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Last Updated: Wednesday, 6 December 2006, 13:27 GMT
In Pictures: Dalits remember their hero

Thousands of Dalits or low-caste Hindus have gathered in India's western city of Mumbai to pay homage to their leader, Babasaheb Ambedkar, on his 50th death anniversary.

Thousands of Dalits or low-caste Hindus have gathered in the western Indian city of Mumbai to pay homage to their leader, Babasaheb Ambedkar. (Photos: Monica Chadha)

They have come from across the state of Maharashtra. Some have come from as far as the northern state of Uttar Pradesh. Many of them have been living in Mumbai's Shivaji Park since the past four days.

Most of them are from Maharashtra state, but some have come from as far away as the northern state of Uttar Pradesh. Many have been living in Mumbai's Shivaji Park for days.

Huge tents have been erected for the visitors to sleep in and temporary bathrooms have been constructed for their use. Free food is also provided by some organisations.

Huge tents were erected for the visitors to sleep in and temporary bathrooms constructed for their use. Free food was also provided by some organisations.

Tight security arrangements have been made to ensure that the event passes off peacefully. A large number of policemen  have been deployed and paramilitary soldiers are on standby.

Tight security arrangements were made to ensure that the event passes off peacefully. Many police were deployed and paramilitary soldiers are on standby.

Prayers are held at the memorial built in honour of Dr Ambedkar. Supporters lined up for hours to get inside  to pay their respects to their leader.

Prayers are held at the memorial built in honour of Dr Ambedkar. Born a Dalit, he converted to Buddhism.

Dr Ambedkar enjoys iconic status among the Dalits. His pictures are bought by many Dalits who keep them alongside that of Buddha's, the founder of Buddhist religion.

Fifty years after his death, Dr Ambedkar enjoys iconic status among the Dalits. His pictures are bought by many who keep them alongside that of the Buddha.

Babasaheb Athavale is a social worker from Brahmanwade village, in Nanded district. He says Dalits are still discriminated against. "During marriages, we are still served food separately. The higher c

Babasaheb Athavale is a social worker. He says Dalits are still discriminated against. "During marriages, we are served food separately. The higher caste people don't eat with us."

Baby Ramesh Gade is from Bhusawal, in Jalgaon district of Maharashtra. "Babasaheb is our God, he did a lot for us. And this is the one time all of us can come to Mumbai and have a holiday," she says

Baby Ramesh Gade is from Bhusawal, in Maharashtra. "Babasaheb is our God, he did a lot for us. And this is one time we can come to Mumbai and have a holiday," she says

Siddharth Namdeo Chourpagar is currently pursuing a Masters degree in Political Science and wants to study further. "Exactly like Babasaheb," he says. "He told us to educate ourselves and fight for our

Siddharth Namdeo Chourpagar is pursuing a Masters degree in Political Science. "Babasaheb told us to educate ourselves and fight for our rights. This is my goal too."






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