India’s 250 million Dalits are often described as the largest oppressed group in the world.They were formerly known as ‘untouchables’, being regarded in the Hindu tradition as being outside the caste system. They have taken the name Dalit for themselves, as it means ‘crushed’ or ‘broken’ and it reflects their position as a dispossessed community who face continuous economic exploitation and social and cultural oppression.
"It is vital for the future of the Dalit liberation struggle that we remain ever mindful that ours is a shared struggle, that we are each other’s fate."
Jacob Devadason Tamarind Project
Amos Trust supports the Tamarind Project, a sustainable community based response providing further education and teacher training for Dalit young people. This project is vital as Dalit communities are often very poor due to oppression, so most Dalits do not have access to education beyond primary school. It is rare for Dalit children to learn English, which is essential tool in India's technology boom, so limits Dalit people's employment opportunities. By supporting Dalit young people in further education and training up teachers from the Dalit community the Tamarind Project ensures generations of Dalit children will be able to access these employment and learning opportunities in the future. Through the Tamarind Project, Amos Trust also supports the Shalom Happy Home, children's home for Dalit children.
Amos Trust also works with international activists to raise awareness of the continued oppression of Dalits supporting Dalit campaigning in the UK and the EU, and we work with Dalit theologians, who are developing a theology recognising God's call for justice and freedom in the face of oppression.
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh recently acknowledged the parallel between the practice of untouchability and the crime of apartheid. He described untouchability as a “blot on humanity” adding that “even after 60 years of constitutional and legal protection and state support, there is still social discrimination against Dalits.”
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