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.
Labour Day: The Invisible and Dispensable Lives behind Swachh Bharat
Sanitation workers often resort to consuming alcohol to become numb to the stench of drains. All they get in return? Delayed wages and stigma. Reena Ramteke reports on the scenes behind Swachh Bharat hoardings and songs.
Dalit Children Stopped from Singing Song Dedicated to Ambedkar
Though the children’s parents had taken permission from the school authorities, Marathas from the village asked the school to end the Republic Day event early and to not sing the song as it was not 'part of their tradition'.
Ambedkar Jayanti: Keeping Ambedkar’s dream relevant
As statues of B.R. Ambedkar get vandalised across the country, Video Volunteers asks people across India if the architect of the Indian constitution is still relevant.
Dalits and Adivasis Struggle to Pierce Through Crass Atrocities Even Today
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.
Dalit Man Dies of Police Brutality in Jharkhand
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.
Love in the Time of Fear
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.
Caste Panchayats and Constitutional Rights
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?
Rikhiyasan Rath: The Journey from Oppression to Knowledge
A mobile learning centre is bringing hope to a subjugated caste across rural Bihar.