India’s untouchables traditionally occupied the lowest place in the caste system. Today it is illegal to discriminate against an untouchable, yet they remain at the bottom of the system. Today, caste discrimination is one of the world’s biggest human rights issues. This series depicts an exposed group of people who, despite continuous degradation and persecution, continue to live their lives with dignity.
The following programmes are a part of the series:
The Worst Job in the World.
Untouchables are destined to perform the unclean functions of society. For around one million Indians, work consists of scraping up human excrement from dry latrines.
Born into Prostitution
The Badi women traditionally work as prostitutes. In the town of Rajapur in western Nepal, the untouchable Badis have their own neighbourhood where the women spend all day waiting for customers to come along.
Married to God
Joginis are casteless girls who, when they were very young, were given in marriage to the goddess Yelloma. But the girls not only serve their goddess; they are expected to serve the local men as well.
Ganga has been Mr. Bhatta’s debt slave for 15 years. Before that, Ganga’s father worked for Mr. Bhatta for 22 years. All together 37 years of labour to pay back a loan of $80.
In India thousands of people are killed every year as a result of animosity between castes. In the province of Bihar, violent episodes take place between untouchable Maoists and a high caste militia.