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tv   Global 3000  PBS  May 11, 2018 7:30pm-8:01pm PDT

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to people who rarely have one. many young men in brazil end up in jail. what's the solution? in zambia, small farmers are being resettled to make way for large-scale agriculture. what does this mean for them? and in india we look at the caste system. how do millions of dalits cope with being right at the bottom of it? in india, a person's life is often shaped by the caste they belong to. there are 1.3 billion people in the country, and they're divided into different hierarchical groups. according to hindu mythology,
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humans are believed to have emerged from the body of the creator, brahma. priests came from his head. they're at the top of the caste system. warriors came from his shoulders, and traders from his stomach. servants were born from his feet. and right at the very bottom of this hierarchy are the dalits. these people are expected to do unclean work. there are 200 million dalits in india, and they regularly experience discrimination. and now many dalits have had enough. they regularly campaign for greater respect and equal rights. in terms of daily life, however, there's still a long way to go. reporter: pintu and ashok are in luck today. they've found a few hours of work. first they numb themselves with cheap liquor, otherwise they wouldn't be able to bear it. ashok submerges himself waist-deep in a stinking brew of human excrement. he uses a small shovel to unblock the sewer pipe. he earns the equivalent of five euros a day.
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ashok: there's no other work for me. what else can i do? i have to feed my family. and this is the best i can get. reporter: this kind of work is banned under indian law, but pintu and ashok are dalits -- untouchables as they were once called -- and the authorities tend to look the other way. pintu: a lot of people say it's a rotten job, but i don't agree. we also clean toilets with our bare hands. how else can you do it when they're blocked? this work is our bread and butter. reporter: and it's dangerous. oxygen levels can be low in large cesspools. last year, some 300 sewer workers died in india from drowning, suffocation, or exposure to toxic gases. the more privileged social classes prefer to ignore the dalits' plight.
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they're invisible to most. in india's more than 3000-year-old caste system, the dalits are the lowest of the low. even today, 70 years after discrimination on the basis of caste was officially banned. with no chance of upward mobility, it's hard for people like ashok to maintain even a semblance of dignity. it's 10 degrees celsius, and he has to wash out in the street. ashok: i have to soap myself down two or three times to get rid of the stench. and to make sure i don't get sick with all the bacteria. i've often had skin rashes. reporter: dalit activist bezwada wilson is waging a campaign against this deep-rooted discrimination. he refuses to accept that india's millions of dalits be forced to live as second-class citizens. bezwada: of the people who are in hunger and below the poverty line, 90% are who they are. they're not just poor.
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they're poor because they're the untouchables. they're poor because you have taken all their resources. they're poor because you never paid them minimum wages. they're poor because the government has never made a poor act. you are poor, we all are, because we were born into the particular caste. reporter: here in delhi, dalit students are meeting in a dorm room. despite admission quotas, dalits still face discrimination at universities. quite often they even get beaten up for things as trivial as wearing a mustache, which some fundamentalist hindus say are reserved for higher castes. the dalit students fight back by posting mustache-selfies online. devashish: if this particular thing is going to hurt your caste sentiment, certainly we are going to twirl our mustaches. and i appeal to every youth that if the sentiments of the so-called elite class, so-called upper classes, is hurt by your mustaches, you should have
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beautiful, fine mustaches. reporter: n.k. chandan is one the few dalits who've actually made it. he began work as a lowly employee in this plastics factory. he worked his way up and eventually took over the company. chandan's 50 workers are mostly dalits. but even as the head of a mid-sized business, life still isn't easy. he's often met with refusals when he tries to raise credit with banks. his name alone marks him as a so-called untouchable. n.k.: we've got to work harder than others. the problem is that we depend on higher castes for our financing. there simply aren't any other dalits with enough money to be able to lend me any. reporter: chandan and his family lead an upper-middle class lifestyle. the children go to university. some of their household servants belong to higher castes. role reversal, but chandan knows
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he's a complete exception. and the neighbors are only too happy to write him off as not one of theirs. n.k.: as long as you drive a small car or a cheap motorbike, everything's ok. but heaven forbid you buy a honda or a bmw. then the neighbors get envious and start spreading it around that you only made it because of government assistance programs. reporter: there are state programs for dalits, but they're only a drop in the ocean. sewer workers ashok and pintu can only dream of that kind of support. ashok lives with his wife in a delhi slum. they share a tiny room of only 10 square meters. their two children live with their grandparents, 1500 kilometers away in kolkata.
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ashok: i do this work for my children. i want to give them an education. and for that, i have to go into the sewers. renu: i feel bad for him. i don't want him to do this kind of work, but it's the only way we can provide a better future for our children. reporter: ashok's only hope is that he'll find work tomorrow, clearing human waste in india's sewer system. host: land grabbing is another example of people being pushed to the edges of society. foreign investors buy up agricultural land, cultivate it, export the produce, and rake in the profits. those who suffer are local farmers. they're often forcibly resettled, often to far smaller, less fertile plots. but that's of little interest to many in power. many developing nations, particularly those with unstable governments and legal systems, find the financial rewards too
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attractive to turn down. between 2001 and 2015, investors bought up 2.3 million square kilometers of agricultural land worldwide, an area the size of western europe. reporter: this zambian forest is a refuge for families forced off their land to make way for industrial farming. vehicles can only get so far. we have to finish our journey on foot. a human rights lawyer who's trying to help the displaced families has brought us out here. brigadier: people staying in these remote areas, it's rather difficult to exist. of course, some of them, not by choice, because it's the only area where they can find land that they can temporarily be there while they're still figuring out what's going on. reporter: we experienced first-hand just how far these families have had to move. it took a two hour trek to reach them. the mwape family is one of the many who've moved here. they also say they were evicted
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from their old farm. bernard mwape and his wife edna have nine children. lawyer brigadier siachitema comes out here regularly. he talks to the families, listens to their stories, and where possible, helps them take their cases to court. bernard: a white farmer said to us that we had to move away. then he destroyed everything surrounding our village and knocked down the trees. we were afraid that one might fall on our house. we didn't feel safe and had to go. reporter: there's no water where the mwapes live now. every day the children and their mother have to carry plastic containers to a waterhole to fetch water. it's an hour's walk away. edna: i used to send the children out alone. but here, i'd worry too much. reporter: human rights watch
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says over 50 families live here now, all of them forced from their real homes. the organization says thousands have been evicted nationwide. the people here tell us their children can no longer get to school because it's too far away. the mwape family farm used to lie somewhere in this great expanse. today, it's all industrial farmland, run by a farmer from abroad. jason sawyer comes from neighboring zimbabwe. he tells us he was evicted from his own land there, just like many other white farmers. now he himself is said to have pushed zambians from their farms. he denies this. jason: we are here to stay. i'm going to raise my kids here, my father wants to be buried here. with regards to the locals and the resettlement, we are certainly trying to come to a compromise so that everyone is happy. reporter: sawyer built stone
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houses for some of the displaced farmers. he shows us dickson chisenga's new home. sawyer insisted on taking us along. we can tell he's proud of what he's done. and it's obvious he expects chisenga to sing his praise, but chisenga actually has a different take on things. dickson: i'm very unhappy here. my old house was larger. it had three rooms, a kitchen, a toilet and a bath. this one's only got two rooms. and the farmland here's not so good, either. reporter: jason sawyer's visibly annoyed. but he wants to keep up the dialogue with chisenga and his family. he insists they've never complained before. these kinds of conflict are rooted in zambia's policy of transitioning to industrial farming methods. the government hopes that will provide more jobs and food. and it's banned food exports until the country is
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self-sufficient. it attracts investors like jason sawyer with cheap land. and relocating the resident farmers is part of the whole concept. we visit the government's local administrator and immediately sense just how dependent zambia is on foreign investment. francis: we're also interested in them not packing, because we're a developing country, we need them. but again, they can't blackmail us by not doing what the government policy says. reporter: bernard mwape has begun farming again, in a forest clearing. but conditions here aren't anything remotely like what the government mandated for resettlement. there's no hospital close by, and no school. they tell brigadier siachitema that no one's ever offered them a new home and that their old farmland was given away by the
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chief of their tribe without their knowledge. on that basis, the lawyer sees a chance for them. brigadier: so if the community were not consulted, then that transfer of land from customer to the state was not done properly. and therefore we'll be asking the court to just cancel that conversion so that the land should be considered to be the customer's, then it should belong to the people. reporter: something that could prove difficult, and take a long time. until then, the mwape family will continue to spend two hours a day collecting their water. host: giving a chance to those with few prospects. that's something many people want to do, including the global shapers. they're young adults whose work is funded by the world economic forum. they help children in colombia's poorer districts, and support small businesses in indonesia. and they give a voice to prisoners, too. and there are many prisoners in
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our world. india has over 400,000. in russia, there are more than 600,000. china has 1.6 million in prison, and in the usa, there are over 2 million. brazil is among those countries with high prison populations. we meet a global shaper with personal experience. reporter: this is emerson ferreira. he lives here in jardim santa lucia, about an hour's drive from sao paolo. he's 29 now, and spent five years in jail. he turned to drug dealing as a way out of poverty, and was caught with half a kilo of marijuana. emerson: in jail we had a lot of people living in a very small cell. things turned violent very quickly.
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you feel like an animal when you're in jail, and you don't think about changing. the whole punishment system is supposed to ensure that criminals can be reintegrated and become part of society again. but when you treat people like animals in jail, it makes them more violent once they're out again. reporter: emerson's been out since 2012 and now finds it easy to talk about the experience. he was still behind bars when he made the decision to turn his life around. and he started as soon as he was out. he lives with his girlfriend. he gives lectures on his criminal past, vividly describing what he did wrong in his life. global shapers approached him, and he joined their network. he found enough supporters to produce a virtual reality video. it aims to show what it's like
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to be in jail. a cell built for eight men, packed with over 40, was once life for emerson. the video's had millions of hits in brazil. he's also set up a support organization called reflexoes da liberdade -- thoughts of freedom. he wants to stop people falling into the same trap. emerson: i was working as a waiter in a restaurant and somehow life seemed to be passing me by. my life was just work the whole time. i started thinking that i wanted to make a change, but all i could see was a criminal career. i had no other role models.
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reporter: the lack of role models is a major problem here. in emerson's home town, many people survive on odd jobs. he wants to turn his home into a meeting place for young people. he'll put some fencing around the edge of the roof, and then they can sit there and chat. his district looks quite idyllic, but it's got a reputation for being extremely dangerous. even the school has bars and looks like a jail. emerson wants to change that. emerson: this school is our pilot project. we want to try out some new methods. change things, think outside the box, and communicate. dialogue is important. the students have to make the right choices later. in class they're going to sit totally differently. not one behind the other, but in a circle. that's more dynamic.
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reporter: it took months to convince the school administration of the benefits. now, everyone's involved. they're aiming to make the school more open and friendly, a place which prevents youngsters from becoming criminals. 200 helpers have come to support emerson's work. many of them are highly qualified and from well-off districts in sao paolo, who travelled in especially. emerson brought them all together. emerson: i'm so happy, really happy. it's so important and great that so many are involved, from the district as well. we're working together to change things. this'll be a place we can be proud of and where you can get ahead in life. i'm so happy to see fathers and sons here. they can learn for life. reporter: a school garden is being laid out, and almost all the bars and fences are being dismantled.
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it's all thanks to emerson's initiative. and all reason for a huge celebration. in jardim santa luzia, it's been a long time since things have felt this carefree. host: and now it's time for global ideas. this week we head to nicaragua, where coffee is one of the main export products. as such, world prices determine what growers earn. greater independence is possible, though, by learning how to cultivate coffee sustainably. is it worth it? we visited the area around ocotal in the north of the country to find out more. reporter: maria is passionate about coffee. she runs a cafe in ocotal, and she can certainly make a mean espresso and cappuccino. her brews are considered quite special in this small town.
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maria: i lived for a while in managua. i used to go to cafes there and always liked trying different kinds of coffee. but here in my home town, there was nowhere you could do that. reporter: maria gave up her job in the capital and came home, where she decided to learn all about coffee. maria: i went to the school out of curiosity. i felt like learning something new. reporter: she went to the national coffee school, which is also in ocotal. it's part of a vocational college and was set up ten years ago by private investors and associations. its 300 students learn everything about farming and processing coffee. that includes tasting. learning how to detect different flavors, acidity and bitterness, and distinguish good coffee from bad.
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marce: number three has a distinctive acidity. it tastes good, pleasant. the others don't have much taste at all. you can really tell the difference in quality between the coffees. reporter: the national coffee school was officially accredited as a vocational training facility last year. students don't pay any fees. the school is funded by the state, trade associations, and ngo's. 50% of agricultural jobs in nicaragua are coffee-related, so continuous training, including preparation methods, is important. among the founders of the school is gonzalo castillo. he has been growing coffee for over 30 years. with global coffee prices close to rock bottom, modern farm management techniques and sustainable production can boost revenues. a lot of the school's students come from coffee farming families.
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gonzalo: the school's objective is to help producers increase their knowledge and to find ways to make the coffee industry more attractive and lucrative. so that growers remain committed to the land and don't move to the cities. reporter: the course takes a year and a half. students learn everything about coffee, from planting through harvesting, to preparing drinks. they have to be able to operate the machine that shells the beans, which, by the way, uses a lot of water. juan francisco martinez represents a sustainable-farming ngo called utz. it supports the school financially, and certifies coffee plantations according to social and environmental standards. their certificates allow producers to demand higher prices for their beans. but he says coffee farmers face serious threats. juan: climate change is real.
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every day we feel the temperatures rise. it rains when it should be dry. precipitation is much harder to forecast. that affects production. it's estimated that nicaragua's coffee crop will be down 20% to 30% this year. reporter: that's evident on gonzalo castillo's plantation. this winter, his pickers brought in the last of the crop two weeks earlier than usual. because of the high rainfall and high temperatures, the coffee plants are blossoming again way ahead of schedule. to harvest more beans now would jeopardize next season's crop. gonzalo: almost all producers are facing losses, but not me so far, thanks to god and high quality. reporter: the mark of quality is red, the color of ripe beans.
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they're the ones that yield the tastiest brews and command the highest prices. gonzalo castillo pays his workers one euro 30 for a bucket of red beans. that's quite a lot more than they would get on other plantations in the area. he also employs single mothers. dominga cruz says other work is hard to find. dominga: i work here for three months during the harvest, and in summer i do other jobs here. i look after the soil, fertilize and water the tree nursery. i'm here all the time. reporter: environmental protection is essential for a farm to keep its certificate from utz. the water used here to clean the raw beans is now re-circulated before it eventually drains into a tank. it used to flow straight into a nearby stream. the workers also collect the
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bean husks and make compost and organic fertilizer with them. castillo has had an utz certificate for two years now. gonzalo: today people know where this coffee comes from, from a plantation that pays well, with no child labor, and that is environmentally friendly. that's why i'm paid somewhat more for my coffee. reporter: 5% to 10% more, thanks to the certification. the environmental benefits are also clear to see. the stream used to be black with waste from all the coffee do write to us, though, at global3000@dw.com or on facebook. see you next time. take care. ♪
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[captioning performed by the national captioning institute,
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- [female voice over]: this program is made possible in part by the town of marion, home of the wayne henderson school of appalachian arts, celebrating 21 years as a certified virginia main street community. the historic general francis marion hotel and the speak easy restaurant and lounge, providing accommodations and casual fine dining in downtown marion, virginia. the bank of marion. technology powered, service driven. wbrf 98.1 fm. and bryant label, a proud supporter of our region's musical heritage. ("cherokee shuffle" by gerald anderson) ♪

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