DALIT EMPOWERMENT THROUGH EDUCATION
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Even after more than 6 decades of Independence, challenges remain in one of the most crucial sectors of social development i.e. Education. Empowerment of dalit and oppressed cannot be achieved without education.
In the pre-independence time itself Dr. B.R. Ambedkar had achieved highest degree of academic excellence – Doctorate in Economics from Columbia University. It was considered the biggest achievement even today for a dalit person.
The constitution has provided reservation in education and employment for SC/ST. India today has many dalit intellectuals making use of the opportunity. However, the opportunities or empowerment to dalits is not uniform across the country. There are disparities from region to region. Especially in rural areas there is a social prejudice against dalits. Changes in society cannot take place quickly. But political changes can happen quickly because of State support. Hence, the State should see that there should not be any kind of feeling of upper caste consolidation and prejudice against dalits.
Eminent people’s teachings, like Vivekananda’s, have to be remembered. He spread equality of all human beings and fought for ending caste discriminations. Education is the primary tool through which we can end inequality in the society.
At a time when the country is seeking job creation through entrepreneurship, higher education and R&D are a must for providing quality and excellence. The oppressed and dalits should be provided access to higher education which can transform their lives. Finance for higher education is one of the major challenges for dalits. Govt has several schemes to address the issue.