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Gypsy (Jhuggi) People Literacy Program (Adult & NFE)

The gypsy communities are alienated people who have been politically and socially marginalized by the community at large. These people stay bereft of the basic rights; even though the UN Human Rights and the constitution are recognizing them they have no arrangements, which would shelter them from harsh weather. They have to resort to beggary as a means of survival. Much government attention is called towards this pressing issue. The gypsy community is faced with various problems ranging from inadequate means of living and proper shelter. During harsh weather i.e. rainfall or the blistering summers, it becomes painstakingly difficult for the families to shield themselves from the brash weather conditions. There is a dearth of basic facilities, they can’t even afford to keep a fan and during the winters, they have to collect wood and create fire, in order to keep themselves warm.

10 million of the gypsies in Pakistan are faced with prejudice, hostility and discrimination. These people lack job opportunities. They have created their own law systems where they decide to resolve any matters concerning fights etc. They refuse to involve the police or take the matter to the court. Usually 4 people of the community or baradari would be gathered and that way the issue would be put to rest.

The majority of the gypsies belong to Qalandar, Changr, Oudh, Marasi cast. They are more involved in beggary or singing and dancing. These people also keep snakes, make bangles or sell toys. Either this or they keep themselves occupied with daily wage labour activities. However, it is very hard for these people to survive and for the same reason they are compelled to live hand to mouth.

The gypsy community is an indigenous population who doesn’t own any homes or property but they have made settlements in forests or in open air. When the rest of the people live in their comfortable homes, these underprivileged people have to survive in all conditions, after all, these people are as much humans as anyone so why are they treated in this fashion. The reason why the rate of crime has gone up so high is because these people are not being given the basic rights, they have to fill their stomachs but when no opportunities will be given to them. Then it shouldn’t come as a surprise that they resort to illegal ways of making a living. They live in makeshift tents and their beds (charpayee) are placed in open air. The gypsy community is faced with various problems ranging from inadequate means of living and proper shelter. People treat them as if they are no humans and this discrimination shows the unfair attitude they are subjected to. Both men and women have been manhandled at various occasions. Who is going to give them justice so that they are able to live peacefully? Poverty is another major problem this community is faced with. Although they would like to work but due to lack of job opportunities, they can’t. They can’t even send their children to school. The government has a responsibility to shoulder where they should make sure that the gypsies are given equal rights in every walk of life.

Most of the above problems the major issue is to access to education. They have not access to education and due to high illiteracy rate; crime rate is high in these community.   DEEP Foundation is working with these underprivileged people by providing them access to education (Adult Literacy and Non Formal Education) as well as access to all social awareness issues. By providing education, we bring change in the lives of gypsy peoples.

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