Chilipili Child Labourers’ Special School which was run by JMS from 2000-2014, is still making headlines. Over 1000 Dalit children working as child and pledged/bonded labourers were liberated by JMS and initiated into mainstream education through a two-year residential bridge school programme conducted at JMS. JMS decided to close the school programme in 2014 and … Continue reading
JMS YUVA VEDIKE (JMS Youth Forum)
Thanks to all friends who have extended support to JMS and for the solidarity. With your encouragement and with the active involvement of Ambika’s Parents – Madheva and Mariamma – the campaign #JusticeFor_Ambika – has now reached the young Dalit girls in the villages of Raichur (Karnataka, India).
Under the banner of this campaign young girls started to gather at JMS office for learning computer, reading and actively engaging in JMS yuvavedike (JMS YOUTH FORUM)activities. Youths involvement started with the introduction of Ambika and providing them her case story to read and help them to understand the importance of Education and Empowerment of Young Girls.
There’s a great excitement among girls in the new space for learning that they have found. Various discussions on education, challenges young girls face along with hands on computer skills have added to this excitement.
Ambika’s parents are part of this campaign. All pictures and images in this campaign involving Ambika, have her parents’ active and informed consent.
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JMS Campaign for Maternal Health Rights of Dalit women – raises concerns about the sick health system
New Indian Express, 04 March 2019
Feb 08, 2019 – Rally for public services
Jagrutha Mahila Sanghatane mobilised 300 women from 8 gram panchayats of Manvi Taluka who have been demanding payments for the sanitory toilets they have built, rectification of various irregularities in payment for their work under MNREGA [for almost 500 people payment not done for almost 50 days of work each, citing various technical reasons], and response to the drinking water problems in various villages.
JMS held a public demand rally in front of Taluka Executive Officer of taluka panchayat.
The EO was made to come down for negotiations with them. Women presented a village by village records for the demands that they had made. Documents were shown. Women aksed for a time-bound resolution of their problems. The EO called the computer operators who keep the records and Panchayat Development Officers (PDOs).
The issue of payments for toilet constructions, cattle sheds were promised to be solved immediately. A panchayat-wise date was drawn for meetings with PDOs to resolve panchayat-wise issues. JMS has immediately followed up with authorities in each of the villages.
JMS campaign in three electoral constituencies for basic community rights and communal harmony: ELECTORAL CANDIDATES SHOULD PROMOTE COMMUNAL HARMONY
JMS campaigned in 50 villages coming under three legislative constituencies – Manvi, Sindhanur and Maski – of Raichru district. They also submitted charter of demands: the demands included right of the communities for basic necessities –
(1) basic primary health care services should be made available for all in the government primary health centres
(2) Reform of the public distribution system and alternative arrangements of PDS for those who are deprived of it due to the bio-metric system
(3) Ensuring proper functioning and accountability of gram panchayats – regular conduct of gram sabhas and inquiry should be held in all the GPs on the irregularity of allocation of welfare schemes in the last five years
(4) Ensure timely and regular reach of all social security schemes especially pensions to the needy
(5) No contesting candidate should promote or encourage communal conflicts and they should promote communal harmony.
Jagrutha Mahila Sanghatan (JMS) is a rural Dalit women agricultural laborers’s collective in the district of Raichur, Karnataka. The leadership is entirely of Dalit (Indigenous) women. The campaign is wholly led by women.
Health rights issue has been particularly marginalized in the social movements’ domain and health issues continue to remain within the techno- bureaucratic stranglehold of experts, researchers and the like. Health NGOs which have been in the forefront of policy making have been gate-keeping this issue and infanticising communities on the pretext that “communities do not understand the larger political issues of health care policy”. The campaign led by JMS women is counter-narrative against the NGOised, apolitical practices and processes of NGOised approach to health rights while simultaneously striving to hold the governments of the day accountable. JMS work and practice in the context of the present Campaign therefore provides insights for health activism in general and for community led practices in health rights realization in particular.
The JMS campaign provided an insight into what goes into the making of a marginalized women-led health rights initiative. Their capacity was built through workshops, discussions, and other participatory processes. A pictorial tool developed not only helped them understand their entitlements, but also allowed them to lead the communities with the power of knowledge, and their collective power allowed them take the feedback and demand to the policy spaces. The maternal health rights campaign that was woven around the processes of this community based evidence for maternal health rights of Dalit women, focused primarily on two key dimensions: one, empowered community leadership and two, claiming and accessing spaces of policies for community feed back and improvement of the overall health system.
The advocacy processes and capturing policy spaces: (more…)