From DB Sagar Bishwakarma, ICDR President
The year 2014 was an historical year for the Dalit Rights Movement, especially to the ICDR. We, in collaboration with Dalit and Amdedkarize organizations, hosted our first historical Global March against Caste-based Discrimination in Washington, D.C. on June 21st, 2014. Our goal: to educate and inform US and global policy-makers about the plight of nearly 300 million Dalits worldwide, especially in South Asia.
Building on the accomplishments and positive feedback from the #GlobalMarchDC, we are happy to host a three-day “Global Conference on Defending Dalit Rights in the Contemporary World” from March 19-21, 2015. The conference will serve as a Post-Global March activity and will conclude by creating a Human-Chain–Call-to-Action from the international community and governments on the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (March 21) at the Lincoln Memorial Statue.
Your support and participation will be greatly appreciated; you may register here for the conference.
We are expecting the senior US Government Officers, Congressional and Civil Rights leaders, along with Dalit-rights leaders and dignitaries from South Asia, Europe, Japan, and other parts of world to attend the conference. In addition, Prof. Juan Mendez, Special Rapporteur on Torture, and other representatives from the UN, World Bank, and European Union have confirmed and shown their interest to participate in the event.
In addition to the Global Conference, we have been working continuously to develop the Caste Freedom Index as a unique and universal measurement and advocacy framework. Many thanks (and credit) go to team and leaders of the Caste Freedom Index and Global Initiatives at the ICDR for their time, efforts and contributions.
We are also proud to launch a new global network initiative called ‘Dalit Civil Society Network’, where organizations and individuals can exchange their ideas, experiences, and challenges with a wider community. The network will also provide a common platform and advance the Dalit-rights movement from a local to global arena. We encourage you to visit the site and create an account; you can utilize this opportunity to stay connected and advance your visibility as an organization or interested individual.
Finally, to the Board of Directors, Advisors, Governing Council, Staff, Volunteers, Interns, and Donors/Partners, I want to reiterate my appreciation for all of your time, leadership and contributions. Without you, we would not be able to deliver these historical events and expand the Dalit Rights Movement to global levels. With your support, ICDR has become a leader of the Dalit Rights Movement, and advanced its institutional growth.
We do have challenges and responsibilities ahead; together, we can resolve these, and we will be able to establish Dalit Rights in the contemporary world.
I am pleased to welcome and look forward to seeing many of you in the upcoming First Global Conference on March 19 in Washington, D.C.
Happy New Year -2015!