Dalit women’s fight

In India, the NHRF supports projects where Dalits and other marginalised communities mobilise to defy the daily challenges within their communities.

“I have opted to work for the rights of Dalit women because first of all I am a woman and also I am a Dalit woman” (Yashoda P., Director and Founder of Sanchaya Nele).

As a forceful advocate for the human rights of Dalits, Sanchaya Nele strives to protect and empower some of the most vulnerable members of the Indian population. Born outside the traditional caste-system, Dalits are subjected to multiple forms of abuse, including marginalisation, threats and attacks. As a consequence, Dalits live under perilous conditions bereft of opportunity as well as dignity. The situation for Dalit women is particularly difficult.

A strong voice for Dalit women

Within the patriarchal Indian society, Dalit women face severe discrimination due to their social status as well as gender, and they are often victims of numerous human rights violations, including sexual assaults and violence. It is within this context that the organisation Sanchaya Nele supports Dalit women in their struggle to end caste-based injustice.

Sanchaya Nele began working against the harmful treatment of Dalits in 2002, and is now active across 25 districts in Karnataka. The leader of Sanchaya Nele, Yashoda P., has devoted her life to the struggle for Dalits’ rights and considers it her duty to free Dalits from the current repression. Being a Dalit herself, Yashoda has experienced relentless discrimination, and has become a strong and unwavering voice for the disadvantaged.

“Having gone through shattering experiences being a Dalit woman, and having personally experienced what it means to be a Dalit woman in today’s context which is patriarchal and mainly male oriented, I felt I was my duty and my responsibility, and still feel to today, to stand for woman’s rights, in particular Dalit women’s rights” Yashoda P.

Women leadership and advocacy

Accordingly, Sanchaya Nele works towards empowering Dalit women to eradicate prejudice and prevent atrocities. The organisation provides women leadership training, capacity building and legal assistance, while documenting and reporting violations of human rights. By monitoring the implementation of applicable legal frameworks and regularly meeting with the appropriate authorities, Sanchaya Nele engages the wider society to increase awareness and challenge harmful practices. By doing so, the organisation promotes mobilisation and confidence among Dalits to better secure their safety and dignity.

In India, the situation for Dalit women is particularly difficult

Renewed NHRF support

It is because of this imperative work that the NHRF is a proud supporter of Sanchaya Nele, and is excited to follow the organisation’s current as well as future accomplishments.