KATHMANDU, APRIL 30: A virtual gathering of Dalit journalists from all over the world has formed a 21-member executive committee of International Dalit Journalists Network (IDJN) led by Mallepalli Laxmaian of India on April 25.
The gathering has elected founding general secretary of Jagaran Media Centre Rem Bishwokarma as the network’s general secretary. Bishworkarma is also the Editor-in-Chief of dignitypost.com.
The International Dalit Journalists Network (IDJN) is a common platform of all the journalists of the world representing Dalit communities who share similar fate of discrimination and exclusion in their societies.
“The concerns and agendas related to Dalit often don’t get adequate attention of the media. It is often felt that there is a sense of apathy on issues of Dalit in the media. The media houses lack sensitivity towards Dalit and issues of Dalit to such an extent that such issues are subdued by editors and media houses,” said President of the IDJN Mallepalli Laxmaian.
He said the network aims at mainstreaming as well as amplifying the voice of the Dalit and other vulnerable communities in South Asia and beyond. “It will help to create solidarity for national and international advocacy on the issues, agendas and concerns of Dalit and other marginalised community.”
According to newly elected general secretary Bishworkarma, the network aims to fight against their common fate collectively as they understand the pain their community has been suffering for a long time– better than any one.
“We will work to include all the Dalit journalists actively working at different parts of the globe,” said Bishwokarma. “Caste-based discrimination and untouchability is not only the problem of Nepal such discriminations are rampant at different parts of the world. To end such problems we have developed this international network of Dalit journalists.”
During the gathering several international intellectuals and rights activists including Prof Sukhadeo Thorat, Dr. Raj Shekhar Vundras (IAS), president of International Commission for Dalit Rights DB Sagar Bishwokarma, Vice-chair of Asian Dalit Rights Forum Durga Sob, acting president of NGO Federation of Nepal Bhakta Bishwokarma, Ananda Kumar, Binay Kumar, senior journalist of India Ram Chandra Murthi and executive director of International Dalit Solidarity Network (IDSN) Meena Varma lauded the move of developing a common platform of all the Dalit journalists working around the world. They have also expressed their commitment to support the network in its endeavour to change the lives of the Dalits and discriminated people of the world.
Members of the IDJN executive committee includes Sita BK, Bhim Ghimire, and Biru Nepali from Nepal, Aruna Athaluri, Indudara Honnapura, Praveen, Gopi and Rambabu from India, Purna Baraily and Deepak Pariyar from USA, Santosh BK from Canada, Chhatra Shankar from Australia, Subroto Haldar and Mousumi Das from Bangladesh, Sher Bahadur Pariyar from Poland, Prem Pariyar from Norway, Dinesh Goutam from Cyprus, Mahesh Khati from Denmark and Mahesh Waran from Sri Lanka.