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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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

Dalits left vulnerable due to lack of ownership documents

/ October 30, 2015

“People belonging to the Yadav community threaten to evict us from our lands”, says Kamala Devi, a member of one of the 50 Dalit families residing in Dhakwal Bigha village. These people have not received their documents regarding ownership of the land they have been living on for the last...

Oppressed Dalits: Abused, beaten up by the upper caste

/ October 30, 2015

Romiya Devi and her family from Gaya in Bihar were attacked by the upper caste people on the 3rd of March 2015. Stones, cow dung and bad words were thrown at her house. When she and her husband asked them to stop, the upper caste people barged into their house...

Caste based discriminated in Classroom

/ September 17, 2015

Mansi has a startling revelation: the principal forced her to dispose of the carcass of a puppy. When she refused to do so she was brutally caned. That is not all, she is also regularly made to sweep the school premises. Investigation reveals that many children like Mansi are forced...

Gang Rape in return for love: caste-based violence

/ May 26, 2015

An upper caste boy raped a girl and her mother, along with other 4 men. The girl belonged to lower caste and was not allowed to be involved in a relationship with someone belonging to the upper caste. So, they broke in the girl’s home late at night and started...

Untouchability: Plastic cup for Dalits

/ April 15, 2015

“He gives us tea in a plastic cup, never in a glass cup. he doesn’t want to be polluted by us and says he won’t serve in a glass cup because we are from the dome caste… when we ask for water, they give it in our hands.” Article 17...

Women discriminated against for not giving birth to boys

/ November 13, 2014

Savitri Devi gets beaten up by her husband very frequently for not having a son, reports Community Correspondent Mahesh Kumar from Ambai Bujuru of Kaushambhi district in Uttar Pradesh. Kaushambhi district celebrates a festival known as Sakat or Ganesh Chowk every year. In this festival, everyone can participate except the...

Upper caste men burn down dalit homes in Bihar village

/ September 27, 2014

“Attackers roam free. Our Community Correspondent Reena Devi reports from Maha Dalit Tola area of Chitauria Village in Katihar, Bihar, where in April 2014, 12 powerful men from the ‘upper caste’ burnt down the houses of 4 Dalit families. The families still await fair compensation and justice. Call To Action:...