Although India is the world’s largest democracy, about 25% of the population lives in perpetual poverty due to 3,000 years of caste oppression. This segment of the population, known as the “Untouchables” or Dalit, is systematically denied education; Dalit children often work in factories manufacturing bricks or fireworks, or in bonded labor, to contribute to a meager family income. Without access to a quality English-medium education, college and professional jobs remain beyond their reach.
The Dalit Freedom Network (DFN) works towards equal education and employment opportunities for all Dalits by offering a subsidized, quality English-medium education for Dalit children through 67 Dalit Education Centers throughout North & South India. By the end of 2007, 12 new schools will open and our goal is to operate 100 schools by 2009. Often, the shortage of desks forces younger students to sit on the floor. Your gift of a child’s desk and bench will help supply a classroom with a desk for a child. Not only will your gift meet a practical need, but it will give a student his or her own space to study and work, and communicate that they deserve the same opportunities as high caste students.