Imagine that because of your birth you are only allowed to do one job: cleaning up human excrement. Imagine being born into a group that is never allowed to mix with the rest of society. In India, they used to be called “Untouchables” and are now known as “Dalits”. They are, in the most literal sense, outcastes. They have been historically excluded from human society, and deprived of the most basic opportunities.
Untouchability is not just a problem in Hindu societies or South Asia. Untouchability afflicts nearly 250 million people in countries including Bangladesh, Burma, India, Japan, Korea, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Yemen.
The International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) is organizing the first “World Conference on Untouchability” at Conway Hall Humanist Centre, London, UK, on June 9 and 10, 2009. The conference will bring together activists, experts and government representatives to share strategies that have helped untouchable communities around the world. Campaigners plan to use the conference as the launch pad for a global campaign against untouchability.
But we need your help.
Activists from untouchable communities can provide hard-earned expertise and inspiring passion. But they, the communities they represent, have been deprived of resources. Simply put, they need money. Please consider a donation to IHEU to pay to bring untouchability activists to the first “World Conference on Untouchability” in London, UK, in June 2009. You can donate right now by going to: