DALITS en TSUNAMI
in de media
|When giant waves swallowed thousands of people on the coastline of southern Tamil Nadu state in December 2004, death played a great leveller.
|The tsunami victims who attended the people's tribunal organised here today criticised the State Government for failing to utilise the funds to rehabilitate the affected families.
|The disaster management plans of the state governments have failed to rehabilitate the tsunami survivors and it lacks transparency, Justice H Suresh, former High Court judge and jury member of the people's tribunal, has said.
|Five months after the tsunami tragedy, the problem of putting people at the centre of reconstruction and rehabilitation is far from addressed. India is not unique in this-other countries in a vast belt from the Pacific atoll to the coast of Africa are similarly bogged down.
|Thanks to negligence by the district administration, relief is yet to reach hundreds of tsunami-affected Dalit families along the Tuticorin coast whose livelihood is dependent on sale of processed shells.
|India's untouchables, reeling from the
tsunami disaster, are being forced out of relief camps by higher caste
survivors and being denied aid supplies, activists charged.
|"De ramp in Azië is van de voorpagina's verdwenen, ook in India, maar het lijden in het gebied is nog maar net begonnen." Dat constateert directeur Leo Visser van stichting Redt een Kind, bij zijn terugkeer afgelopen zaterdag uit India. "In de pikorde van de hulp staan de armsten van de armen alweer achteraan."
|"Almost a month after the tsunami struck southern India, an Australian aid group says help is still not being received by some inland communities as well as the extreme poor."
|International aid agencies in India have been horrified to find, even amid the suffering caused by the tsunami, some survivors being refused access to basic relief because they are considered "Untouchables".
|"Dalits, as the former "untouchables" are known, have been thrown out of government relief camps and kept from using basic relief supplies such as being allowed to drink clean water from a tank provided by UNICEF, the Independent reported Saturday."
|".....Dalits, who many Australians would know as untouchables, who tend to be at the bottom of the class system are missing out on some of the urgent assistance which both the government and some major agencies are delivering."
|"All of the countries in Asia impacted by the recent tsumani have Black populations. Sadly, far too many people, including many Blacks themselves, seem unaware of this."|
|Members of the untouchable caste, which is at the bottom of the rural social order in India, say they were made to live and cook separately from the fishing families of Thirumullaivasal village in Tamil Nadu after the Dec. 26 tsunami washed away their homes.|
|Social activist Medha Patkar has a new mission: to bring relief to the dalits affected by the December 26, 2004 tsunamis.|
|In the aftermath of the tsunami, the Indian government should try to help Dalits who may be excluded from equitable relief and employment opportunities," said Brad Adams, Asia director of Human Rights Watch. "The government should immediately ensure that there is equitable and unbiased rehabilitation by including Dalit rights activists, both male and female, in rehabilitation committees at all levels.|
|Alleging discrimination against Dalits during relief distribution in tsunami-hit areas, the National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights (NCDHR) today asked the Tamil Nadu government to ensure that the conservancy staff are taken care of properly.|
|Government and Ngo provide help only to fisherman but they stay afar from dalits, priest says. Catholic church efforts to overcome survivors “agony”.|
|...few could think even in this hour of common tragedy, dalits would be
hounded out of relief camps, denied food and water, and not even allowed to use
the relief-camp toilets owing to the prejudices prevailing among the victims of
other castes that their entry into the relief camps would pollute the sanctity
of the camps.|
|Thousands of low-caste Indian "untouchables'' are being denied food,
water and shelter by higher castes in camps for tsunami survivors.|
|India's untouchables, reeling from the tsunami disaster, are being forced out of relief camps by higher caste survivors and being denied aid supplies, activists
|Yesterday, The Indian Express reported how Dalits from 63 affected
villages are facing the brunt of the powerful Meenavar fishermen (a Most
Backward Class): being thrown out of relief camps, pushed to the rear of food
and water lines, not being allowed to take water from UNICEF facilities and in
some cases not even being allowed to use the toilet.|
|Doors are being slammed in the face of Dalit survivors here - and the
Government is quietly doing some of the slamming.|
|The tsunami disaster has been a matter of great concern for India-born member of the European Parliament and chairperson of the European Parliament delegation for Southeast Asia and SAARC, Nina Gill. Commenting on alleged discrimination against Dalits in rehabilitation camps in Tamil Nadu, she said on Saturday, "I will certainlylook into this issue. This kind of treatment from any quarter will not be tolerated."|
TN Government is contemplating on building a wall of groynes all along the
1000km coastline to protect it from future havoc wrought by cyclones or the
|Defensive about reports that Dalits were being thrown out of relief camps set up for tsunami-hit people in the southern states, the Union government on Friday urged that people view the larger picture of the national effort at helping the needy.|
low-caste people denied food, water, toilet facilities in relief camps, say
humanitarian aid workers.|
|Christian leaders say the government wants all the credit for aid and
rescue. Police diverts aid lorries away from
Vailankanni shrine. For two days local priests asked in vain for earth-moving
equipment to save trapped survivors. In the first week, the Church was on its
own. Dalits are turned away from refugee camps.|
|In Ground Zero, Dalits thrown out of relief camps, cut out of food, water
supplies, toilets, NGOs say they will start separate facilities.|
|The Dalits of Keshvanpalayam thought they had seen - and survived - the worst after the tsunami hit their village on January 7.
But they had more coming their way: Upper caste survivors are forcing them out of relief camps and denying them aid supplies.|
|Despite the ravages from the recent tsunami, an already oppressed group
of Indians is still suffering severe discrimination.|
|The aftermath of the tsunami in Tamil Nadu has thrown up some touching
examples of communal amity, but it has also revealed how deep caste antagonism
|They are the "untouchables" the lowest of the low in India's ancient
caste system. No job is too dirty or too nasty, and they are the ones cleaning
up the rotting corpses from last week's killer tsunami.|
|We went in with the deep sense of being part of the same humanity bonded by grief, compassion and courage to be confronted by some of the painful deep cracks in our society. While the Tsunami knew only geographical boundaries in its trail, we found the deep entrenched boundaries of caste and discrimination dividing the affected people even in their deep hours of grief and helplessness.|