What We Do
To capacitate Dalit women leaders to fight against the oppression of caste, class and gender and enhance rights and entitlements of women.
DSS has taken up various activities in the direction of reaching the goal of qualitative childhood to dalit girl children and empowerment of dalit women.
Brief Outline of Activities of DSS and its Impact:
DSS has been working among the dalit women and girl children at the grass root level in the face of all odds, with the objective of empowering dalit women and girl children as they constitute the thrice oppressed. Despite constitutional proclamation of equality, feudal vestiges continue to dominate the mindset of the society at large and the State institutions as well. Hence, all activities of DSS have been geared to transform this unfortunate dalit reality and towards this end DSS embarked up on the program of facilitating the dalit women and girl children to fight for their rights and entitlements. All the activities are designed in such a way to democratize and sensitize the state apparatus and society in general towards the issues of dalit women and girl children. Due to the sustained efforts of DSS, the dalit women have now grown up as leaders, approach the police officials, question them about the injustice and discuss about their rights and are able to demand justice.
DSS has been successful in organizing and uniting the dalit women to struggle for their rights, through formation of Women Collectives, continuous trainings, identifying, addressing and monitoring of about 80 odd various categories of violations of rights of dalit women and girl children.
It has taken up legal actions, protest activities and variety of campaigns. A few such activities include public hearings, round table conferences, trainings, protests, invoking judicial and human rights institutions, studies, surveys etc. Public hearing of violations of rights at the State level and in the concerned districts with the involvement of the officials was designed to enlighten the administration about the actual reality at the ground level and sensitize the public on the violations. Continuous trainings to dalit women and girl children on the micro and macro political and economic situation, the functioning of the legal system, various relevant laws were conducted to increase their awareness on their rights. As continuation of the trainings, a handy compendium of all essential aspects of important legislations concerning women, children, dalits, was also published in Telugu language. Campaigns on the plight of dalit women and girl children are conducted every year to sensitize the public at large on the question of justice, equality and equity for dalit women and girl children. The campaign contingent consisting of 100 dalit women leaders tour along the state on road covering thousands of kilometers for 10 days. During these campaigns we were able to interact with a large number of dalit women and girl children in their own villages along the length and breadth of the state. DSS took up the issue of rural employment guarantee scheme by conducting surveys and plugging the loopholes, thereby benefitting many beneficiaries. Survey was conducted on the despicable situation of social welfare hostels, schools and anganwadi centres and a program of action was designed to struggle for the all-round betterment of these institutions. Similarly, study was conducted on the situation of dalit girl children and implementation of SC,ST (PoA) Act. Activities like sending petitions to various human rights commissions on the incidents of violations of rights, participating in district vigilance and monitoring committees, coordinating with other rights organizations for mustering their support for the rights of dalit women and girl children etc were actively implemented by DSS. As a result of our consistent efforts as above, the dalit women collectives in the area of operation are able to articulate and come forward to struggle for their rights and are able to demand that constitution and laws be implemented properly. We can confidently assert that we are able to draw the attention of the public at large towards the cause of dalit women and girl children during the past years with our concerted campaigns, public hearings, monitoring, advocacy & lobby and other activities and thereby initiate a debate about the dalit women situation in the State.
All the activities helped to sensitize the dalit women and girl children, the dalit community and society in general towards the need to transform the state and social institutions towards the cause of empowerment of dalit women and girl children, increased confidence levels among the victims and witnesses, enthused the dalit women to assert, increased the accountability of the concerned departments, create recognition and visibility for the dalit women cause at the state and district level by sensitizing the society at large through media and impacted the thinking of all concerned. The visible impact and results achieved in practice boosted the spirits of dalit women who are gearing up themselves to raise their voices continuously for accessing their rights and entitlements. DSS could provide a platform for dalit women to discuss their issues from village to state level.