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 Asha Kowtal 

Following the spate of media reports of gang rapes on dalit women in Haryana, several dalit organizations came together to express solidarity with the rape survivors and outrage against the institutionalized sexual violence on dalit women, by conducting a Karwan called Dalit Mahila Garima Yatra. In this photo-essay, through images we bring you the updates of this 9 day Karwan, as it traveled through towns and villages of Haryana meeting rape survivors, officials and community members.

Broadly, the images give an idea of the highlights of this campaign which include, meeting rape survivors and their families; meeting with officials; facilitating meetings between rape survivors and officials; helping with justice-enabling procedures such as filling out FIR’s, submitting petitions, and doing outreach work about the SC/ST POA act to community members as well as meeting with survivors and protesters of older atrocities such as the rehabilitation struggles of Mirchpur violence.

But mostly, we would like the images to speak of the immense strength and resilience of the rape survivors, their families and the community members during this campaign, as I commented earlier today to Savari members  ‘we are all energised by the process and ofcourse we are once again reminded of our very small role/contribution in the struggles of our community. Often, we tend to make the mistake of burdening ourselves, but instead the resilience of our community and survivors of violence shows us the way ahead.’

We are assembling in front of Babasaheb statue in DC office, Fatehabad, volunteers are preparing the petition for the case brought to the karwan this morning.

We had a very successful public meeting at Secretariat in Hisar with participation of almost 500 people. Slogans didn’t stop until DC came down to receive memorandum. The survivors from Mirchpur, Dabra and Bhawana presented the memorandum.

Savita handing the memorandum to Additional DC at Sonepat.

Rajesh facilitating discussion of survivors with SDM at Bhiwani district. Community is encouraged with presence of Karwan.

Volunteers prepare applications for survivors of violence with whom we made contact during the community meetings. Even after three months, the survivors are running from pillar to post for FIR!

 Day 5 ends in Fatehabad district. The energy is great and going strong. Dalit women leaders are actively leading the Yatra. It’s fantastic!

Candle march in Hisar.

After Hisar, the Karwan has reached Battukala and assembled at the Panchayat office with community members.

BIG Thank you to our friends who hosted us at Ambedkar hostel in Hisar!

Candle vigil at Gohana.

End of Day 3 of the Karwan – from Bhiwani to Hisar. Great encouragement from the people of our community. We have been hosted by them in every district. It is energizing. We cooked our dinner and staying at Ambedkar hostel in Hisar. Here is a pic of celebration in the struggle!

Karwan moves to its final stage. Now in Kurukshetra. Closing sammelan is tomorrow at Karnal. Pls join if you can.

Manisha Devi sharing about SC/ST Act with members of community.

Meeting Dalit families who fled Mirchpur post the carnage and have been living in tents for past two and half years. They cannot go back to their village. SC/ST PoA Act and witnesses protection ? Rehabilitation of survivors? Questions !!! No answers.

Swati Singh And Manisha Devi with the family who have been protesting outside DC office in Fatehabad.

Nukkad Sabha – volunteers enacting a play about violence against Dalit women at Community hall in Hisar town.

Meeting with survivors of caste violence in Bhawani district. Caste abuses, breaking bones, beatings and urinating into mouth – the dominants unleash their sick minds once again. The case is not registered instead counter added have been put on the family.

Public meeting in front of Collector’s office in Sonepat.

Savita, AIDMAM State Coordinator addressing the media at Candle vigil at Gohana.


Submitting memorandum to ADC in Fatehabad. Insensitive officials and police. Karwan members managed to facilitate a discussion with survivors and officials. Follow up plans needed now ! I’m leaving the district very very disturbed.

This is Savita – Young And Energetic Dalit Woman Activist.

Women leaders of the Karwan enroute to Sonepat.

Subsequent articles by fellow participants and organizers of the Garima Yatra will detail the logistics of organizing such an intensive and sustained awareness campaign against the violent intersections of caste, patriarchy and willful apathy of officials that wrecks the lives of dalit women and their families.
Asha Kowtal is the General Secretary of the All India Dalit Mahila Adhikar Manch (AIDMAM).

7 Responses to Dalit Mahila Garima Yatra: Updates from the Karwan

  1. Somasekhar. says:

    We condemn the barbaric incident happened to our sister in Hissar of Hariyana!!

    There are various incidents continuously subjugating and suppressing emotions of dalits all over the country which disturbs our usual life .Our effort of sending girls to school , colleges diluted, and higher education is became dream for our girls, as result most of girls are giving up their studies and ending their future and caught in early marriages and trapped in all sorts deprivation this is reversing countries efforts.

    We condemn and request responsible people to condemn the incidents.

  2. neetu says:

    how many of u will gather at delhi on nov 23rd shall we get our right mam

  3. veer singh says:

    i am very please to saw the action by dalits…

  4. Archana says:

    Its good to see the efforts and enthusiasm of all members.It gives the feeling to victims that they are not alone and someone do care for their cause.I wish I could have joined you there.

  5. pema ram meena says:

    very good progress in dalit mahila adhikar manch

  6. […] A collection of responses from Dalit Activists can be seen on Dalit Web. A photo essay of the march is posted here. […]

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