Bhubaneswar: National Confederation Dalit Adivasi Organisations (NACDAOR) has decided to train Dalits and Adivasis in the state of Odisha to lead their issues in the state. It has launched a campaign called “Making 10000 Dalit Adivasi Leaders 2016” in Odisha. Under this campaign NACDAOR has organised trainings in Nuapada, Bargarh, and Keonjhar and Kandhamal districts in recent months in which more than 500 leaders have been “trained” so far.
The incidences of atrocities on Dalits and Adivasis are growing rapidly in Odisha due to existence of caste based hegemony in societal and governance structure. The state ruled for 14 years by a political party owned completely by upper caste elite, Odisha remains a state with high incidences of atrocities against the Dalits.
According to National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB), 2266 incidence of crime against Dalit and 1259 crime against Adivasis were committed in 2014. Dalits and Adivasi which constitutes more 40 percent of the total population of Orissa remain vulnerable to discrimination, exploitation and violence.
“The police administration which has been in the control of a majoritarian government since 14 years has given free hand to upper caste elites to attack and humiliate Dalits and Adivasis. The incidents of setting houses of Dalits on fire at Lathore village in Bolangir district and brutal atrocity on a Scheduled Caste girl of 17 years under Pipili police station of Puri district bear the testimony of such lackadaisical attitudes of Odisha Government for Dalits,” said Sukanta Chandra Behera, Program Manager at NACDAOR.
He added that the political leadership in the state (both from ruling party and opposition) rarely raises any eyebrow over the growing atrocities against Dalits and Adivasis. “Even the political leaders from Dalit and Adivasi communities do not speak against such incidence of crime fearing their ouster from the party. In such situation, Dalit and Adivasi communities are left to the mercy of caste elites and left with leaderless,” Behera added.
NACDAOR is organising the cadres with an “objective to develop the analytical understanding on social exclusion, structural causes of the marginalization of the Dalit and Adivasi community and of women, so that they can take collective action to assert their voices. It is emphasising to develop an awareness of the knowledge, skills, and attributes necessary to become effective leaders,” a statement of the organisation read.
The training is also focusing to develop their understanding on caste hegemony so that this would allow them to organize themselves in future and question the traditionally decided role in the Society. It also is focusing various laws, enactments, constitution amendments that would help them to understand their legal rights guaranteed under constitution.
The perspective and vision building on the philosophy of Baba Saheb Ambedkar’s “Unite, Educate and Agitate” are done through such trainings. This training is helping to bring about a rejuvenation of zeal and directions of the leaders towards dignity and development. One of the specialities of the training program is that these are being conducted in the communities only in their own setting rather doing it in close room/ in any hotel.
NACDAOR’s Odisha state unit plans to train 10000 Dalit Adivasi leaders in Odisha by 2017 to build the struggle for ‘dignity and development’ for the fulfillment of the dream of Dr BR Ambedkar and “creating an enabling environment in which constitutional values are respected”.