NCERT Textbook - Struggle for Equality Class 7 Notes | EduRev

NCERT Textbooks (Class 6 to Class 12)

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Class 7 : NCERT Textbook - Struggle for Equality Class 7 Notes | EduRev

 Page 1


Struggles for Struggles for Struggles for Struggles for Struggles for
Equality Equality Equality Equality Equality
In this book, you have read
about people like Kanta, the
Ansaris, Melani and Swapna.
The thread that connects all
of these lives is that they have
been treated unequally. What
do people do when they face
such inequalities? History is
full of examples of persons
who have come together to
fight against inequality and
for issues of justice. Do you
recall the story of Rosa Parks
in Chapter 1? Do you
remember the photo-essay on
the women’s movement in
Chapter 5? In this chapter you
will learn about some of the
ways in which people have
struggled against inequality.
10
CHAPTER
2015-16 (12-01-15)
Page 2


Struggles for Struggles for Struggles for Struggles for Struggles for
Equality Equality Equality Equality Equality
In this book, you have read
about people like Kanta, the
Ansaris, Melani and Swapna.
The thread that connects all
of these lives is that they have
been treated unequally. What
do people do when they face
such inequalities? History is
full of examples of persons
who have come together to
fight against inequality and
for issues of justice. Do you
recall the story of Rosa Parks
in Chapter 1? Do you
remember the photo-essay on
the women’s movement in
Chapter 5? In this chapter you
will learn about some of the
ways in which people have
struggled against inequality.
10
CHAPTER
2015-16 (12-01-15)
What do you think is meant by the What do you think is meant by the What do you think is meant by the What do you think is meant by the What do you think is meant by the
expression ‘power over the ballot expression ‘power over the ballot expression ‘power over the ballot expression ‘power over the ballot expression ‘power over the ballot
box’? Discuss. box’? Discuss. box’? Discuss. box’? Discuss. box’? Discuss.
As you have already read in this book, the Indian
Constitution recognises all Indians as equal before
the law and states that no person can be
discriminated against because of their religion, sex,
caste or whether they are rich or poor. All adults in
India have the equal right to vote during elections
and this ‘power over the ballot box’ has been used
by people to elect or replace their representatives.
But this feeling of equality that the ballot box
provides, because the vote of one person is as good
as that of another, does not extend to most people’s
lives. As you have read, the increasing privatisation
of health services and the neglect of government
hospitals have made it difficult for most poor people
like Kanta, Hakim Sheik and Aman to get good
quality health care. These people do not have the
resources to afford expensive private health services.
Similarly, the man who sells juice does not have
the resources to compete with all of the major
companies who sell branded drinks through
expensive advertising. Swapna does not have
sufficient resources to grow cotton and, so, has to
take a loan from the trader to grow her crop. This
forces her to sell her cotton at a lower price. Melani,
like the millions of domestic workers across the
country, is forced to endure the insults and hardship
of working as a domestic help because she has no
resources to set up something on her own. Poverty
and the lack of resources continue to be a key reason
why so many people’s lives in India are highly
unequal.
On the other hand, the Ansaris were discriminated
against not because they did not have the resources.
In fact, despite having the money to pay the required
rent, they were not able to find an apartment for
over a month. People were reluctant to lease them
an apartment because of their religion. Similarly, the
main reason that the teachers forced Omprakash
Valmiki to sweep the school yard was because he
was Dalit. You’ve also read that the work women do
115 Chapter 10: Struggles for Equality
2015-16 (12-01-15)
Page 3


Struggles for Struggles for Struggles for Struggles for Struggles for
Equality Equality Equality Equality Equality
In this book, you have read
about people like Kanta, the
Ansaris, Melani and Swapna.
The thread that connects all
of these lives is that they have
been treated unequally. What
do people do when they face
such inequalities? History is
full of examples of persons
who have come together to
fight against inequality and
for issues of justice. Do you
recall the story of Rosa Parks
in Chapter 1? Do you
remember the photo-essay on
the women’s movement in
Chapter 5? In this chapter you
will learn about some of the
ways in which people have
struggled against inequality.
10
CHAPTER
2015-16 (12-01-15)
What do you think is meant by the What do you think is meant by the What do you think is meant by the What do you think is meant by the What do you think is meant by the
expression ‘power over the ballot expression ‘power over the ballot expression ‘power over the ballot expression ‘power over the ballot expression ‘power over the ballot
box’? Discuss. box’? Discuss. box’? Discuss. box’? Discuss. box’? Discuss.
As you have already read in this book, the Indian
Constitution recognises all Indians as equal before
the law and states that no person can be
discriminated against because of their religion, sex,
caste or whether they are rich or poor. All adults in
India have the equal right to vote during elections
and this ‘power over the ballot box’ has been used
by people to elect or replace their representatives.
But this feeling of equality that the ballot box
provides, because the vote of one person is as good
as that of another, does not extend to most people’s
lives. As you have read, the increasing privatisation
of health services and the neglect of government
hospitals have made it difficult for most poor people
like Kanta, Hakim Sheik and Aman to get good
quality health care. These people do not have the
resources to afford expensive private health services.
Similarly, the man who sells juice does not have
the resources to compete with all of the major
companies who sell branded drinks through
expensive advertising. Swapna does not have
sufficient resources to grow cotton and, so, has to
take a loan from the trader to grow her crop. This
forces her to sell her cotton at a lower price. Melani,
like the millions of domestic workers across the
country, is forced to endure the insults and hardship
of working as a domestic help because she has no
resources to set up something on her own. Poverty
and the lack of resources continue to be a key reason
why so many people’s lives in India are highly
unequal.
On the other hand, the Ansaris were discriminated
against not because they did not have the resources.
In fact, despite having the money to pay the required
rent, they were not able to find an apartment for
over a month. People were reluctant to lease them
an apartment because of their religion. Similarly, the
main reason that the teachers forced Omprakash
Valmiki to sweep the school yard was because he
was Dalit. You’ve also read that the work women do
115 Chapter 10: Struggles for Equality
2015-16 (12-01-15)
According to the 2001 Census data
women form 48 per cent of the
population, Muslims form 13 per cent
of the population, Dalits form 16 per cent
and Adivasis 8 per cent.
Can you think of one person in Can you think of one person in Can you think of one person in Can you think of one person in Can you think of one person in
your family, community, village, your family, community, village, your family, community, village, your family, community, village, your family, community, village,
town or city whom you respect town or city whom you respect town or city whom you respect town or city whom you respect town or city whom you respect
because of their fight for equality because of their fight for equality because of their fight for equality because of their fight for equality because of their fight for equality
and justice? and justice? and justice? and justice? and justice?
is often considered of less value than that done by
the men. All of these persons are discriminated
against primarily because of their social and cultural
background as well as because they are women.
Discrimination on the basis of a person’s religion,
caste and sex is another significant factor for why
people are treated unequally in India.
Often, poverty and lack of dignity and respect for
certain communities and groups come together in
such powerful ways that it is difficult to identify where
one aspect of inequality ends and the other begins.
As you have read, Dalit, Adivasi and Muslim girls
drop out of school in large numbers. This is a
combined outcome of poverty, social discrimination
and the lack of good quality school facilities for these
communities.
Struggles for equality
Throughout the world – in every community, village,
city and town–you will find that there are some people
who are known and respected because of their fight
for equality. These people may have stood up against
an act of discrimination that they faced or which
they witnessed. Or they may be well-respected
because they treat all persons with dignity and are,
therefore, trusted and called upon to resolve issues
in the community.
Often, some of these persons become more widely
recognised because they have the support or
represent large numbers of people who have united
to address a particular issue of inequality. In India,
there are several struggles in which people have come
together to fight for issues that they believe are
important. In Chapter 5, you read about the methods
used by the women’s movement to raise issues of
equality. The Tawa Matsya Sangh in Madhya Pradesh
is another example of people coming together to fight
for an issue. There are many such struggles such as
those among beedi workers, fisherfolk, agricultural
In India, it is the case that the poor
consist of a majority of members of Dalit,
Adivasi and Muslim communities and
are often women.
116 Social and Political Life
2015-16 (12-01-15)
Page 4


Struggles for Struggles for Struggles for Struggles for Struggles for
Equality Equality Equality Equality Equality
In this book, you have read
about people like Kanta, the
Ansaris, Melani and Swapna.
The thread that connects all
of these lives is that they have
been treated unequally. What
do people do when they face
such inequalities? History is
full of examples of persons
who have come together to
fight against inequality and
for issues of justice. Do you
recall the story of Rosa Parks
in Chapter 1? Do you
remember the photo-essay on
the women’s movement in
Chapter 5? In this chapter you
will learn about some of the
ways in which people have
struggled against inequality.
10
CHAPTER
2015-16 (12-01-15)
What do you think is meant by the What do you think is meant by the What do you think is meant by the What do you think is meant by the What do you think is meant by the
expression ‘power over the ballot expression ‘power over the ballot expression ‘power over the ballot expression ‘power over the ballot expression ‘power over the ballot
box’? Discuss. box’? Discuss. box’? Discuss. box’? Discuss. box’? Discuss.
As you have already read in this book, the Indian
Constitution recognises all Indians as equal before
the law and states that no person can be
discriminated against because of their religion, sex,
caste or whether they are rich or poor. All adults in
India have the equal right to vote during elections
and this ‘power over the ballot box’ has been used
by people to elect or replace their representatives.
But this feeling of equality that the ballot box
provides, because the vote of one person is as good
as that of another, does not extend to most people’s
lives. As you have read, the increasing privatisation
of health services and the neglect of government
hospitals have made it difficult for most poor people
like Kanta, Hakim Sheik and Aman to get good
quality health care. These people do not have the
resources to afford expensive private health services.
Similarly, the man who sells juice does not have
the resources to compete with all of the major
companies who sell branded drinks through
expensive advertising. Swapna does not have
sufficient resources to grow cotton and, so, has to
take a loan from the trader to grow her crop. This
forces her to sell her cotton at a lower price. Melani,
like the millions of domestic workers across the
country, is forced to endure the insults and hardship
of working as a domestic help because she has no
resources to set up something on her own. Poverty
and the lack of resources continue to be a key reason
why so many people’s lives in India are highly
unequal.
On the other hand, the Ansaris were discriminated
against not because they did not have the resources.
In fact, despite having the money to pay the required
rent, they were not able to find an apartment for
over a month. People were reluctant to lease them
an apartment because of their religion. Similarly, the
main reason that the teachers forced Omprakash
Valmiki to sweep the school yard was because he
was Dalit. You’ve also read that the work women do
115 Chapter 10: Struggles for Equality
2015-16 (12-01-15)
According to the 2001 Census data
women form 48 per cent of the
population, Muslims form 13 per cent
of the population, Dalits form 16 per cent
and Adivasis 8 per cent.
Can you think of one person in Can you think of one person in Can you think of one person in Can you think of one person in Can you think of one person in
your family, community, village, your family, community, village, your family, community, village, your family, community, village, your family, community, village,
town or city whom you respect town or city whom you respect town or city whom you respect town or city whom you respect town or city whom you respect
because of their fight for equality because of their fight for equality because of their fight for equality because of their fight for equality because of their fight for equality
and justice? and justice? and justice? and justice? and justice?
is often considered of less value than that done by
the men. All of these persons are discriminated
against primarily because of their social and cultural
background as well as because they are women.
Discrimination on the basis of a person’s religion,
caste and sex is another significant factor for why
people are treated unequally in India.
Often, poverty and lack of dignity and respect for
certain communities and groups come together in
such powerful ways that it is difficult to identify where
one aspect of inequality ends and the other begins.
As you have read, Dalit, Adivasi and Muslim girls
drop out of school in large numbers. This is a
combined outcome of poverty, social discrimination
and the lack of good quality school facilities for these
communities.
Struggles for equality
Throughout the world – in every community, village,
city and town–you will find that there are some people
who are known and respected because of their fight
for equality. These people may have stood up against
an act of discrimination that they faced or which
they witnessed. Or they may be well-respected
because they treat all persons with dignity and are,
therefore, trusted and called upon to resolve issues
in the community.
Often, some of these persons become more widely
recognised because they have the support or
represent large numbers of people who have united
to address a particular issue of inequality. In India,
there are several struggles in which people have come
together to fight for issues that they believe are
important. In Chapter 5, you read about the methods
used by the women’s movement to raise issues of
equality. The Tawa Matsya Sangh in Madhya Pradesh
is another example of people coming together to fight
for an issue. There are many such struggles such as
those among beedi workers, fisherfolk, agricultural
In India, it is the case that the poor
consist of a majority of members of Dalit,
Adivasi and Muslim communities and
are often women.
116 Social and Political Life
2015-16 (12-01-15)
labourers, slum dwellers and each group is struggling
for justice in its own way. There are also many
attempts to form cooperatives or other collective ways
by which people can have more control over
resources.
Tawa Matsya Sangh
When dams are built or forest areas declared
sanctuaries for animals, thousands of people are
displaced. Whole villages are uprooted and people
are forced to go and build new homes, start new lives
elsewhere. Most of these people are poor.
In urban areas too, bastis in which poor people live
are often uprooted. Some of them are relocated to
areas outside the city. Their work as well as their
children’s schooling is severely disrupted because
of the distance from the outskirts of the city to these
locations.
This displacement of people and communities is a
problem that has become quite widespread in our The reservoir of the Tawa river.
2015-16 (12-01-15)
Page 5


Struggles for Struggles for Struggles for Struggles for Struggles for
Equality Equality Equality Equality Equality
In this book, you have read
about people like Kanta, the
Ansaris, Melani and Swapna.
The thread that connects all
of these lives is that they have
been treated unequally. What
do people do when they face
such inequalities? History is
full of examples of persons
who have come together to
fight against inequality and
for issues of justice. Do you
recall the story of Rosa Parks
in Chapter 1? Do you
remember the photo-essay on
the women’s movement in
Chapter 5? In this chapter you
will learn about some of the
ways in which people have
struggled against inequality.
10
CHAPTER
2015-16 (12-01-15)
What do you think is meant by the What do you think is meant by the What do you think is meant by the What do you think is meant by the What do you think is meant by the
expression ‘power over the ballot expression ‘power over the ballot expression ‘power over the ballot expression ‘power over the ballot expression ‘power over the ballot
box’? Discuss. box’? Discuss. box’? Discuss. box’? Discuss. box’? Discuss.
As you have already read in this book, the Indian
Constitution recognises all Indians as equal before
the law and states that no person can be
discriminated against because of their religion, sex,
caste or whether they are rich or poor. All adults in
India have the equal right to vote during elections
and this ‘power over the ballot box’ has been used
by people to elect or replace their representatives.
But this feeling of equality that the ballot box
provides, because the vote of one person is as good
as that of another, does not extend to most people’s
lives. As you have read, the increasing privatisation
of health services and the neglect of government
hospitals have made it difficult for most poor people
like Kanta, Hakim Sheik and Aman to get good
quality health care. These people do not have the
resources to afford expensive private health services.
Similarly, the man who sells juice does not have
the resources to compete with all of the major
companies who sell branded drinks through
expensive advertising. Swapna does not have
sufficient resources to grow cotton and, so, has to
take a loan from the trader to grow her crop. This
forces her to sell her cotton at a lower price. Melani,
like the millions of domestic workers across the
country, is forced to endure the insults and hardship
of working as a domestic help because she has no
resources to set up something on her own. Poverty
and the lack of resources continue to be a key reason
why so many people’s lives in India are highly
unequal.
On the other hand, the Ansaris were discriminated
against not because they did not have the resources.
In fact, despite having the money to pay the required
rent, they were not able to find an apartment for
over a month. People were reluctant to lease them
an apartment because of their religion. Similarly, the
main reason that the teachers forced Omprakash
Valmiki to sweep the school yard was because he
was Dalit. You’ve also read that the work women do
115 Chapter 10: Struggles for Equality
2015-16 (12-01-15)
According to the 2001 Census data
women form 48 per cent of the
population, Muslims form 13 per cent
of the population, Dalits form 16 per cent
and Adivasis 8 per cent.
Can you think of one person in Can you think of one person in Can you think of one person in Can you think of one person in Can you think of one person in
your family, community, village, your family, community, village, your family, community, village, your family, community, village, your family, community, village,
town or city whom you respect town or city whom you respect town or city whom you respect town or city whom you respect town or city whom you respect
because of their fight for equality because of their fight for equality because of their fight for equality because of their fight for equality because of their fight for equality
and justice? and justice? and justice? and justice? and justice?
is often considered of less value than that done by
the men. All of these persons are discriminated
against primarily because of their social and cultural
background as well as because they are women.
Discrimination on the basis of a person’s religion,
caste and sex is another significant factor for why
people are treated unequally in India.
Often, poverty and lack of dignity and respect for
certain communities and groups come together in
such powerful ways that it is difficult to identify where
one aspect of inequality ends and the other begins.
As you have read, Dalit, Adivasi and Muslim girls
drop out of school in large numbers. This is a
combined outcome of poverty, social discrimination
and the lack of good quality school facilities for these
communities.
Struggles for equality
Throughout the world – in every community, village,
city and town–you will find that there are some people
who are known and respected because of their fight
for equality. These people may have stood up against
an act of discrimination that they faced or which
they witnessed. Or they may be well-respected
because they treat all persons with dignity and are,
therefore, trusted and called upon to resolve issues
in the community.
Often, some of these persons become more widely
recognised because they have the support or
represent large numbers of people who have united
to address a particular issue of inequality. In India,
there are several struggles in which people have come
together to fight for issues that they believe are
important. In Chapter 5, you read about the methods
used by the women’s movement to raise issues of
equality. The Tawa Matsya Sangh in Madhya Pradesh
is another example of people coming together to fight
for an issue. There are many such struggles such as
those among beedi workers, fisherfolk, agricultural
In India, it is the case that the poor
consist of a majority of members of Dalit,
Adivasi and Muslim communities and
are often women.
116 Social and Political Life
2015-16 (12-01-15)
labourers, slum dwellers and each group is struggling
for justice in its own way. There are also many
attempts to form cooperatives or other collective ways
by which people can have more control over
resources.
Tawa Matsya Sangh
When dams are built or forest areas declared
sanctuaries for animals, thousands of people are
displaced. Whole villages are uprooted and people
are forced to go and build new homes, start new lives
elsewhere. Most of these people are poor.
In urban areas too, bastis in which poor people live
are often uprooted. Some of them are relocated to
areas outside the city. Their work as well as their
children’s schooling is severely disrupted because
of the distance from the outskirts of the city to these
locations.
This displacement of people and communities is a
problem that has become quite widespread in our The reservoir of the Tawa river.
2015-16 (12-01-15)
118 Social and Political Life
What issue is the Tawa Matsya What issue is the Tawa Matsya What issue is the Tawa Matsya What issue is the Tawa Matsya What issue is the Tawa Matsya
Sangh (TMS) fighting for? Sangh (TMS) fighting for? Sangh (TMS) fighting for? Sangh (TMS) fighting for? Sangh (TMS) fighting for?
Why did the villagers set up this Why did the villagers set up this Why did the villagers set up this Why did the villagers set up this Why did the villagers set up this
organisation? organisation? organisation? organisation? organisation?
Do you think that the large Do you think that the large Do you think that the large Do you think that the large Do you think that the large- - - - -scale scale scale scale scale
participation of villagers has participation of villagers has participation of villagers has participation of villagers has participation of villagers has
contributed to the success of the contributed to the success of the contributed to the success of the contributed to the success of the contributed to the success of the
TMS? Write two lines on why you TMS? Write two lines on why you TMS? Write two lines on why you TMS? Write two lines on why you TMS? Write two lines on why you
think so. think so. think so. think so. think so.
country. People usually come together to fight against
this. There are several organisations across the
country fighting for the rights of the displaced. In
this chapter we will read about the Tawa Matsya
Sangh – a federation of Fisherworker’s cooperatives
– an organisation fighting for the rights of the
displaced forest dwellers of the Satpura forest in
Madhya Pradesh.
Originating in the Mahadeo hills of Chindwara
district, the Tawa flows through Betul, before joining
the Narmada in Hoshangabad. The Tawa dam began
to be built in 1958 and was completed in 1978. It
submerged large areas of forest and agricultural land.
The forest dwellers were left with nothing. Some of
the displaced people settled around the reservoir and
apart from their meagre farms found a livelihood in
fishing. They earned very little.
A dam is built across a river at sites where one can collect
a lot of water. This forms a reservoir and as the water
collects it submerges vast areas of land. This is because the
wall of the dam across the river is high and the water
spreads over a large area. This is a photo of the submergence
caused by the T ehri dam in Uttarakhand. The old T ehri town
and 100 villages, some totally and some partially, were
submerged by this dam.  Nearly one lakh people were
displaced.
In 1994, the government gave the rights for fishing
in the Tawa reservoir to private contractors. These
contractors drove the local people away and got cheap
labour from outside. The contractors began to
threaten the villagers, who did not want to leave, by
bringing in hoodlums. The villagers stood united and
decided that it was time to set up an organisation
and do something to protect their rights.
The newly formed Tawa Matsya Sangh (TMS)
organised rallies and a chakka jam (road blockade),
demanding their right to continue fishing for their
2015-16 (12-01-15)
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