Mumbai, May 29: Rajesh Saraiya, who owns a multi-national company in Ukraine, SteelMont Pvt Ltd, that trades in metals is the first Dalit billionaire in India.
Belonging to a middle class family based in Dehradun, Rajesh completed his education in aeronautical engineering from Russia.
"People have to change from inside. They have to change their ideology, their mentality and look around the world for what is happening. There are so many opportunities," said Saraiya.
Dalit Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industries, whose sole purpose is to bring together Dalit businessman is an organisation which works for the betterment of Dalit businessmen in the country
Despite being a great accomplishment, the grim reality in the conditions of the marginalized sector has not changed in India. According to a report submitted by the National Commission for Enterprises in the unorganized sector in 2007, about 88 percent of Adivasis and Dalits in India, spend less than Rs. 20 a day.
"Dalits are second to none as far as intelligence and entrepreneurship is concerned. We only have to give them an opportunity," said J J Irani, who works as a Director with the Tata Sons at the conference at the Dalit Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industries.
"We have been trying to bring together Dalit businessmen since 2003. After 2005 we changed the name and formed the Dalit Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industries," added Milind Kamble, Chairman of DICCI.