---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: anoop kumar <anoopkh...@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, Sep 3, 2010 at 11:00 AM
Subject: A Report on Dalit & Adivasi Students and Foreign Universities
(Insight Study Circle Meeting held on 22nd August)

Opportunities for Dalit and Adivasi Students for Higher Education in
World’s Premier Educational Institutions: A Report

Insight Study Circle Meeting  held on 22 August 2010 (Sunday) at
Indian Social Institute, Lodhi Road, New Delhi


1. David Vumlallian Zou (from Manipur) teaches at History Department,
Delhi University and did his doctorate from Queen’s University,
Belfast with full scholarship from Academic Planning Grant (Northern

2. Abhay Xaxa (from Chhattisgarh) is currently working with Indian
Institute of Dalit Studies, New Delhi and did his Masters in Social
Anthropology from University of Sussex, UK  (2008) as one of the
recipient of International Ford Fellowship Programme.

3. Bhawani Buswala (from Rajasthan) is currently in the country for
his field research. He is pursuing his PhD in Anthropology from Brown
University, Rhodes Island, USA on full university scholarship.

4. Rama Devi Hansraj (from Andhra Pradesh) completed her Post
Graduation in Human Rights from University of London (2004) as one of
the International Ford Fellow. She is currently based in Kolkata and
is working with Catholic Relief Service.

Given below are the excerpts from the speeches from our panel of
speakers followed by a brief interaction session with our audiences.

Rama Devi Hansraj

I did my MA from University of Hyderabad, Department of Mass
Communication. I am the first generation educated person in my family.
After completing my studies in Hyderabad, I worked with some small
Human Rights groups in Andhra Pradesh.

Through that network I came to know about International Ford
Foundation Fellowship programme that was meant exclusively for
students from marginalised background.  I applied and was selected
after going through its rigorous selection process. With that
fellowship, I did my Masters in University of London in Human Rights.

As I was part of Dalit students’ movement in Hyderabad University, I
was very conscious of caste discrimination that we all go through both
subtle and direct. Perhaps that made me to opt for my study in the
area of Human Rights.

Also I felt that articulation on the issues is a major problem. I have
heard many Dalit women who were able to articulate and share their
personal experiences in their vernacular language so well but doing so
in English was a big challenge. They are being represented by people
who are only good at articulating in English and so people coming from
the grass root realities could never talk for themselves at a bigger
platform like UN. These reasons led me to opt for a course in human

What I liked about Ford Foundation was their entire interview process.
The whole process was very comforting and gave us enough breathing
space and to remain confident as applicants. They appointed one panel
member to each applicant to interact at personal level. The one who
was interviewing me, later, in the interview actually spoke on behalf
of me which was very encouraging. This gave me lot of confidence and
helped me face whatever question they asked.

"Rosa sat so Martin could walk; Martin walked so Obama could run,
Obama ran so your children can fly"


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