit women elected into local bodies are humiliated by all means, suspended or removed.
Vinodhini has said that the names of dominant community people command respect and our
names aren’t so, but still we spell out our names as dalits and that is our self respect. Though we want to live with respect, they won’t allow us to do so. They discriminate and oppress us and sharing her own experience in the university said that even the attenders won’t stand when she passes by, but stand when a person belonging to dominant community of lower rank than her passes by.
Pushpa has appreciated the wonderful work done by DSS and has felt proud to say that she is closely associated with DSS. She said that we need to fight for ourselves and we have that power and vigour in us. Though 20 years have passed by for SC/ST (PoA) Act, it is of no help to us as it is not being implemented properly and I suggest that DSS should open monitoring cells in districts for its proper implementation.
Sajaya has said that there is enmity between the politicians, whereas friendship between us. Health is our right and it is very essential for the dalit women and girl children. The dalit girl children should be given nutritious food and it is the responsibility of everyone here to ensure that proper food is given through the anganwadi centres.
Declaration: The declaration was read out by the Convener. The DSS team and the state women collectives have come on to the stage and have pledged to take forward the below mentioned declaration:
To strengthen the women collectives in all the 1200 villages.
To bring in change in the perspective of the police and judiciary to restrain violence and violations against dalit women and girl children.
To accomplish the women collectives in socio-economic and political aspects to mainstream the dalit women.
To continuously monitor the educational and other sectors for qualitative childhood to dalit girl children. To give ample space for men in achieving equality to women.
To organize awareness camps to the youth to bring them out from the vicious culture and impart knowledge on Ambedkar ideology.
To strengthen the dalit women elected to Panchyat Raj and lend a helping hand to them.
The cultural team has moved the hearts of the members with their songs and the meeting was concluded with the vote of thanks by the Programme Manager.