The governments formed after Independence, both at the Centre and the State, have not shown political will or commitment to work for the welfare of Dalits, said Yashodha P., president, Karnataka Dalit Women Forum.

She was speaking at the launch of a national-level claim petition campaign here on Sunday that coincided with the birth anniversary of B.R. Ambedkar.

Ms. Yashodha pointed out that despite the Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, atrocities continued to be committed against Dalits.

Manohar Elavarthi, core committee member of the Praja Rajakiya Vedike, pointed out that none of the political parties were committed to work for the cause of the Dalits.

Pointing out that the issue of land played a pivotal role in the emancipation of Dalits, she said, “Various laws such as the land ceiling Act to reduce disparities by redistribution of land were not implemented properly leaving a large number of Dalits landless, displaced and marginalised.”

Campaign

To help Dalits reclaim such land, the National Alliance for Dalit Land Rights (NADLR) launched the campaign, which will be go on till December 6 in 18 States.

The campaign, which will be spearheaded by the Karnataka Dalit Women Forum and other Dalit organisations, will be conducted in 20 districts in the State.

The Dalit organisations have demanded 3 acres of irrigated land and 5 acres of dry land for Dalits.

Besides, they have sought title deeds for Dalit households.

They said they will urge the government to set up a tribunal to fast-track land disputes.