Village for Dalits (Untouchables) in Southern India
Location: Kuthur, Tamil Nadu, India
Project Type: Community development, Construction, Water
People Served: 25 families
Project Cost: USD $10,000
Timeline: December 2010
Community Contribution: Community members will use the funds and materials they have received to construct the buildings in the village themselves.
Despite the removal of the caste system from the Indian constitution, discrimination against the people who were once considered untouchables still exists- especially in more rural areas of the country. Dalits struggle to find the work and housing necessary to support their families, and perhaps most importantly, often live without the belief that they are equal to those around them.
We are partnering with the organization Passports with a Purpose, a group of travel bloggers dedicated to supporting humaitarian efforts, to fund the building of a village for Dalits in Southern India. For three years Passports has chosen a project for which they raise money and awareness; this year it is an organization called LAFTI, or Land for Tiller’s Freedom. LAFTI has worked tireless for years to help Dalits, especially women, find ways to gain respect from their communities and for themselves.
By partnering with these organizations, we will be able to help fund the materials for a village near Kuthur, Tamil Nadu. This village will provide 25 families with a safe home to call their own and other community resources that they would otherwise be unable to access. Another aspect of this sustainable assistance is that it will sent these families a message of their own worth. By partnering with those who want support them and working to build their own place in the world, they will have the opportunity to see their own worth.