Close to a year of living in the times of a global pandemic due to Coronavirus and the full lockdown announced in India when an unprecedented number of migrant workers were forced to walk back to their homes from across the country. The upcoming Union Budget seems ta have a lot to tackle in terms of making recovery from the economic slowdown that hit the country last year. One of the main focuses of the Budget is also its allocations towards the marginalized communities of the nation including the Dalit and Adivasi community.
Beena Pallical of the National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights joined MAKERS India in a conversation around the upcoming budget, the previous years’ budget analysis, and how gender-responsive the Budget seems to be. “If you look at the total budget of last year, out of the total budget there was only about Rs. 7,986 crores allocated for women. Which if you look at it in a graph, it is just a dot, it is a drop in the ocean. It is about 0.89% proportion of the total allocation that is allocated for Dalit women and girls. Whereas this is according to the gender budget statement that they released at the union budget and for ST or tribal women, it is about Rs. 3,175 crores, which is about 0.34% of the total budget. So, it is a minuscule amount,” she explains how gender surfaces in the Budget discourse adding that it is gender blind.
(Interviewed and edited by Poorvi Gupta)