Many Indians aspire to join the Indian Administrative Services or various state services in order to devote their lives to public service. However, a lot of them either give in to corruption and fill their own pockets, or are not able to make any headway due to bureaucratic/ political pressures. Some honest officers remain blind to the corruption going on because they do not want to get transfers or die in the process as they earn powerful enemies. But there are some sons of the soils who leave the lucrative job in order to devote their lives to social service at the grassroots level. One such messiah of Dalits is Lalchand Dissa who let go of the IAS in order to serve the community.
Lalchand Dissa hails from Jalmaha village of Himachal Pradesh. In 1979 he cleared the Indian Administrative exam, got the designation of Under Secretary and joined the same. However, when he discovered the poor plight of the Dalit community he left decided to quit his job and devote his life fully to their cause.
The journey began during his childhood when he would be pained at observing the caste discrimination and injustice based on the status of birth of individuals. By the age of 7 this ache reached such a level that all the comforts of the world seemed little as compared to the discriminatory treatment meted out to the Dalits. During his term as an IAS officer, Dissa would be pinched by the memories of the discrimination. His job was becoming a burden for him. In order to cure himself of this pain, Dissa decided to embrace a journey full of struggles. In 1987 he quit his job to serve the community.
Dissa belongs to a tribal community. After a long struggle, in 2004 ACT Dalits finally got recognition as Scheduled Tribe along with their status as Scheduled Caste. Himachal Pradesh became the first state in India to do so, courtesy Dissa. In 2007, due to pressure from some people in Spiti, 16 children were prohibited from converting to Buddhism. These children had converted in a Buddhist monastery in Karnataka. However, they were ousted from the monastery due to fear of boycott. Dissa took up their cause in front of the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and spiritual leader Dalai Lama. Consequently, these children were reinstated into the monastery.
In 2004, Dissa formed a tribal organization at the national level. Moreover, in a project called Lekhar Non-Language of India held in Mysore in 2004, Dissa played a major role in changing the name of the language spoken by Dalits from Vinali to Chilanbhashi. He prepared a dictionary which contains around 10, 000 words. On the basis of research he established that Vilanbhashi has a direct link to Sanskrit.