Children are not mini-people.
They have rights – not mini-rights’.
de Boer- Buquicchio
As it is well known to the World that Dalits are treated as sub-human in Indian caste based society. Their rights and privileges as the human being are been neglected rather rejected in all the
walks of their life. Through the years of struggles, we have achieved a little space to accommodate ourselves in this heartless society. Yet we have to do a lot to get the due place what we
deserve. The dominant classes have their power and pass it on to their generation traditionally. Since the Dalits are kept away from the power starting with village administration up to national
politics, the younger generations also stay ignorant and thus we stay powerless. Taking this concept into consideration we thought of introducing the younger ones the administration structures of
our society and motivating them to become powerful. Organizing them into an association, training to observe, learn, think and plan as administrators. We can name the Association as “Children
POPE will train them to be the ministers of different sectors and their responsibilities. (i.e.) Educational Minister, Health Minister, Cultural Minister, Law and Order Minister and Sports
So they have to he tasted of the power and the responsibilities of the power.
For this we have to work out in to ways. One is formation and training of the Association. And the other one is supporting the activities of this association.
40 Dalit Children’s Kingdoms are organized, covering one each for a village. The children are 10 years to 16 years old. All the children belong to this age group will be the citizens of this
kingdom and they choose their “King” and the Ministers to serve for them and the village they belong.
Dalit children’s kingdoms are trained to practise their power with responsibility and serve their citizens for the following purposes.
They’ll have periodical consultation meeting among themselves, with their citizens and also the neighbouring kingdoms:
Development of Dalit cadres
Building up of future
Dalit leaders Abolition of child labour
Developing analytical skill
Providing education for all
Providing health for all.
Work against the power structure to reduce the Socio-economic exploitation.
- Educated or uneducated Dalit children from the specific Dalit village.
- Total members should be with in 50 including 10 ministers.
- Democratic election of Chief Minister and speaker for the parliament.
- Register their names and ready to participate in the weekly parliament meeting.
- Ministers’ portfolio is under rotation for a maximum period of one year.
Following ministers are selected and sworn in after taking the pledge:
- Chief Minister
- Sports & Arts Minister
- Deputy Chief Minister
- Education Minister
- Food Minister
- Finance Minister
- Health Minister
- Law Minister
- Public Works Minister
- Home Minister
On every week, they are given health education, awareness education, life skill education and sports events.
Monthly news letter is released. The news letter contains the following:
- Children’s Poem
- Children’s Essay
- Children’s Drawing
- Short life History of one Dalit Leader
- Briefing of major events in the Country
- Talents competition etc
Various Ministers conference and special events are organized in addition to the weekly meetings of children’s parliament.
We’ll have to support the activities and programmes planned out by the association. (i.e.) if the Educational Minister recommends for educational materials to their citizens we’ll have to provide
If the Health Minister plan out to clean their street, and to keep it hygienic we’ll have to provide them certain equipments, snacks and drinks while they work.
To strengthen the insights and positive expectation of Dalits to reach a just social order and egalitarian society.
The 10 staff of school going children and the 5 staff of school drop out children will be having 5 days residential cultural training programme.
The skilled persons from cultural activities field will be utilized as resource persons of this programme. The 10 staffs will act as a ‘cultural team’ of the programme. They will be provided
musical instruments for their training as well as field programme.
Any development process that does not include women and students and seek their active participation cannot attain its real objective of social change. The awareness generation attempts are being
organized to create conditions for rural students and drop outs to be able to participate in the development process.
In this academic year, we are planning to strengthen this basic political activity among all our
children and we have plans to unite them under one Parliament at the top. In this academic year, a parliamentary session will be highlighted in the capital city of Tamil Nadu, Chennai. During the
Parliament, the major issue will be taken up by the Parliamentarian students- Quality Education as a basic human right. Press release will be released to display the empowerment of the deprived
children. In this way, the deprived Dalit children will reclaim their human right and dignity along with other privileged children and will show to the outside world of their hidden power.
Some of the important events taken places in the village due to DCK are given below:
Polakunam village was situated 3 km from Somasipadi – Vettavalam Road. DCK was operating in the village and a evening coaching class was also conducted. A
cement road was put up by the Government. Subsequent to this, sewage canal was stagnated and this place was a mosquito breeding centre. This issue was discussed in the DCK meeting on Dec. 13,
2008. It was decided to conduct on awareness procession. All the members, health minister and all other ministers took part in the procession. The members were holding the slogan boards and
explained to the families on the health problems due to the stagnated sewage water. As a result of this, they were cleaning the sewage canal regularly.
At Polakunam village, there was no proper place available for the Dalit Children’s evening coaching class. We were not able to have coaching classes during
rainy season. This problem was discussed on January 1, 2008. On the same day, the DCK children met Mr. A.K. Kumar, Panchayat President, requested for giving village T.V. room for evening
tuition. Initially, this was denied. Due to their repeated requests, the T.V. room was repaired, electrification was done and the room was given to us to have evening coaching classes. Now,
without any problems, the children have a common place for evening coaching classes.
At Polakunam village, there was an approach road from main road to Dalit colony. This was an earthen road. During rainy season, this road was not worthy to
use due to water storage at the road. During such condition, the Dalits had to use the road, used by upper caste people. This has created some problem. This issue was discussed in the DCK
meeting on 14th Nov. 2008 and a petition was given to the panchayat President. Immediately, they filled the road pits with morambu (rock soil). Now, the approach road is used during all
Thallakulam is situated 14 kms from Tiruvnanamalai to Villupuram road. From there, take a diversion for 4 kms to reach Thandarai street. At this place,
there is one DCK and another evening coaching class centre. 40 Dalit children were studying at this centre. They were studying under the street light during nights. The electric line was
repaired and there was no light facility for about 2 weeks. This issue was discussed at the DCK meeting on 5th Sep, 09. Petition was given to Panchayat President, requested for the quick
repair work. Immediately, with in a week, the repair work was done and the electricity was supplied to the entire village. In the same place, the children who were coming for the
night school put the waste paper out. In order to have a proper waste management, the children contributed one rupee each and purchased a dust bin for the organic waste
Velanandal is situated around 9 kms from Tiruvannamalai - Villupuram road. Close to this, there is another village called Pasunkarai. At this village DCK
and evening coaching centre also operates. There is an acute drinking water problem in this village. DCK discussed this issue in the meeting and decided to work with the local women’s self
help group. This problem was represented to the local Panchayat President. He immediately made a mini Water Tank to store the drinking water. While they were fetching drinking water from this
mini tank there was a moisture which has created fungus. This was cleaned by the bleaching power regularly on every week. Mini water tank waste water was used for developing flower plants and
developed small tree plantation.
At Somasipadi indigenous liquor (Arrack) manufacturing and sale was a major problem. Dalit children, wives were severely beaten due to alcoholism.
Children’s drop out rate was also increased. Many times, the problem was represented to the local Police Station. But, nothing had happened. This problem was further discussed in the DCK
meeting in April 2007. DCK approached women’s self help groups and youth groups to give their support. With their support, on May 2007, Road roko was organized at Kovilmedu Bus stand. As this
was the Chennai – Tiruvannamalai Main Road, with in a short period, many vehicles on both sides were parked. Immediately Kilpennathur and Tiruvannamalai Police Officers came to the spot and
started the dialogue. In the dialogue and negotiation time, it was clearly said that the road roko will not be withdrawn unless the liquor problem was solved. After 2 ½ hours, the Police
Officers arrested the illicit liquor manufactures. The case was filed. The liquor equipments were broken by the Police. Hence, the liquor problem was solved. POPE evening coaching centre was
functioning at Kovilmedu of Somasipadi. There was a boy called Vishnu, who was studying in 8th standard. He does not know how to read and write even Tamil letters. He was a slow learner. One
day a request letter was received by POPE Director from the Government of Tamil Nadu (through Education Minister, Chief Minister) requesting the boy called Vishnu may be admitted in a POPE
remedial school. The slow learner Vishnu was admitted in POPE remedial school. Now, his educational performance is improved.
Konalur village is situated around 4 kms from Somasipadi where more than 50 Dalit children are available. Drinking water was a major problem here. The
children were sent to another village called Suriyanthangal. Even at Suriyanthangal the water can be fetched by the Dalit children of Konalur village, after all Suriyanthangal people fetched
the water. The children’s education was drastically affected due to this drinking water problem. DCK along with Dalit women’s self help group gave a petition to the panchayat President for
the construction of separate water tank for the village water tank was constructed and the children were released from the burden of carrying drinking water.
At Arumpakkam village, there are around 50 Dalit families living. These people keep mud pot for storing drinking water. The broken mud pots were available
in plenty at this village and so water stagnation was very much possible. The pot water produced lot of mosquitoes and leading for Chickun gunia fever. This issue was discussed in the DCK
meeting and decided to give awareness training on Chickun gunia and mosquito breeding to the families. After the training, the families removed all the broken pots and the mosquito breeding
site was abolished. At the place where they had the evening tuition class, there was no electricity. This was discussed at the DCK meeting and
requested for using T.V. room. DCK had repeated the process for four times. Finally, T.V. room with the electrification was given to DCK for their tuition centre.
Vazhuthalankunam village is situated around 5 km from Somasipadi Kovilmedu where 40 Dalit children were available for DCK. There was a mini-water tank
available for drinking water supply. The people were taking bath at the tank site people were washing cloth at the tank. This issue was discussed at the DCK meeting. DCK called for a village
meeting. With the help of evening school teacher and panchayat Nalapanialar, village meeting was organized. In the village meeting, the Health Minister explained the evilness of water
stagnation and the health problems connected there with. Now, the people are using the mini water tank, only for fetching water and not using the water site for bathing and washing.
Like this, number of changes taken place in all the villages where DCK is active.
I have the right to know my rights.