N. Paul Divakar is a Human Rights advocate specifically working on the issues of the marginalised communities and for almost 4 decades working on Dalit rights. His expertise includes Economic Rights, Access to Justice, Inclusion in Disasters and Humanitarian crisis. He is the Convenor of the Global Forum of Communities Discriminated on Work and Descent (GFOD). He is also the Global Co-Chair of Global Call to Action Against Poverty (GCAP). GCAP is a network of over 11,000 civil society organisations (CSOs) organized in 58 National Coalitions and in constituency groups of women, youth and socially-excluded people. GCAP supports people in their struggles for justice and brings individuals and organisations together to challenge the institutions and processes that perpetuate poverty and inequalities. He serves as the Chairperson of the Asia Dalit Rights Forum (ADRF), which works in the South Asia region on inclusion and issues around un-touchability and caste-based discrimination. His work today involves in bringing together similarly discriminated communities on work and descent from the Dalits in Asia to the Haratine in Mauritania to the Quilombolas in Brazil to Roma in Europe. The communities together form the GFOD. He has also been instrumental in pushing for a constituency of communities discriminated on work and descent and this year (2020) has been successful in realising this through a Stakeholder Group of Communities discriminated on Work and Descent which is now a part of the official Stakeholder group at the HLPF at the UN, NY. He has been one of the key actors in popularising the sustainable development goals and to bring in the aspect of inclusion in the discourse in the new development paradigm and engaging both at the global level throughout the MDG process and now the SDGs. He has been trying to localise the SDGs in bringing in the SDGs to the grassroots and encourage various constituencies specially the marginalised to monitor and push for effective implementation of the goals and targets in country, regionally and globally. He is one of the founding members of the National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights (NCDHR). In 2017 he was voted by Outlook magazine as one of the 50 most influential Dalit Leaders in the country. He lead a delegation of over 200 human rights defenders, advocates and professional women, men and youth to the UN World Conference Against Racism in 2001. He has been actively engaging with the communities in strengthening access to justice, gender concerns especially on the intersectionality of Gender and Caste, financial accountability, transparency and participation. His deep interest for the economic empowerment of the Dalits led to initiating several campaigns in India for advocating for equity budgeting from the lens of the marginalised. His other passions involve travelling, reading, movies and exploring the latest technology. But he takes his love for mangoes seriously and can tell you all the names of all the varieties and the time that they are available! Follow him on twitter: @PaulDivakarN
Dr. Vinayaraj is Senior Programme Manager at GFoD. He holds a doctorate in International Politics from the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi. He has nine years of experience in programme and project management in the development sector. Previously, he worked with Jagori Rural Charitable Trust in Dharamshala, Centre for Education and Communication, NASSCOM Foundation, and the Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute in New Delhi. He has also worked as Consultant and External Collaborator with ILO, Delhi and taught Political Science at Christ College, Irinjalakuda, Kerala. He has authored and contributed to the research and publication of books, essays, reports and written articles and reviewed books in reputed national and international journals. He would have been a professional cricketer if there was access to proper training and mentoring.
Nayantara is the Programme Coordinator for The Inclusivity Project. She is a lawyer by qualification with an LLM in Human Rights, Conflict and Justice from SOAS, University of London. Previously, she worked at Amnesty International India as a Campaigner, Gender & Identity based Violence. Nayantara has 7 years of experience working with various communities – Communities Discriminated on Work and Descent, Persons with Disabilities, Refugees/Asylum Seekers, LGBTQ+, Women, and Children. The best way to start a conversation with Nayantara is to talk about animation, Korean dramas, true crime documentaries and/or offbeat book recommendations.
Johannes is the UN Advocacy Officer since March 2021 based in the Americas. He previously worked in Brussels and Scotland where he pursued a BA in Economics and Politics. In 2017 he moved to Colombia to study a MA in Peacebuilding and to support local peace projects and organisations such as the CAPAZ Institute.
Dipanshu Rathore is the Program Officer in Asia Dalit Rights Forum/Global Forum of Communities Discriminated on Work and Descent. He is a Dalit anti-caste activist and lawyer who's adept with a wide variety of complex difficult and caste sensitive cases; able to precisely determine the occurrence of discrimination and injustice. He graduated with a degree in business administration and law combined program. Before joining ADRF/GFoD, Dipanshu has been vocal about Dalit rights and advocated the same in the Indian judicial system as a practicing advocate. He writes poetry at times and holds a diploma in photography.
Aloysius Irudayam S. J.
Aloysius Irudayam S. J. Holding Master’s Degree in Philosophy and Political Science, he is an experienced grassroots activist and a trainer on social issues. He has co-authored several advocacy publications which have been used for national and international advocacy and lobbying purposes: Black Paper – Promises Broken and Dalits Betrayed (1998), Adivasis Speak Out: Atrocities against Adivasis in Tamil Nadu (2004), Dalits in the World of Globalization (2004), Dalit Women’s Right to Political Participation in Rural Panchayati Raj (2009), Dalit Women Speak Out: Caste, Class and Gender Violence in India (2011). His commitment to Dalit Rights has led him to, among other forums, UN Treaty Body meetings in Geneva (2001 & 2007), UN World Social Forums in India (2004) and Brazil (2005), etc. Keenly interested in the promotion of human rights culture, he has co-authored human rights education textbooks for school students. Having held several important administrative positions, he is at present the Program Director of the Research, Advocacy and Human Rights Education Unit in IDEAS, Madurai, India. He is currently also the Advisor to GFOD.
Beena J Pallical
Beena J Pallical is a Dalit women Leader and currently General Secretary of the Economic and Educational rights wing within National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights (NCDHR). Over the last eleven years she is with the NCDHR working on the Dalit Economic Rights. She has been passionately working towards policy changes within Central and State governments towards the marginalised communities (Dalits &Tribals ) and been demanding that Dalit Women be included in policy formulation. Her main focus continues to be on Economic Justice and specifically looking at Gender Equity. She has led many campaigns and trained several Dalit & Adivasi Women and men on Budget rights. She also works around targeted budgets, fiscal accountability and governance. Her focus the last 5 years has been on how to enable youth to access their right to education, ensuring that the budgets allocated for them is effectively implemented. She also heads the Asia Dalit Women’s Economic Empowerment Program that works on empowering Dalit women in South Asia ( Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal and India which is part of the Asia Dalit Rights Forum. She is an expert on Gender issues and looks at the intersectionality of Economic Rights and gender and has written several articles on the importance of looking at governance through the lens of Gender rights particularly Dalit women’s rights. A large part of her work is focused on the UN mechanisms and has worked closely with both OHCHR at Geneva and the HLPF at NY. She has been involved in the sustainable development goals since 2015 and the inclusion of voices of the marginalised and taken this agenda to the High level political forum in NY. She has also been looking at how finances can be better managed to ensure that the SDGs can be achieved specifically from the perspective of the marginalised. She has worked with all the various mechanisms and has represented the Dalit Women’s rights at the UN platforms. She has contributed to the overall work of Dalit Rights in NCDHR and participated in several national and international seminars raising the voice of Dalits and Adivasis and advocating stronger policy measures with effective implementation. She has trained many young women and men in budgets and fiscal accountability. Her other passions include travelling, trying various cuisines, learning different languages and thinks that if she weren’t a Human Rights Activist she would have been a dancer!