A recent report released by Dalit Watch documents caste discrimination in the relief efforts following the latest round of devastating floods in the Indian state of Bihar. After monitoring in 205 relief camps located in five districts the report says many Dalits were not allowed onto rescue boats, were being denied medical treatment and entry into relief camps. The report also shows that deaths among Dalit camp dwellers are higher than for other inhabitants. In addition, the report criticises the largely governmental relief operation for not living up to the so-called Sphere Standards and not ensuring adequate relief aid to all victims of the disaster.
Caste discrimination in relief efforts is a well known phenomenon that has previously been documented, including in the aftermath of the 2004 tsunami, as well as the 2007 Bihar floods, when the National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights made special recommendations to the Governor of Bihar on how to address discrimination in relief efforts.