Dalits and Backward Caste
In 2001, Dalit and Backward Caste leaders and intellectuals began actively exposing the double standards of India's elitist castes who for the last 50 years had been calling for indigenous education for the oppressed and poor masses, while at the same time ensuring that their own children had access to the best English-medium private school education in the country. This controversial expose made it clear to everyone that both educationists and Indians had once again failed and discriminated against the Dalits and Backward Castes in India.
Today when the debate around affirmative action/reservation for Backward Caste students in institutions of higher learning has once again arrived on the national agenda, the upper caste English-educated Indian industrialists are saying that the key for the Dalit and Backward Caste children is to improve the quality of their school education. But how can the poor Dalit and Backward Caste students afford private English-medium schools? And where are the English-medium schools for these children in the interior areas of India? Talk is always cheap, but action is always tough and costly.
But there is good news - in fact, a great deal of good news for Dalit and Backward Caste children! Quality English-medium education is being brought to them all over the nation. As a direct response to the call of the Dalit and Backward Caste leaders, Operation Mercy Charitable Company (OMCC) and the Dalit Education and Emancipation Centers opened around the country as "Good Shepherd Schools'' starting in 2001.
In 2006, more than 50 Good Shepherd Schools are in operation in 14 states of India and OMCC is fast moving toward the initial goal of 100 English-medium schools for Dalit and Backward Caste children.Once the first 100 schools are open, we will move toward the goal of 1,000 Dalit Education and Emancipation Centers.
OMCC works with the Dalit Freedom Network as well as other NGOs and partners to accomplish this strategic goal. The first goal of 1,000 schools is not just about giving a quality English-medium education to the Dalits, but is aimed at compelling the power structures and other institutions in India today to do the same for the vast number of children of the Dalits and oppressed castes. We cannot continue to build two Indias - one for the elitist upper castes / rich, and one for the oppressed Dalits and Backward Castes - by maintaining an unequal education system.
We trust that you will want to join OMCC and the Dalit Freedom Network in this incredible movement among the Dalit people as together we seek freedom and equality for more than 250 million people.
Dalit Freedom - Now and Forever!
OMCC is moving towards the goal of 1,000 Dalit Education and Emancipation Centers. OMCC works with the Dalit Freedom Network as well as other partners to accomplish this strategic goal.