What steps have been taken by the government to eradicate untouchability?

Steps taken by the government to eradicate untouchability:

  • Reservations for members of the Scheduled Castes and Tribes in different spheres of public life. These include reservation of seats in the State and Central legislatures (i.e., state assemblies, Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha); reservation of jobs in government service across all departments and public sector companies; and reservation of seats in educational institutions.
  • Caste Disabilities Removal Act of 1850 disallowed the curtailment of rights of citizens due solely to change of religion or caste.
  • The Constitution abolished untouchability (Article 17) which means is that no one can prevent Dalits from educating themselves, entering temples, using public facilities etc. It also means that it is wrong to practise untouchability and that this practice will not be tolerated by a democratic government. In fact, untouchability is a punishable crime now.
  • The 1989 Prevention of Atrocities Act revised and strengthened the legal provisions punishing acts of violence or humiliation against Dalits and Adivasis.
  • Article 15 of the Constitution notes that no citizen of India shall be discriminated against on the basis of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth.
  • National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) and National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) were set up to investigate and monitor all matters related to safeguarding the provisions for SC/ST under the Constitution and evaluating the working of those safeguards.

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