NATIONAL DALIT CHRISTIAN WATCH
Christianity exists in India from 1st Century AD. Dalit Christians, today, form around 70% among Christians irrespective of denominations. From its inception the Church, with its Christian insights has been playing a commendable role in empowering the poor and the marginalized through various Institutions and programs that has helped a sizable percent of Dalit or Adivasi Christians to gain better positions within the Church, its domain and also in the larger society. However, the perpetuation of Caste system, a stigma within the Church, which is much against Christian teachings, even today results in Dalit Christians to undergoing diverse forms of untouchability practices, disabilities and restrictions in its hierarchy, parishes/congregations and its Institutions. Therefore, this awful context needs to be transformed for Dalit Christians to regain their dignity, equality and rightful space within Church and its domain, as ‘Christ and Caste cannot go together’.
The National Dalit Christian Watch (NDCW) is a National Platform initiated by a few like-minded veteran Dalit Christian leaders -Theologians, Professionals, Activists, both women and men, who have been serving the Dalit community in different capacities and promoting substantial changes in the life of Dalits. These stalwarts, known for their commitment for both Christianity and Dalit liberation, came together and promoted this Collective, notwithstanding that some of them serve in different positions of Mainline Churches. They initiated this ‘Watch Organisation’ to ‘cleanse the Church and Society by annihilating caste’and mainly to ‘ensure equality, justice and rightful space for Dalit Christians within Church and its Institutions’. The Core values of NDCW are democracy, transparency, accountability, equality, gender and sexual minorities – based justice, and inclusiveness.
NDCW envisions Church and Society with no division, discrimination, untouchability and atrocities on the basis of caste, gender, sexual orientation or ethnicity.
The Mission of NDCW will be to address 'Caste and it's all forms of discrimination' against Dalit Christians within Church and society; and empowering Dalit Christians socially, economically and politically within Church, its Institutions and in larger society.
- Auditing and documenting the current status of Dalit Christians within the Church - Its hierarchy, parishes and Institutions in line with the Social Equity Audit framework.
- Accessing Justice to Dalit Christians through Monitoring of atrocities and victimization unleashed on them within Church and Society.
- Engaging and Dialoguing with Church/Institutions and Society through Advocacy, lobbying and Legal Intervention to ensure justice and space to Dalit Christians in all its Domains.
- Capacitating Dalit Christians especially women and youth to equip and empower them with human rights mechanisms and tools to address the caste practices that affect them within Church and Society.
- Documenting the status of Dalit Christians to ensure dignity, equality, justice and their rightful share in the Church and its institutions.
- Protecting and Promoting dignity, equality, right to life and space for Dalit Christians in the Society
- Empowering Dalit Christians to claim their rights and space in the Church and Society.
- Engaging with the Church and the Government for the dignified life and rightful space for Dalit Christians in all socio, economic, political and cultural domains.
- Promoting a Think-Tank to analyse the context and streamline the interventions.
- Networking with other International, National, Regional and State Level Dalit Christian Organisations and Institutions for ensuring their rights, space and needs.
- Critical engagement with the Church and its institutions for ensuring equality, dignity and justice for Dalit Christians.
- Working along with Dalit Departments of Main Line Churches to take forward its missions.
• Ensuring equal representation and involvement of Dalit Christian Women at all levels of NDCW.
- Expressing solidarity with the interventions of existing Dalit Christian Movements at the State, Regional, National, and International levels for the overall achievement of Dalit Christian Rights.
- Engaging with the Government to ensure protection and privileges for Dalit Christians as Scheduled Caste, on par with Dalits of other faiths.
- National Core Team with a National Convenor
- State Core Teams with Contact Persons
- Programme Implementation Teams at various levels