32 million

people in India belong to a Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe


increase in crimes against Scheduled Castes (Dalits) in 2015

Top 2 crimes

committed against Dalits are sexual assault and rape


Swadhikar is a Delhi-based NGO that works to eliminate discrimination based on caste. It comprises four movements, one of which is the National Dalit Movement for Justice. Swadhikar collaborates with movements, groups and organisations across India, led by Dalit women and men, that seek to protect and promote the human rights of Dalit men, women and children. The organisation trains and supports hundreds of Dalit human rights defenders in 14 States. Swadhikar is active in monitoring government spending to support Dalit communities and victims of violence, as specified in the Special Component Plan.


The National Dalit Movement for Justice (NDMJ) works to strengthen organisations providing legal access and advice to Dalit men and women and to build Dalit communities’ capacity to claim their rights and entitlements. NDMJ monitors central and State government responses to atrocities committed against Dalits and the implementation of the Scheduled Castes & Scheduled Tribes Prevention of Atrocities Act and its Amendment Act. Where the State fails to investigate or prosecute perpetrators of violence against Dalits, NDMJ advocates at the national level for action and redress.


Sisters For Change worked with NDMJ from 2016-2018 to combat violence against Dalit women in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Telangana. These States account for nearly 40% of the Dalit population in India and each one tops national crime rates against women and Dalit and Adivasi communities. Sisters For Change worked to build the capacity of NDMJ by training a cadre of Dalit women human rights defenders to use domestic law, specifically the Indian Penal Code and Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe Prevention of Atrocities Amendment Act 2015, as a tool to challenge social and institutional discrimination that perpetuates and normalises violence against Dalit women. In March 2018, Sisters For Change, NDMJ and Dalit Stree Shakthi launched a joint report to evidence the findings of our work and the chronic failure of the Indian State to combat violence against Dalit women and girls.