Natural calamity: Dalits suffer double

19Aug07

The severe floods in India, Bangladesh and Nepal make Dalits victims twice.  As it has proved in similar situations when natural disasters hit caste affected countries, their caste status puts Dalits at a disadvantage in the distribution of relief and rehabilitation measures due to “discrimination by default”, most recently documented in connection with the post-tsunami recovery interventions.
An immidiate Rapid Survey in the Indian state of Bihar conducted by an 11-member team representing various Dalit organisations has shown that Dalits are disproportionately affected by the floods. Dalit communities live separately from the main villages, usually in low-lying areas more prone to flooding. Moreover, houses are of poorer quality made of mud which are easily destroyed by rains and floods. The survey team found that despite the fact that the Dalit population is harder hit by the disaster in terms of loss of life and property, they are not reached by the relief measures provided by the Government and NGOs.

The findings of the team have been addressed to the Governor of Bihar in a letter, which includes a situation report and recommendations of measures to be taken to deal with discrimination. Among the suggestions is a call to for the state relief and rehabilitation structures to set up Dalit Watch Centres in order to ensure equity and inclusion in the humanitarian aid to those affected by the floods.

Source: IDSN



One Response to “Natural calamity: Dalits suffer double”

  1. Natural calamity means natural disaster which is caused by nature. Every year many country falls victim to various natural calamities. They are flood, earthquakes & many other natural calamities. The effects of the natural calamities beggar description. They leave a vast trail of devastation. The affected people & animals suffer untold sufferings. They cause heavy damage to our life & properties. Houses are destroyed, cattle are washed away, crops are greatly damaged and trees are uprooted. Thousands of people and other animals remain without food for many days. The after effect of some natural calamities are more serious. Famine breaks out. Many people & animals die for want of food. The prices are all necessary things go up. Many dangerous diseases like cholera, typhoid and dysentery etc. break out in an epidemic form. By raising public awareness and taking necessary precautionary measures and steps natural calamities can be prevented. The government and all the conscious citizens should come forward with concerted efforts to prevent natural calamities. Caste prejudices add agony to the disasters just like picking difffrent coal from the fire. However all the coal burns alike. They all loose identities of mines from which they come.There should be strong punishments to the rescue teams if they observed such prejudices and help prioritised on basis of caste!


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