Right based approach

Evidence address the Dalit issues on Discrimination and untouchablity by adopting a rights-based approach in all our programs. In a rights- based approach, every human being is recognized both as a person and as a right- holder. A rights-based approach strives to secure the freedom, well-being and dignity of all people everywhere, within the framework of essential standards and principles, duties and obligations. The rights-based approach supports mechanisms to ensure that entitlements are attained and safeguarded.

Comprehensive approach

address not only the immediate, but also the underlying and particularly the fundamental causes at societal level of related Dalit issues. We need explicitly to tackle issues of participation, governance, and the politics of power, decision making, and empowerment in enhancing the rights of the Dalit and Tribal community.

Support Individuals Fact findings are undertaken immediately following incidents of atrocities against Dalits and Tribals in order to establish the facts of an incident and compile the necessary documentary evidence enabling the victims/survivors to access formal justice through the law. Based on these fact finding reports, interventions are made before the courts, various state mechanisms and human rights organs. Further, incidents of atrocities and efforts towards ensuring justice for the victims/survivors are highlighted through the media in order to raise awareness. We have so far been successful in ensuring the due implementation of the law following all atrocity cases in which we have intervened. Further, in order to help the victims/survivors recover and move on with their lives, Evidence undertakes where possible counselling and rehabilitation efforts..

Research A systematic effort has been taken to produce concrete and irrefutable facts on various aspects of caste and gender based discrimination against Dalits in the social, economic and political spheres. These include studies on the prevalence of untouchability practices in the villages, discrimination against Dalit panchayat presidents, the conditions of AdiDravida hostels meant for Dalit children and discrimination in the workplace against Dalit government employees. Such research has been the basis for our advocacy and lobby with the government, such as through Round Table Consultations, enabling us to press for change at the policy level and to ensure effective implementation of laws and policies. Efforts are also taken to ensure that the results of these studies are disseminated to the local and state media in order to create awareness of continuing forms of discrimination.

Media Interventions A systematic effort has been taken to produce concrete and irrefutable facts on various aspects of caste and gender based discrimination against Dalits in the social, economic and political spheres. These include studies on the prevalence of untouchability practices in the villages, discrimination against Dalit panchayat presidents, the conditions of AdiDravida hostels meant for Dalit children and discrimination in the workplace against Dalit government employees. Such research has been the basis for our advocacy and lobby with the government, such as through Round Table Consultations, enabling us to press for change at the policy level and to ensure effective implementation of laws and policies. Efforts are also taken to ensure that the results of these studies are disseminated to the local and state media in order to create awareness of continuing forms of discrimination.

Round Table Consultations These are platforms for victims/survivors of human rights violations and state and district government officials to interact in order to build understanding and dialogue, as well as to ensure legal action on specific cases where required. Through this process the victims/survivors learn about the legal process and the different avenues for pursuing redressal. Representatives from civil society organizations, people's movements, political parties and trade unions also participate in order to put forth valuable recommendations for the better implementation of government laws and policies. Consequent to these consultations, district officials and those from the State AdiDravida Welfare Department, including the Minister herself, have intervened in certain issues and directed action in line with our recommendations; this includes calling for implementation of an action plan to eradicate child labour.

Social Mobilization and Campaigns We have been encouraging various people's organizations and movements to form unified platforms in support of Dalit victims/survivors of human rights violations at their local levels; these are issue based efforts through which immediate interventions in cases of rights violations are made possible, affected victims/survivors are turned into activists deciding the nature of action, and solidarity is widened for both the victim/survivor and the issue. This involves joint actions in the form of protests, demonstrations, public meetings, small level campaigns to bring visibility and thereby generate support for the victims/survivors at the local level and increase pressure on local police and government officials to take effective action.

Training Programmes We conduct regular training programs for Dalit human rights activists on human rights intervention strategies. Dalit activists from small organizations through to social-political movements are the targets for such capacitation, in which we also share our experiences and learnings with each other in order to enable the transfer of ideas on best practices in the field of human rights intervention. Our contact with these training participants does not end with training; instead, we follow their progress, equip them further and provide support for their independent work in this field. Moreover, many become our collaborators in their local areas, involving themselves in rights monitoring and Evidence research, mobilizing civil rights groups, undertaking fact findings, and initiating local campaigns for justice on behalf of the victims.

Social Dialogue Caste discrimination and violence cannot be abolished only through laws, policies and government schemes; what is required is comprehensive social, educational, economic and political change. Unfortunately, the State does not have the political will to bring about these changes and promote social equity. Instead, conflicting social/caste groups tend to become more divided and efforts towards bridging differences and peace building are not attempted. As an organization which strives for social justice and equality, we believe in not only acting once discrimination and atrocities occur. We also want to change the mindsets of people towards respecting and recognizing the equal rights of oppressed communities such as Dalits and Tribals. Only then will our vision become reality. Social Dialogue is an experimental program aiming to create peace building processes between conflicting communities in order to prevent further conflicts, atrocities and hatred, and to revive the spirit of solidarity among citizens. Starting with those cases in which we have intervened, where possible conflicting groups are encouraged to share and understand the causes and consequences of their conflicts with the aim to facilitating acceptable solutions for all with the help of eminent social, political and cultural actors.

E-Mapping