CAMPAIGN FOR EMPOWERMENT OF YOUNG DALIT WOMEN
To Contribute – Please Click the link below:
Ambika, 13 years, is a Dalit girl who dropped out of school after 5th standard. Her parents are daily wage agricultural labourers and are residents of Jagir Pannur village in Manvi Taluka, Raichur district of Karnataka.
In some unusual circumstances she was found murdered on 26 Aug,2018, far away from her village. On a Sunday, she was taken by her neighbour (man – 25 years of age) without informing her Parents on Aug 26, 2018,on the pretext of taking part in a village religious/cultural fare (jathre), in a village about 30 kms. away on his motorbike. While the parents kept searching for her and complained to the police, the man returned late in the night. Next day, while Ambika’s parents had gone to the police station, he escaped from the house when the police came to search for him and committed suicide by hanging himself on a tree, without leaving a clue where the girl was. The police did not file a FIR on the missing girl nor did they put in efforts to search for her.
Four days later, on 29 August, body of Ambika was found in an abandoned area dumped in a bush, about 30 kms. away. While the police tried to hush up the case by almost forcing the parents to bury the body, Jms Chiguru (Jagrutha Mahila Sanghatan), prevailed upon the police to conduct post-mortem. Later, Jms Chiguru tried its best to move the police to do a thorough investigation into the case and to nab others who might be involved in this murder, nothing moved them. The National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) did not respond to the complaint for over four months. Moreover, local religious institution, instead of supporting the parents, tried to malign girl’s character.
Murder of a minor girl Ambika, signifies the issue of vulnerability of young girls, especially from the marginalised communities, and such issues largely go unreported, but for JMS’ intervention. JMS has resolved that NO MORE AMBIKAS is the only way to bring justice to AMBIKA, and has decided to reach out to 500 young Dalit girls from 50 villages for creating safe spaces for young girls. [Read More]
But for JMS’s intervention, even Ambika’s issue would have been largely buried. Even though Right to Education (RTE) is in practice, no effort was made to bring Ambika back to school, which could have been a safe place for her. Similarly, despite the enactment of POCSO Act for protection of children, for police, the murder of a minor girl was not of any significance.
Ambika’s death has opened up the need for addressing the issues of the vulnerability of young girls and boys in these villages. JMS has taken up a serious campaign to reach out to young people, especially young Dalit girls, and to bring them together on a youth platform. JMS has reached out to 100 young girls in 10 villages and 5 schools already and plans to reach out to about 500 youth. The singular focus of this campaign is to talk to young people who are school going (9th standard to under-graduation), young married women (19-22 years age) and drop-outs in villages, in order to create safe and non-threatening learning spaces for them. JMS has opened up spaces for young girls to drop in at JMS and they are mentored by other young facilitators on life skills education and additional skills such as learning computer, English to build up their confidence and self-esteem. Gaining their trust and confidence is quite essential for young girls to have a home away from home where they can confide even as building their social networks and life-skills.
Such a space was missing for Ambika as well as for her parents. We need ensure that Story of Ambika will not repeat again. JMS resolves to work towards empowering girls towards stopping their exploitation. I hope all our friends will join us in solidarity.