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Today, like yesterday and every other day, across India, Dalit children, youth, and adults will be discriminated against by other Indians in both word and deed. They will be rejected, shunned, dehumanized.

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Abusive Words Dalits Hear

"You filthy untouchable.
Stay away.
Sit far from my child.
How dare you come to the front door!"

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Who are the Dalits?

They are the 2.2 million victims of India’s hidden apartheid—the Hindu caste system which Indians have practiced for over one thousand years and continue to practice today. This system assigns Dalits to a class called “untouchables,” beyond and below the four castes.

The word Dalit comes from the Hindi word ‘dalan,’ meaning oppressed or broken, a person not belonging to one of the four Hindu Brahminic castes. The untouchables appropriated the label ‘Dalit’ to reflect their true status and social identity instead of the government given name, ‘the Schedule Castes.’

Dalits have suffered the longest known unrelenting socio-religious discrimination, segregation, and denial of human rights. Poverty and violence are their reality. They are beaten. Their women and children are raped. Their houses burned. Entire families are lynched for wanting change.

Prejudice makes it difficult for them to succeed in public and private spaces. 51 percent of Dalit children do not complete their elementary education. Adults quietly move away because no one will hire them or because their work situations are untenable. Suicide rates among Dalits are disproportionately high.


In response to this crisis, IMPACT Community accepted the business administration of a rural high school which was on the verge of shutting down due to lack of staff, crumbling infrastructure, and funding. The school currently has 150 children, all from Dalit families. We are slowly rebuilding the infrastructure of the school and are recruiting new and qualified teachers in keeping with our vision. In like manner, IMPACT Community builds relationships and works with 26 local Dalit leaders from 30 villages in two southeastern states of India. We seek sustainable solutions. We believe that by providing quality education and training in job-oriented skills we will maximize our impact in empowering these rural Dalit communities.

IMPACT Community has sponsored 65 women in developing employable skills and has itself employed 7 of them. We also currently support 7 teachers and 150 students are enrolled in our mission high school. Nearly 15 individuals have received training in innovative farming.

We hold for them the vision of Dalits creating lasting change in their own lives and becoming the catalysts of their community’s transformation.

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