Over 30,000 people, among them Dalit women in large numbers, participated in performing a symbolic last religious rite across 1,000 villages of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Odisha, punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Tamilnadu and Karnataka as a mark of respect to the Hathras teenage girl, who was gangraped on September 14. She died a fortnight later in a Delhi hospital.
Denied honourable funeral – she was cremated past midnight denying the mother her basic right to perform “haldi-tilak” – Martin Macwan, founder, Navarjan Trust, declared the symbolic gesture for October 14, the anniversary of Dr BR Ambedkar embracing Buddhism. The haldi-tilak, applied on a representational image of the girl, will be collected from all these villages, and in another programme, it will be handed over to the Uttar Pradesh chief minister to be immersed in Ganga.
Some photographs received from Dalit activists across India: