India: Dalits demand land rights in Bihar
On 15th February 2012, a protest march was organized by members of Dalit Shakti Sangathan, Ambedkar Student Forum, Dalit elected representatives and Jan Adhikar Kendra. They were demanding rights over land, highlighting the promises made by the Bihar state government under the schemes of Bihar Mahadalit Vikas Mission.
Around 1000 people, including CBO leaders, Dalit sarpanches and members of Social Justice Committees from 40 villages of 10 Panchayats of Chenari block, Rohtas district, Bihar, marched two kilometers in the Chenari market area towards the Block Land and Revenue Department office in public protest.
A large number of women and youths participated in the protest. This is the first time where women, youth and men from the Dalit community came with a collective voice before the local administration for a protest march in the district.
For the last two years, Jan Adhikar Kendra under the leadership of Santosh Kumar is working in Chenari block on the issues of Education, Land-Livelihood and effective participation of women and youth in Panchayati Raj Institutions.
CBO leaders, women and Dalit elected representatives shared their sufferings and after a whole day demonstration Mr. Nagendra Kumar Mishra, Circle Officer, Land and Revenue department received the memorandum of demands on behalf of District Collector and Chief Minister and gave assurance to take action as soon as possible to fulfil the demands.
Photo: Dalit activists on the demonstration
Credit: Arti Verma
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