Manuski has been working with Dalit Human Rights Defenders Network (DHRDNet) for past a few years and is one of the main partners in the Network. DHRDNet is a coalition of over 1000 Dalit human rights defenders from different states of India. However, DHRDNet mostly concentrates its work in five states – Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Karnataka. Manuski mainly concentrate in Maharashtra. 



We work towards: 

  1. Assisting in enhancing the skills and structural capacity of Dalit Human Rights Defenders (HRDs) through focused capacity building programme.
  2. Then – using the skills obtained – developing legal assistance and monitoring programme
  3. Using the new skills and outcomes of legal and monitoring programmes, expanding dialogue with the general public  and cooperation with government authorities for improvements in enforcement procedures/responses to human rights violations against Dalits.

Dalit Human Rights Defenders (DHRDNet) is built on the needs and demands of civil society organisations (CSO) and Dalit human rights defenders to ensure a comprehensive Rights-Based Approach in fighting caste-based discrimination. We intend to promote and be guided by internationally recognised principles, in particular contributing to implementation in India of the UN Draft Principles and Guidelines for the Effective Elimination of Discrimination based on Work and Descent.

The specific objective/primary outcome of DHRDNet is to create an efficient network of leading Dalit Human Rights Defenders (HRD) to fight against the ineffectiveness of action against rights abuses and to ensure that anti-discrimination mechanisms are properly and thoroughly implemented

What we aim to do: 

Assisting in enhancing the skills and structural capacity of HRD

  1. Effective communications and coordination established through the development of an active network of over 1000+ DHRDs involved in empowering Dalits in 5 states of India, including use of multilingual web-site, e-serve lists, e-forums, interactive web-interface and other forms of communication.
  2. Capacities – including technical and management – of local HRD strengthened by the Resource Centres through capacity building programme for more than 700 HRD – especially women – in providing legal assistance, means of redress, holding to account anti-discrimination enforcement bodies.

Assisting in developing legal assistance and monitoring programme

  1. Access to justice for Dalits improved through legal assistance and information to over 1.00,000 Dalits – at least 50% of them are women – ensuring effective use of the means of redress.
  2. Systematic monitoring and documentation organised in relation to abuse cases and the application of non-discrimination laws and measures by relevant institutions so as to provide a reliable basis on which to enhance participation in decision-making.

Assisting in expanding dialogue with the general public and cooperation with government authorities

  1. Visibility of local HRD and expression in public of Dalit identity promoted through public campaigns and community-based education and dialogue.
  2. Mechanisms of oversight and enforcement of the anti-discrimination policies strengthened through new legal and public measures designed to promote cooperation between HRD and governmental institutions defending their causes and to ensure that the anti-discrimination mechanisms are fully implemented by relevant bodies.