Dalits Should Join In Social Development


-Opinion by Devayani Kohbragade


Dalits should utilize all possible government schemes and should actively participate in the developing of society”, said IAF officer Devyani Khobragade. She was addressing the gathering while inaugurating ‘Third Youth Festival’ organized by Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar National Students Federation in Nagpur on Feb 19th. She addressed the gathering in Marathi as well as in English.


Khobragade who was working at Indian Consulate in New York has recently returned from the USA where her arrest on charges of paying her domestic help less than the minimum wage caused a diplomatic row between the two countries.


She tried to boost youth by telling them that there was no such reservations for blacks in America like they have here in India for dalits and therefore they must utilize every possible scheme provided to them and should take participation in the development of backward castes.


She also said that they should not shy to use reservation schemes sponsored by government because these schemes are established through the sacrifices of their elders who fought for their rights. She continued that there were very little dalits who were making use of these schemes and were growing their economical status but most of the dalits were not coming forward even though many schemes have been sponsored by government to grow their economical and cultural status.


She urged them to come into the politics and to make laws which would benefit their society. She motivated them to go for higher studies and to choose career in their interested field. She cautioned them to not become self-centered when they occupy any prestigious position but to think of developing the status of society along with their own economical status.


While remembering her father’s struggle she said that her father was selected in IRS but he did not stop there and prepared for IAS and cleared it. She recalled that when his father went to Mussoorie for training he sold his old scooter and with that money her family survived in his absence.


On women, she said that the society cannot prosper unless the women in the society participate in its welfare. She gave example of Europe and Germany where the numbers of male were reduced after the World War II and then the women worked tirelessly to bring their country in the mainstream.


Devyani’s father Uttam Khobragade, former IAS officer also addressed the gathering and asked the youths to make full use of government schemes and to remain united against violation of their rights. He also asked them to think above the religion and caste and to remain more focused on the overall development of the society.



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