“Social distancing is nothing new to us (Pakistani Christians) … People usually hate the sight of a sanitation worker, let alone coming close, shaking our hand, or eating and drinking with us. Unofficially, the caste-based ‘untouchable’ stigma remains synonymous with Christians, because over 90% of them come from what was the Dalit caste, the poorest of the poor.”
“Social distancing also has a dark and ominous side. In South Asia, where it has unfurled into a spider’s web of practices, it also directs violence, exclusion and bigotry upon marginalised people whose only ‘sin’ is caste, occupation or descent.”
In Pakistan, descendants of lower-caste Hindus who converted to Christianity centuries ago still find themselves marginalized, relegated to dirty jobs and grim fates.
As the first Dalit woman senator in Pakistan, Krishna Kumari Kohli, has an ambitious to-do list, from improving the health and education of women and girls to tackling honour killings, kidnappings and child marriage.
HYDERABAD: The scheduled caste Hindu communities along with some other religiously oppressed castes in Sindh have chalked out a detailed programme aimed at attaining their due status in society and work for their rights and welfare.
Forty-five-year-old Choko Bheel still remembers the day when his father was penalised for fetching fresh water from a well belonging to an upper-caste Hindu in Umerkot district.
Veeru escaped with her family and after months of fighting for her family and begging the police to protect them, she finally found refuge in a camp inhabited by other former bonded labourers. It was then that she decided to dedicate her life to freeing others like her.
The Pakistan Dalit Solidarity Network took action to urge the government to recover the bodies of three scheduled caste workers buried alive while digging a well.
Authorities culpable over failure to provide Tharparkar region with adequate healthcare and infrastructure, claim NGOs. By Zofeen Ebrahim