We waited for sometime to tell you that our Dalit Women cultural team is graduating into a professional team. On 24 May they gave their first ever grand performance outside of Tumkur District.
They were invited for the inauguration of the Biennial Conference of the Student Christian Movement of India. The function was organized at the United Theological College in Bangalore. Of course, as is natural, Team REDS had its jitters before the starting of the program. But the performance of our Dalit Women stupefied all of us. We were in full strength at the UTC to be with our women, except Jyothi who is somewhere in South India doing an evaluation of the Indian Social Institute. Jyothi really missed this.
Now, we make a formal announcement that you are most welcome to invite our Dalit Women Cultural Team for your formal functions. They have Dalit Art Forms which can be done from 30 to 45 minutes. If you like also their Street Theatre it will be another 15 to 30 minutes, each drama taking about 15 minutes.
Fees: We have fixed a nominal fee of Rs. 2000/- plus travel and food for one programme. Apart from that these village Dalit girls also perform in our village programmes. The village Dalit peoplecontribute Rs. 500/- for each programme. Our team never goes for free performance. Jyothi and Raj inform us that this readiness to contribute by our people for programmes, that too Rs. 500/- for a single programme, is an enormous change in their life. They have been following and accompanying all the transformation that is taking place among the people.
The next day Team REDS was busy interacting with a group of 35 Dalit Students from all over South India who wanted to get a glimpse of the new approach of Team REDS for Dalit emancipation. A fter a lot of discussion at REDS they also attended one of formal inaugurations of the Dalit Panchayat in a village called Bestrapalya, in Tumkur Taluk. This group was brought by the Indian Social Institute, Bangalore. Next day, 26th May in Pavagada and on 27th in Madugiri were two grand celebrations of Dalit Panchayat inaugurations and formation of Hobli DPs.
We are all now intensively busy with the formation of Hobli Dalit Panchayats. A Hobli is an administrative division of the Government with about 50 villages. Even if we have formed only 10
Dalit Panchayats in a Hobli we form the Hobli DPs. Some Hobli leaders have had their initial hiccups. But largely it is very good process that is going on. Totally we work in 45 Hoblis. The
plan is to complete the formation of Hobli DPs in June around the Festival of Dalit Women and then move on to form the Taluk Dalit Panchayats in the month of August. The entire process will
culminate in the formation of District Dalit Panchayat in 06 December which is the Festival of Dalit Ancestors. It is celebration mood in Tumkur district. If everything goes according to our visualization and with enough support it should not be a problem to have a State level Dalit Panchayat within the next five years. Team REDS has high hopes.
Team REDS is also happy that the Dalit Panchayat leadership both at the village level and at the organizational level is slightly tilted towards women. There are more number of Dalit women leaders a t all levels including team REDS.
We take this opportunity to also wish you well for the Festival of Dalit Women on 03 June. Together with Jyothi and Raj we wish you all the blessings of Boosakthi and of all our Dalit Ancestors.