KARACHI: Around 87 per cent of Dalit women and 63.5 per cent of Dalit men in the country are illiterate, said the International Dalit Solidarity Network’s (ISIN) annual report.
A large number of them do not have Computerised National Identity Cards. It portrayed a bleak picture of the community in India, Bangladesh and Pakistan. The national primary enrollment rate of Dalits was 48 per cent but only 10 per cent of Dalit girls had access to primary schools and less than one per cent of Dalit women had studied till the eighth grade. It stated that during the floods, Dalits were discriminated against and were not allowed to live in relief camps. There are an estimated seven million Dalits in Pakistan, out of which 3.5 million live in flood-affected areas of Sindh. Nearly 70 per cent of these Dalits were labourers. The report suggested that Dalits have no representation in parliament.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 17th, 2012.