Lessening Vulnerability: Dalits and Tribals as Change Agents on Climate Adaptation

April 28, 2023


4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Lessening Vulnerability: Dalits and Tribals as Change Agents on Climate Adaptation

Climate change is one of the greatest challenges humanity is facing today. The impacts of climate change, however, are not evenly distributed. Those who are most vulnerable to the effects of climate change are often those who have contributed the least to causing it. This includes marginalised communities such as Dalits and Tribals in India.

The second Coffee Chat session of The Dignity Series aims to explore how these marginalised communities are attempting to secure their rights and entitlements, and will also unpack their role in climate change adaptation. The session will provide a platform for discussion and dialogue on the following topics:

  1. Contextual lens: What are some of the specific impacts of climate change on Dalits and Tribals that increase their vulnerability?
  2. Political lens: What shape has environmental discrimination taken? What are some of the initiatives that address environmental discrimination and social injustice in these communities?
  3. Policy lens: What is being done to ensure governments and communities are collaborating on climate change adaptation.

The Dignity Series aims to shine a light on community-level collectives that have emerged from vulnerable groups and how they develop, access their demands, navigate the CSO and government spaces. For development practitioners, this is an excellent chance to hear from communities in their own voice; perspectives we hope will help shape their work and programmes.

Speaker bios:

  • Sangram Keshari Mallick – Sangram Keshari Mallick is a human rights activist and social worker based in Odisha, India. He is the Chairman of Ambedkar-Lohia Vichar Manch, which¬† aims to promote the ideas and principles of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar and Ram Manohar Lohia. He is also the Coordinator of SC, ST, OBC, Minority Joint Action Committee in Odisha and member of the National Coalition for SCSP & TSP Legislation and the National Coalition for Strengthening POA Act. His work focuses on several primary areas, including Dalit rights. He is a resource person for training police officials on SC & ST PoA Act at Biju Patnaik Police Training Academy, Bhubaneswar. Mr. Mallick is passionate about inclusive disaster management and climate change adaptation and believes that marginalised communities, such as Dalits, are disproportionately affected by climate change and natural disasters and that efforts must be made to ensure their inclusion in disaster management strategies.
  • Sandeep Kumar Pattnaik – Sandeep is the Director of Center For Public Policy Alternatives (CPPA) based at Bhubaneswar, Odisha. He is also working as a state consultant on Gender Friendly Panchayat in the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) based at Bhubaneswar. He has considerable experience in working with the issues of Tribal Governance in the central eastern belt of India. He is proactively engaging with key social movements in the country especially in order to gain understanding of issues, strategies, processes and outcomes for further reflection and engagement.


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