The Dalits of Latur. Yatra Day 72

The morning was spent in learning about the work of HALO Medical foundation in Andoor . The foundation started in 1993 after the Latur earthquake. The main focus is to raise social awareness among doctors. With the support of this foundation, para-medical workers are working in 125 villages in the Latur and Osmanabad districts under Gram Swasthya Nirman Yojana government scheme. In Solapur the foundation manages a  Vyasan Mukti Kendra (De-additction centre) to treat addiction from alcohol, and smoking.

Manaviya Hawq Abhiyan and Bhoomi Adhikar Aandolan organized a public meeting in Latur. Shri. Ram Kumar in his presentation urged activists to maintain their focus and allegiance to the issues of marginalized regardless of their source of inspiration.

Usha Tai explained how more than 2000 cases of atrocities against dalits are all related to grabbing of land from dalits by powerful sections of the society. Gairan lands from 26 villages surrounding Latur have been lost to provide for housing due to the growing urbanization of Latur. Land Rights movement is involved in challenging each one of the 2000 cases in court.

Tukaram Pandey of CHR explained how 15 village of Latur had submitted a collective resolution to the collector against the acquisition of Gairan land for any purpose other than distribution of these lands to landless dalits. In 1966 the state government had issued a GR for regularization of Gairan lands but because the revenue department does not have proper legal documents of Gairan land they GR is not being implemented and instead the land is being given to industries, and infrastructural construction. According to research by CHR, 25-30% of industries in Latur are on Gairan lands.

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