Working within London Borough - Ealing: - The need of a local office – advice centre was persistently expressed through four years of Dalit community networking meetings in Southall. The Southall communities who face caste discrimination in all areas felt they had no representation or representative body who can help with form filling, give advice on housing, education, employment, immigration and many other social issues. They expressed a need for a community lead body that would help them to claim their rights on these issues. As a result VODI set up a local office to address the local community' s concern. We set up this office in October 2005. We have joined the Southall Community Alliance, with the intention of integrating with the local Dalit community with other local community groups. We are also making links in Ealing Council Equality and Voluntary Service groups. VODI has initiated a successful Reaching Out to communities for the project for the last two years.
VODI has been actively involved in networking the UK based Dalit communities from its inception and introduced many of its members to Dalit Solidarity NetworkUK. In 2003–2004 the networking efforts of VODI bore fruits in the form of VODI-UK mainly to take up the caste discriminatory practices existing in the UK . A committee was formed. During this time the same Radio, which interviewed the Director of VODI along with caste victims from different parts of UK in 2002 after the Birmingham Conference, requested VODI to associate to produce a documentary on caste in Britain and later involved members of VODI-UK committee. Some of the members of this committee helped to produce such a documentary called Caste Divide in Britain , which was relayed by Radio-4in April 2003, and later repeated. Upon this the VODI-UK Committee decided to focus on 'Caste in Britain ' and subsequently decided to rename and reconstitute as CASTEWATCH-UK. This was officially launched in 2004 through a conference at Coventry for which VODI provided funding. VODI is representatives are in the Executive Committee of CasteWatchUK. For more details visit www.castewatchuk.org.
The Youth Wing of CasteWatchUK has initiated Caste Away Arts , a cultural wing to make aware the public on Caste discrimination in the UK . They have produced a play on the similar theme titled The Fifth Cup ' which is being staged successfully throughout UK . VODI is organizing this event in Southall on 11 th October 2008.
In 2006 VODI organised a UK Conference on 'Dalit Christian Rights'. This brought together many high ranking Church leaders of UK and Asia around Dalit/ Christian issues. Conference delegates met the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Catholic Bishops Conference of England & Wales (CBCEW). They requested caste to be included in UK development education agenda. Our follow-up with CBCEW and its agency - Catholic Association for Racial Justice -CARJ resulted in the formation of a Joint Committee of Partnership with CARJ. We also network with Christian groups, their Agencies and Partners (Northern and Southern) other Faith groups and acedemia to generate awareness and understanding for reducing caste caused Global Poverty.
British overseas NGOs in Development is a Network of Development Agencies in the UK. VODI is a member of BOND.
Development Education Association is a Network of Organisation involved in Netork Activities. It tries to bring new information on Development Education in this Country. VODI is a member of DEA.