Real Heroes

Savita Ali: Lone Fighter for Dalits and Muslims women

Afroz Alam Sahil for BeyondHeadlines

Big things come in small package, the statement holds true for our young gutsy women leader from Haryana, Savita Ali, a twenty seven year old Advocate and Human Rights activist who was single handedly spearheading the campaign on Dalit Rights in Haryana. Haryana has been notorious for its caste and gender intolerance and imbalances.

The challenges of the tough terrain do not deter her and instead she decided to fight against the injustices and violence on Dalit women. The journey for Savita has not been very easy but definitely she has emerged out as a true Dalit rights activist. Savita who is also a bright lawyer is proactively intervening in the cases where Dalit women are the worst victims of violence and caste based atrocities.

What inspired you to work for girls? She said that “the realization of being a girl in Haryana came when I saw discrimination against girls in Haryana. The entire ordeal left me shaken but this early encounter of discrimination, honor killing, female feticide in community made me more adamant to finish my higher education”. She further went ahead and secured a degree in Law, and a Master in Human Rights. She has been instrumental in highlighting cases of atrocities, especially where girls and Dalit women have been the worst victims and helping them access justice. While intervening in one case where two Dalit women and a seven-year-old girl were kept in custody for twenty-four hours, stripped naked and brutally tortured by the Policemen she faced threats for her life.

Savita started her career NCDHR (National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights) and worked on the issues of Dalit women and tried to bring them forward in community leadership. She did a small stint in Bihar in 2011 with center for social exclusion and inclusion to do advocacy with Govt. on Right to Education. She realized that the situation of Dalit women and children is same in entire country. She worked for a year in Bihar for the education of Dalit children and did advocacy for better implementation of the rule of RTE (Right to education).

When I asked about her journey from Haryana to Bihar, she said that she got married in Bihar and shifted to Patna in 2013. Now practicing at High Court Patna and representing Human Rights Law Network (HRLN) in Bihar. She is working on prisoners rights especially for Muslims and Dalit women who are under trail. Filed many PILs on prisoner’s rights and custodial deaths at Patna High Court. She has made group of activists and Advocates who does fact finding of the cases related to Dalit & Muslims women and provide free legal support to them.

Why have you chosen law as a career? She said that law is an important instrument to help out needy and poor, I am doing so. There is one acid attack victim in Maner block, Patna. Alleged criminal is out on bail and threaten Advocates not to defend victim’s case.  I met victim and took all the case details to plea for her. When I discuss it with my in laws family they were afraid. But my husband supported me for doing this”.

I said that story will not be complete without knowing the mystery of your title ‘Ali’. She smiled and said ‘I married to a Muslim boy and my husband’s name is Safdar Ali, that’s why I proudly took the title Ali. We together filed a PIL on Love Jihad in High Court Patna. We prayed to stop the politicization of word Love Jihad to target Muslims community’.

On the recent controversy on documentary film India’s daughter, she expressed her views that documentary should not be banned. Banning film can’t stop rape. We should change our mindset. “I met many rape victims in Haryana which is worse than Nirbhaya case but Media is not taking up those cases. We should fight for those victims as well”.

When I asked Savita that how she celebrate Women’s day? She said that I celebrate women’s day half heartedly. I would celebrate this day when women’s will get social justice, quality education and equal opportunity in all spheres of life.

Last but not least, I would tell every woman to speak against injustice, act for jstice, its only the way to get justice.


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