“The ‘upper’ castes tell us to sit separately, whether at common gatherings or in the temple. They don’t touch us,” says a Dalit woman, adding that she feels awful. Untouchability of Dalits is still widely prevalent in rural areas and in the private sphere in Tamil Nadu. Dalit population, including scheduled tribes like Thurumbars and Irulas, suffer gravely from inequality and segregation. Everyday life is rife with caste discrimination! It is seen in public schools, when children are forbidden to touch the meal being prepared or are asked to sit separately in eating places. They have to sit separately in temples too. Dalits face poor access to water sources, healthcare and nutrition. Caste-related violence is frequently reported.
We are committed to fight discrimination and protect the Dalit and tribal population in Chennai province from social injustices and forms of exploitation by empowering them through a tailored education and skilling program.
As per available statistics, Dalits are living in hazardous situations. Every day, on an average, three Dalit women are raped, two Dalits murdered, and two Dalit houses burnt. According to the NHRC statistics 37 per cent of Dalits live below the poverty line, 54 percent are undernourished, 83 children out of 1,000 children born in a Dalit household die before their first birthday and 45 percent remain illiterate. Illiteracy rate among tribals is higher than the rest of the population.
With respect to the needs of rural population, our Salesian projects promote social awareness and education programs in order to bring about social transformation and better livelihood for these people.
The beneficiaries are supported through primary and secondary school education, on sites offered by the Salesians themselves, evening Study Centres, Youth Centres, Hostels and Self-Help Groups.
Conducting Night study centers for the children and vocational training centers in places like Katpadi, Andaman Islands or Cuddalore aims to