A virtual gathering of Dalit journalists from all over the world has formed a 21-member executive committee of International Dalit Journalists Network led by Mallepalli Laxmaian of India on April 25.

The gathering has elected founding general secretary of Jagaran Media Centre Rem Bishwokarma as the network's general secretary. The IDJN is a common platform of all journalists around the world representing Dalit communities who face discrimination and exclusion in their societies.

"The concerns and agendas related to Dalit often don't get adequate media attention. It is often felt that there is a sense of apathy regarding the issues of Dalit in the media. The media houses lack sensitivity regarding the issues of Dalit to such an extent that such issues are subdued by the editors and media houses," said President of the IDJN Laxmaian in a press release.

"The network aims at mainstreaming as well as amplifying the voice of the Dalit and other vulnerable communities in South Asia and beyond," he said. "It will help create solidarity for national and international advocacy on the issues, agendas and concerns of Dalit and other marginalised communities," he informed.

According to newly-elected General Secretary Bishwokarma, the network aims to battle their common fate collectively as they understand the prolonged ordeals of their community better than anyone else. "We will work towards including all the Dalit journalists who have been working actively in different parts of the globe," said Bishwokarma.

"Caste-based discrimination and untouchability is not only the problem of Nepal. Such discrimination is rampant across different parts of the world. To end such problems, we have developed the international network of Dalit journalists."

A version of this article appears in the print on May 3, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.