Breaking the Bonds of Tradition

breakingbonds“The so-called upper caste men would enter any house of the Dalits that they wanted and do anything with the women they wanted. So, for example, a higher caste man has come and entered the house where a woman is alone. He sets his shoes outside the house. If the husband comes from market and sees the shoes, he understands somebody’s there, so he won’t go inside. He will go back to the market.” — Dalit leader Martin Macwan

Breaking the Bonds of Tradition focuses on several remarkable people in India who have said “no” to prejudice and low expectations. We profile a Dalit, i.e., Untouchable, leader who is providing scores of young people from poor villages with their first chance ever at receiving an education with dignity.

We also look at a group of women widowed by the Gujarat anti-Muslim riots of 2002. Instead of giving in to despair, the woman started a collective enterprise that manufactures cloth and provides them with a living.

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VIDEO:

Stalin K, film director and human rights activist, talks about why he no longer uses his last name and now goes by Stalin “K.”

Stalin K, film director and human rights activist, talks about India’s caste system.

Stalin K, film director and human rights activist, recalls his decision to make a film documenting mistreatment of Indians who belong to the Dalit caste.

Stalin K, film director and human rights activist, talks why some members of the Dalit caste still clean manure from dry latrines.

Monica Wahi talks about journeying from Delhi to Gujarat to help survivors of the anti-Muslim riot of 2002. She ended up forming a womens collective that manufactures clothes and also mentors women.

Monica Wahi talks about the anti-Muslim riots in Gujarat in 2002.

Here Monica Wahi talks Himmat, an organization she founded that helped women widowed by the anti-Muslim riots in Gujarat in 2002.

Martin Macwan, founder of the Navsarjan Trust, an organization that works with Dalits and other lower caste groups in India, recalls being visited by an upper caste woman who wanted help from his organization.

Martin Macwan, founder of the Navsarjan Trust, an organization that works with Dalits and other lower caste groups in India, describes what it means to be a Dalit or untouchable.

Martin Macwan, founder of the Navsarjan Trust, an organization that works with Dalits and other lower caste groups in India, talks about a test he devised for non-Dalits seeking help from his organization.