Pushing Back on Casteism in Schools in India


Despite the Constitutional prohibition of discrimination based on caste (Article 14) and the practice of untouchability in any form (Article 17) in India, Dalit (the “downtrodden” or “outcasts”) continue to be subjected to caste-based discrimination and untouchability practices in schools. Based on a recent funded participatory research initiative in the eastern state of Odisha undertaken with the Center for Research and Development Solidarity (a Dalit popular research organization) which engaged 401 Dalit students in grades 6-10 attending 16 state schools in a 25 village zone, this paper demonstrates how research as knowledge mobilization for and with Dalits can simultaneously expose such discrimination while mobilizing organized collective action with parents, Village Education Committees (VECs) and local Dalit NGOs and movements to address casteism and untouchability in state schools.


Caste, Schooling, Knowledge Mobilization, Social Action


Adult, Community, and Professional Learning


Paper Presentation in a Themed Session


  • Dip Kapoor
    • Professor, Educational Policy Studies, University of Alberta, Canada Canada