Since 2006 Rise Up International has been fighting for the right of the Dalits, “untouchables” in Bihar India. Rise Up is helping to fight discrimination and poverty by providing free education to over 250 children who are mainly from the Dalit ethnic group. Bihar is known as the most corrupt and poorest state in India. It has the highest rate of illiteracy, in the country.

The Rise Up school and small orphanage in Bodhgaya is operated by fourteen indigenous teachers who are passionate about making a difference in their community. The India program consists of three schools, two schools are located in Bakrour Village and the third is located in Bashardi Village. If the three Rise Up schools were not available, the children in all likelihood would not attend school. The alternatives for Dalit children would be child labor or begging in the streets. Typical jobs for poor children in India are collecting cow manure, collecting wood, working in brick factories, picking through trash for recyclables, hard agricultural labor, and other labor intensive jobs. Street children are also targets for sexual exploitation and human trafficking.

As of 2011 the school became 100% self-sustaining through local business endeavors and Rise Up continues to maintain a great relationship!

Please view a video about the school in India.

Art For India from Rise Up International on Vimeo.

You can also learn more about the plight of the Dalits at the International Dalit Solidarity Network.

Watch this powerful short film (11min) I Am Dalit How Are You?