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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Dalit Homes Burn While ‘Upper’ Caste Arsonists Roam Scot Free

 
/ August 11, 2017

A dozen Dalit houses were torched after electoral defeat of ‘upper’ castes in Odisha village. The police, instead of making arrests, are protecting the accused.

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Invisible Eco Warriors: Informal Waste Pickers Keep Cities Clean but Face Discrimination

 
/ April 14, 2017

Fifty waste pickers in Nashik demand recognition for the invaluable service they render to the city

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Witch-Hunting: A Dark Spell on India

 
/ March 8, 2017

Think witch-hunting is a thing of the past? Think again.

ARTICLE 17: Our First Call to the National Commission of Scheduled Castes

 
/ March 7, 2017

ARTICLE 17 is a campaign launched by Video Volunteers on April 14th, 2012, to urge the National Commission for Scheduled Castes, to prosecute cases of untouchability.

Our lives are threatened because we are asking for food. It is our right, right?

 
/ January 30, 2017

“You’re asking for rights? Do you know what caste you belong to?,” the Sarpanch (Village Head) reminded Samaru Vanvashi, a Dalit resident of Bisapur village in Uttar Pradesh. Samaru had approached the Sarpanch because he had not been paid his NREGA salary since 2014 and had not received his rationed...

Pregnant Girl Strangulated and Dumped in the Name of Honour

 
/ January 10, 2017

Geeta, a 17-year-old girl, struggled to breathe as her father Kailash, strangulated her. Her grandmother, Mem, struggled to free Geeta from Kailash’s grip, but hate was stronger than love, and Geeta died. ” I saw it happen in front of me. Her body was thrown in the dump yard by...

Caste or Daughter? “Caste” said the father.

 
/ November 26, 2016

An honor killing or shame killing is the homicide of a member of a family by other members, due to the perpetrators’ belief that the victim has brought shame or dishonor upon the family. A father killed his own daughter because she eloped with a boy from another caste and...

Caste Discrimination keeps Dalit Children from Schools

 
/ November 14, 2016

In Uttar Pradesh, a primary school accommodates students from nearby villages in Pratapghar district. Among them is Mansi, a student of class two. Mansi has a startling revelation: the principal forced her to dispose off the carcass of a puppy. When she refused to do so she was brutally caned....