Friday, September 24, 2010

[ZESTCaste] NGOs slam Dalit ‘bias’ in relief distribution

NGOs slam Dalit 'bias' in relief distribution

Speakers at the meet. Picture by Nagendra Kumar Singh
Patna, Sept. 21: A five-member team of NGOs Dalit Watch, and Bachpan
Bachao Andolan visited the flood-affected areas in Gopalganj district.

Addressing a press meet in the city today, Dalit Watch said the
situation of Dalits in flood-hit areas is very grim. Even during
relief distribution, the Dalits are facing discrimination, claimed the
NGO. "Relief and rehabilitation process in the wake of flood is also
caste-based. Dalits are being neglected in the region. Their
population has been affected the most compared to others," said, Sudha
Varghese, Dalit Watch convener.

"A large number of Dalits are moving out of the district due to
unavailability of food and shelters. In the name of relief camp, which
is set up in schools and panchayat bhavan, only two meals a day are
served and that too is mostly kichdi. The food is not enough to
survive. The worst part is horrible, veterinary doctors are giving
treatment to Dalits in health camps," said Verghese.

Bachpan Bachao Andolan state convenor Mukhtarul Haque said: "State
government's preparation to face flood situation was not adequate.
There was no proper planning. Situation of children is unbearable.
Pregnant women are not getting proper treatment. A child was born in
Rupanchap relief camp without any medical assistance. This is height
of negligence and ignorance towards Dalits community."


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