Eradicate Poverty In India And End Discriminations Against Dalits sign now

Dear Dr. Manmohan Singh,

Despite more than 60 years of Independence, large numbers of Indians continue to live in profound poverty and are unable to access justice and basic services from the state. India is a signatory to the United Nations Millennium Declaration, and has committed itself to address the rights of marginal groups, achieving gender equality, and increasing accountability of all development actors. However these commitments remain on paper and have not been translated into viable and quantifiable action by the government to follow up on its promises.

In commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in keeping with the Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles enshrined in the Constitution of India, we urge you to commit the Government of India to the eradication of poverty, and the promotion of the full range of civil, political, cultural, economic, social and cultural rights of all citizens of India with an emphasis on the disadvantaged sections of the country. It is imperative that the Indian state focus on a comprehensive and inclusive approach to development that benefits everyone and strives to aid the disadvantaged, poor, Dalit, and other minority groups in India in lifting themselves out of poverty.

To this end we recommend the government undertake the following steps:
Establish effective legal and administrative infrastructure to ensure the delivery of a complete range of human rights and related benefits to all citizens of India with a specific focus on those members of Indian society who have been traditionally disadvantaged.
Act decisively to combat the exclusion of Dalits, minorities, women and the impoverished from civil, social, cultural and economic life in India.
Constitute a High level Committee in each state for the objective evaluation of the programmes for social and economic development of dalits which include their education, literacy, health, livelihood, poverty alleviation, housing, living and working conditions, and basic amenities. Based on its recommendations, formulate the state dalit policy and integrate it with other programmes.
Empower state commissions for scheduled castes and scheduled tribes with legal rights. Through efficient planning, create effective livelihood/business programmes for the dalits of the states and implement the same at both district and tehsil levels with honesty and accountability. Provide required budgetary allocations for the aforementioned.
Establish strongly committed state level machinery from state to panchayat for the upliftment of the dalits based on a mission document.
Avail accommodation to the homeless population through special schemes in a time bound manner and arrangement of the needed financial resources.
Distribute 5 acre plots to every landless and marginalised dalit household for agriculture. Provide needed technical know-how, help and grants for practicing agriculture on such plots.
Pursue justice against perpetrators of violent crimes and atrocities against disadvantaged members of the populace.
To hold all concerned actors and institutions legally and politically accountable for the continuing exclusion and disempowerment of Dalits, women, minorities and the impoverished in India, and to create appropriate empowerment and incentive systems for these actors to remedy the situation.

We urge you to commit India to a new movement for freedom from poverty, hunger, illiteracy, discrimination, violence, injustice and indignity. Let us forge a new tryst with destiny in the 61st year of Indias Independence and set on the path to a new future where we can be the leading example of the principles of liberty, equality, fraternity, and justice enshrined in the Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

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Casandra MaddenBy:
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Prime Minister of India

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