At the start of July we visited a number of Dalit communities in Patna, India to learn from many of the inspiring people who live there. One of these communities was Bintoli, home to one of the 27 Learning Centres we support here for Dalit children.
All the Dalit groups we work with in Patna face discrimination, exclusion and violence, but Bintoli also has to cope with regular flooding. The village is situated in the middle of the river, and becomes an island for about two months a year during rainy season. Over this time the 500 people who live here are completely isolated. They were forced to move to Bintoli from another area when the government built a railway, then half the community lost their land in floods. All the people here now have to rent off the land mafia.
Read below as we introduce a group of resourceful, dedicated people, who against all odds are making a difference for others around them.
Anita and Nidhu - sisters who teach
Both these teachers were introduced to the job through joining one of the Women’s Groups that we support here. Anita has two children now attending good school when before she couldn’t afford any education for them. She says "I have experienced severe poverty, so I understand the struggles of those I work with". She is also a tailor thanks to a loan from her local Women's Group and loves teaching so much she gets bored in the holidays.
Aarav and Saisha
Saanvi and Ryka - determined learners
Muscan - sleeping over the water
The Women's Group in Bintoli is one of the newest and they are just getting to grips with saving and supporting each other. Muscan the leader of the group, has constructed this adjustable bed which she can put up onto a higher level when the floods come, and sleep over the water. She explained to us that if you leave your house unattended when the rains come it can be taken from you.