Sanjukta Samal, whose husband works at a Dalit organisation in Jagatshinghpur District of Odisha, was beaten up by the upper caste people, because he was fighting back the discrimination in their village. Her son was robbed of his mobile and moped on his way to home one day. When Sanjukta’s husband and son were going to the police station for filing a complaint, they were beaten up badly by these people belonging to theupper caste. This wasn’t the first time an incident of violence like this had happened to the scheduled caste community in Odisha.
This is despite the fact that several laws make caste based discrimination and violence, a severely punishable offence. The Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 an Act of the Parliament of India was enacted to prevent atrocities against scheduled castes and scheduled tribes. The purpose of the Act was to help the social inclusion of Dalits into Indian society. But the Act has failed to live up to its expectations.
This video is a part of the “Article 17” campaign launched by Video Volunteers, in order to urge theNational Commission for Schedule Castes, which is the government body that is constitutionally appointed to direct and implement the safeguards against untouchability, to prosecute cases of untouchability.
Physical violence and harrassment has forced Musahars towards desperation.
In India, we continue to practice manual scavenging, a derogatory practice, confined to people belonging to lower castes and resulting in their deaths.