Caste

caste

India’s caste system is one of the world’s oldest forms of social stratification. Its most egregious manifestation is untouchability, which deems certain people “impure” and forces them into a life apart. Despite the fact that caste discrimination has been illegal in India since 1950, untouchability is still a part of modern Indian society.  

Since 2010, Video Volunteers has been documenting untouchability across the length and breadth of the country.  Correspondents have reported extensively on caste discrimination and caste violence There are reports on ‘manual scavenging,’ the inhumane caste-based occupation of cleaning and handling human excreta from dry latrines and sewers. There are testimonies of Dalit farmers whose crops or homes are burnt simply because of their caste; of tribal leaders killed for protesting their rights; young students forced to do maintenance jobs in schools because of their Dalit background.

These reports form the basis of a Public Interest Litigation in the Supreme Court, filed by the Human Rights Law Network, which demands that the government take proactive steps to implement the constitutional prohibition of untouchability. VV’s reports are a unique record, in part because untouchability itself is often hidden from public view, and thus can only be captured by someone from the community.

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Dalits and Adivasis Struggle to Pierce Through Crass Atrocities Even Today

 
/ April 13, 2018

A survey conducted by Video Volunteers with the SC/ST community in India reaffirms a fact everyone knows, but few talk about - discrimination exists and more than 50% of the respondents have experienced it in its most crass form - untouchability.

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Dalit Man Dies of Police Brutality in Jharkhand

 
/ April 9, 2018

Police brutality against people from Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe communities is neither new nor rare. The state should focus on protecting vulnerable groups from torture rather than weakening the existing law against caste-discrimination and atrocity.

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Love in the Time of Fear

 
/ February 14, 2018

At a time when lovers are threatened and killed for transcending the norms of caste, religion, class and gender, two couples from Haryana tell us about their beautiful stories.

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Caste Panchayats and Constitutional Rights

 
/ January 26, 2018

69 years ago, the Constitution of India was adopted, granting us rights and freedoms, and becoming the basis for a life of dignity. But did the law translate to social justice?

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Rikhiyasan Rath: The Journey from Oppression to Knowledge

 
/ December 18, 2017

A mobile learning centre is bringing hope to a subjugated caste across rural Bihar.

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Community Weddings: The Solution to Dowry and Child Marriage?

 
/ October 16, 2017

In Rajasthan, as community weddings are celebrated as philanthropic initiatives, it is time to look deeper into the politics of caste and patriarchy.

Impact

Informal Waste-Pickers Finally Get Identity Cards

 
/ September 18, 2017

For three years, a group of women went around Nashik collecting waste from garbage dumps; their work is finally being recognised, thanks to a video.

Untouchability Rife in Odisha Village

 
/ September 1, 2017

Devotees throng the temple on the auspicious night of Shivaratri, but untouchability bars Sarathi Das from entering.