District level Round Table Conferences (RTC) was held on violence on dalit women and girl children on the eve of 5th Annual District Conferences. The Round Table Conferences were held from 10th - 21st December 2010 in respective districts as follows:
Ranga Reddy District – 10/12/2010: In the RTC held at MDO office, Chevella, the Program Manager has presided over the RTC and has briefed about it and has said that a total of 8 major cases of violence and 15 issues of violations have been presented. The Convener detailing about the objective has explained the situations which have lead to hold these conferences after a mammoth campaign on child rights. B Goutham Prasad – Secretary of District Legal Services Authority and Additional District Judge, Representatives of various political parties, Representative from DRDA, Satyavathi from RADS, youth from various mandals, women collective members and victims have participated.
The victims of mass attacks from Dusarakunta Tanda and Chenvelli have detailed about the mass attacks, the denial of the police in taking action on time, the social boycott after attack etc. The mother of deceased Renuka has detailed the manner in which her daughter was harassed and the way she committed suicide and the inaction of the police and the other departments until this day. Likewise the women collectives from various villages have detailed about the issues village wise which includes the government schemes such as pensions, NREGA, etc, the specific violations in the housing scheme, drinking water, PDS and land problems.
Responding to the victims Mallesh from CPI has appreciated the services of DSS and has expressed the solidarity of their party. He also promised to take up these issues with their state leaders in order to resolve them. Satyavathi from RADS has said that getting educated is the only remedy to come out of poverty and all these issues. She appreciated the work being done by DSS. It is good that DSS has brought out all these issues in to limelight and has presented before the larger civil society including the concerned officials. Satyannaraya from DRDA has said that the incidents which have been presented today are pathetic and the services rendered by DSS in these remote areas is really appreciable and has assured to resolve the issues pertaining to NREGA.
The chief guest B Goutham Prasad responding to the victims has said that it is wondering that such a sorrowful incidents have taken place in a district which is nearer to the state capital. My heart was broken while hearing these incidents, one of the possible ways come out is to stay united and put a stop to these attacks from the dominant communities. He also said that we need to get our children educated and bring them on to the main stream. He has assured to pursue these cases.
The conference was concluded after the sharing of experiences by the women collectives.
Visakhapatnam 14/12/2010: The RTC was held at YMCA, Visakhapatnam and the participants were briefed about the objective. 8 major cases of violence and 10 violations pertaining to anganwadi centres, schools, hostels etc were presented.
. M Suryanarayana DEO, Sunanda from Women & Child Welfare department, Prof Venu, advocates G Papa Rao & P Isac, Syamsundar – Director SOS and other dalit and human rights organizations have participated. The victims themselves have narrated the agony they went through. Responding to the violations in the schools the DEO has said that the issues can’t be resolved immediately and has assured to resolve them in due course. He has asked to be in regular touch and pester him by reminding time and again and has promised to extend his cooperation to DSS.
Sunanda from ICDS has detailed about various services provided by their department and has assured to take up all these violations in the anganwadi centres to the notice of the PD and at the same time has said about their constraints in providing own building as the site is to be allocated either by the corporation or the Panchayat.
All the other participants have expressed their solidarity and have promised to extend their full cooperation to DSS in future.
East Godavari 15/12/2010: The RTC was held at Officers Club, Kakinada. 15 cases of major violence and 25 incidents of violations were presented. G Srinivas IPS – Superintendent of
Police (SP), district heads of all political parties, representatives of various like minded organizations have participated. The victims have narrated the incidents. Responding to the victims the SP has appreciated the services rendered by the DSS team in the district and has said that there is every possibility to correct them with the feedback given by the organizations like DSS. He has detailed about various steps initiated by the police to lessen the violence and has promised to initiate immediate action on all the cases presented.
All the political parties have appreciated the work done by DSS and has promised to extend their supportive hand to DSS in building pressure on the government for necessary action. Likewise the representatives of all the like minded organizations have expressed their solidarity and cooperation.
West Godavari 16/12/2010: The RTC was held at Revenue Bhavan, Eluru, where in 6 cases of major violence and 15 incidents of violations were presented. Chaitanya Murali – Assistant Commissioner Prohibition & Excise, Krupakar – Incharge DEO, Rattayya – Rtd Addl SP, Vamananand – Buddha Dhamma Prachara Trust, Mani Singh – Rtd Principal, M Sitaram – CPM, Vijaya Laxmi – IDWA, V Prasad – CRY, B Raju – KVPS and other like minded organizations have participated. Chaitanya Murali has said that the situation of women is vulnerable and of the dalit women is still vulnerable.
The women didn’t had any rights prior to the Hindu Marriage Act. To come out of the present situation the best way possible is to stay united fight against all odds, likewise lessen the dependency on the government as it is not in a position to help us out and we need to strive hard on our own. Krupakar has said that he will extend all necessary support to resolve the issues and the schools. Being the incharge of RVM, he said that he will send the proposals for approval, likewise he has also promised to negotiate with the women & child welfare dept to short out the issues.
The representatives of all like minded organizations and other dignitaries present have expressed their solidarity and cooperation.
Krishna District 18/12/2010: The RTC was held at Press Club, Vijayawada. 15 cases of major violence and 25 incidents of violations were presented.
The representatives of Social Welfare Dept, Women & Child Welfare Dept, Child line, Prof Swaroopa Rani and other like minded organizations have participated. In response to the violations in the hostels and anganwadi centres the representatives of the concerned departments have promised to solve them as early as possible. John Raj from Child Line has said that the women rights protection forum has been recently formed in the district under the chairmen ship of the collector and he is one of the members. He has promised to take up the issues of women in the forum apart from pursuing the issues of girl child through child line. Prof Swaroopa Rani has said that the dalit women are the back bone of the dalit movement and we need to take the leadership forcibly as the dalit men never give to us, likewise we need to capacitate ourselves to address our issues. The other dignitaries present have expressed their solidarity and cooperation.
Guntur District 21/12/2010:The RTC was held at Vavilala Hall, Guntur. 4 cases of major violence and 12 incidents of violations were presented. Shoba Rani – District Social Welfare Officer, Ratna – Women Inspector deputed by the SP, Swaroopa Rani from DRDA, Representatives of other like minded organizations have participated. The DSWO responding to the issues pertaining to the hostels has said that many steps have been initiated to curtail the violations in the hostels, likewise the frequency of the visits by the concerned officers to the hostels has been increased.
She has promised to look into the specific issues brought to her notice. She appreciated DSS for holding such a platform for dalit women to discuss on their issues. Ratna has agreed that the violence on dalit women and girl children is increasing day by day and we need to stand united and fight against the violence. She assured to take necessary action in the cases presented by taking them to the notice of the SP. Swaroopa Rani has detailed about the services rendered by DRDA and has promised to solve the pending issues pertaining to their dept. The representatives of like minded organizations and other dignitaries have expressed their solidarity and cooperation.
The women collectives have actively participated in all the districts. They were successful in clearly articulating on behalf of the victims, discuss with the concerned officials and whenever necessary they even questioned the officials.
A platform for dalit women them to demand justice
Much visibility through print and electronic media
Increase in the levels of confidence among the victims and witnesses
Increase in the accountability of the concerned departments
Good rapport developed with the district officials for the DSS teams at district level
Much clarity for the women collectives, increase in the confidence levels and felt the need of their effective roles.