|Issues in Gujarat
Caste Based Occupations
Socially marginalized communities are engaged in occupation like manual scavenging, leatherwork, skinning dead animals etc. Social discrimination though on the surface may seem to have been reduced; it is still very prominently in schools and in work places in villages and small and medium size towns. Children belonging to Dalit communities are made to sit separate during mid-day meal in many schools of Anand and Banaskantha districts.
The incidences of removing Dalit Sarpanches by moving no-confidence motion are common. Encroachment on common property resources by Non-Dalits is another serious problem, especially in rural areas. According to one study in Sabarkantha district of Gujarat alone, in last five years, in more than 29 villages there are major incidences of Dalit atrocities leading to social boycott.
It is the above-mentioned issues and concerns that members of JANPATH are attempting to address in their own way. JANPATH has in past tried to initiate, support and strengthen these efforts. It seems that with the changing macro economic environment these issues and problems are likely to accentuate and would demand a mare effective response from the civil society organizations.
JANPATH feels the need for stronger social action at grassroots level as well as at state level by taking up more proactive advocacy role. This needs strengthening and supporting the member organizations to face new challenges.