Munger, Aug. 18: Sixty displaced Mahadalit families started a two-day-long dharna in collaboration with social organisation Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA), Munger, in front of the divisional commissioner’s office inside Munger Fort area here today.
The family members took the dharna route after the state government allegedly denied alternative shelter to the families after they were directed to vacate a railway plot on which an ambitious rail-cum-road overbridge across river Ganga was to be built.
According to Ruchi Sankrit, the project co-ordinator of SEWA, the dharna would end on August 19 and if the administration did not take any step to rehabilitate the displaced people, the Mahadalits would start a hunger strike from August 20.
“We came to know that the district administration has decided to do something for the displaced Mahadalits. Thus, a hunger strike has been deferred,” Ruchi told today after arriving from New Delhi.
The 60 Mahadalit families as well as 300 SEWA members and other social workers joined the dharna in support of the cause raised by the affected families.
The construction of the railway bridge on Ganga meant that the 60 Mahadalit families had to be displaced. The families for the past 18 months have been running from pillar to post highlighting their despicable condition to several government officials as well as elected representatives.
“The daily wage earners decided to let go off their wage for a few days and protest against the apathy of the district administration,” said Nutan Singh, the general secretary of SEWA, Munger.
She also said that as of now the affected families are protesting against the district administration. “The campaign will continue till the demands are met. We demand safe and secure houses inside the city and implementation of various schemes enumerated under the Mahadalit commission,” Nutan said.