Dalit Human Rights Centre was started in the year 1990 by Fr.L. Yesumarian s.j., who himself is a dalit and a lawyer. It is situated in Chengalpattu, 60 kilometers south of Chennai.
The objective of DHRC is empowering the dalits through legal rights, educationally, culturally and socially.
Keeping this Objective, the Dalit Human rights Centre, DHRC, has been involving in the following activities over the years:
1. Legal Services:
• Conducting of cases in the court of law for the dalits and the poor, especially for women.
• Offering free legal advice and counseling to these target groups.
• Conducting legal rights awareness training programmes for the dalits and women.
• Visiting the victims of violence and caste atrocities in rural areas.
2. Young Lawyers Academy:
• Every year we select the rural poor and the dalit students and train them rigorously in order to help them to join the law universities and colleges.
• Helping and supporting selected law students to complete their studies.
• Internship training for young lawyers to establish themselves.
3. People\’s Movement:
• It plays a supportive role to dalit and social movements
• It organizes the unorganized workers, especially the dalits .
4. Capacity building:
• Under rural capacity building it engages in training programmes for women , students, youths, leaders and cadres.
5. Human Rights Publication:
• A monthly magazine is published regularly which records all human rights violation on dalits and gives feature articles also on current dalit issues. This is the highest circulated dalit magazine in Tamilnadu. Periodically it publishes books, booklets and leaflets etc. on human rights issues.
6. Workers Union:
• The unorganized dalit workers are organized under the banner of ” Jyothiba Workers Union”. There are 200 workers are members in this union. The Union works for the rights and welfare of the marginalized workers.
7. Documentation and Library:
• DHRC has got documentation and Library. It has been very effectively used by the dalits and the public. An average of 75 to 100 people use every day this documentation and Library.
8. Skill training programme for women:
• It offers skill training programme for women especially for dalit women. Handicrafts and Tailoring courses are conducted for women. This forum is also used to conscientise the women and help them to build up their capacity. So far we have trained more than 2200 women. These women candidates are from all religion and community.
9. Relief works:
It undertakes emergency relief works also during tsunami, flood and drought. During tsunami it has reached out to 40,000 families and construction of houses also are undertaken. So far we have constructed 150 houses in three villages and another 90 houses are under construction in another village.
DHRC has got 12 staff in the office and 8 staff in the field.