Greetings from Rights Education and Development (READ)!
We are going to organise two days writers’ camp for Arundhatiyar (Dalit amongst the dalits) young writers at Erode District, Sathyamangalam, Tamil Nadu. We request you for your contribution/ donation for this camp.
Date: 20-21 February, 2010
Venue: Sathyamangalam, Erode District
Who are Dalits?
Dalits are a group of people historically regarded the lowest in the hierarchy of the Indian caste system. After independence significant steps were undertaken in the form of affirmative action to improve their condition and provide opportunities for their overall development. However most of the affirmative actions taken by state have not been able to transform the lives of these people because of widespread and deep rooted perceptions of caste hierarchy and retaining purity within the caste groups by disallowing social and cultural mingling of the groups.
Who are Arundhatiyars?
Arundhatiyars are the considered to be the lowest group in the entire caste hierarchy and considered ‘dalit amongst the dalits’ and treated as ‘untouchables’. The Arundhatiyars are also known as ‘Chakiliar’ and are marginalized even amongst the Dalits, There are around 60 Lakh Arundhatiyars in Tamil Nadu mostly residing in the western districts living in colonies outside the main village which are inhabited by the upper caste landlord community. The Arundhatiyars have been struggling for survival and development from centuries of discrimination, marginalisation, poverty, exploitation and violence at the hands of the upper caste landlords. They have no land and for as low as a thousand rupees loan, they are forced to work as bonded slaves on the agricultural farms or houses of the upper caste landlords. They are also often compelled to do very menial, undignified jobs such as manual scavenging.
What is the importance of this writers camp?
At present, there are many Dalit writers, but very few write on Arundhatiyar community’s issues. Even amongst Arundhatiyars we can count only around only two prominent writers who write on the community’s issues. This makes us realise that we need to promote young writers to write and document the Arundhatiyar history and raise their issues for a wider readership.
The present young writers’ camp would be organised to promote this vision. Therefore, we have decided to provide intensive training for around 20 interested youth to build their writing skills. They will be taught to write articles, stories and poems on the discrimination, exploitation and violation of fundamental rights of Arundhatiyar community.
We are happy to receive your contribution through DD/Cheque in favour of:
Rights education and development centre
27/1 Muniyappar. St
Tamil Nadu. South India