British parliamentarians visit Jan Sahas and met Dalit women

By Staff Reporter,

Dewas, MP: A delegation of British Parliamentarians of Commonwealth Parliamentary Association visited Jan Sahas intervention village Chinnotha in Madhya Pradesh on 20 February 2014 and participated in the community meeting with the liberated manual scavenger women, bonded labours, victims of rape, sexual abuse and dalit atrocities.

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Delegation also met with the leaders of CBOs and discusses their interventions on the issues of malnutrition and protection of the rights. During the meetings community members shared their struggle for liberation from the slavery and justice in the cases of violence and abuse.

The Delegation was led by Mr. Liam Byrne the delegation comprises of Ms. Baroness Blackstone, Mr. Simon Burns, Mr. Stephen Hepburn, Ms. Baroness Manzoor, Ms. Baroness Northever, Mr. Virendra Sharma and Dr. Raberta Blackman-Woods. The Team also comprises senior officers of British Government and officers deployed at DfID’s Indian Headquarters.

Dalit women Ms. Sakuntal Bai, Ms. Sushila Bai and Ms. Haru Bai, who have been liberated from the slavery of manual scavenging, shared about their experience of the inhuman practice, discrimination and social exclusion. Mr. Udaysingh and Ms. Samshida Bee shared the story of liberation from the bonded labour and change the socio-economic conditions of the community though the collective efforts. Leaders of CBOs like Memkala Bai and Ramkuvar Bai shared about the Campaign on Food and Nutrition Security and Violence against Women.

During the meeting Ms. Baroness Blackstone said that “you are working for the right to freedom and dignity, other communities and survivors need to learn from your powerful and successful movement”. Mr. Liam Byrne and other parliamentarians expressed their solidarity to this work.

Jan Sahas is a movement by Rashtriya Garima Abhiyan in central India to liberate Dalit women from the clutches of manual scavenging.