Objectives of Aathithamizhar peravai (ATP) movement is to re-establish economical, social, political and cultural improvement among “Arunthathiyar” (Dalits - untouchables of casteless people) community who are considered outcaste and oppressed by all other caste and non-caste societies and whose living conditions are below the poverty line.
1. Manual scavenging is an extreme evil still prevailing in independent India. People referred to as "Scavengers" who belong to the arunthathiyar community are forced to do this in spite of the Indian Government passing legislation in 1993 to prevent manual scavenging. Arunthathiyars work as Man hole scavengers, Manual Scavengers, Cobblers and Pickers. The law has not been implemented fully so far.
ATP’s primary objective is to eradicate manual scavenging by urging the Tamil Nadu state government to take all measures to immediately stop manual scavenging; and to make alternative arrangements for the scavenging workers, who lost their jobs or gave VRS as per the recommendation of the national scavenging workers' development commission. ATP is relentlessly working towards the eradication of this social menace. In its efforts ATP has organized several conferences and protests against it. ATP had organized "Manual Scavengers Rehabilitation Conference" at Coimbatore in 2004, which had a major impact on the community. Furthermore it has organized “Rail Blockade” movement and starting in 2006 it has organized “Thodarmuzhaka poratam” (Demonstration) in Chennai which favoured support from a broad spectrum of political parties.
2. (3%) Inner Reservation for Arunthathiyars was given by the Tamil Nadu Government in 2009. Eventhough this has been acheived by hardwork of ATP, inner reservation would be complete only when 6% is given for the Arunthathiyars. ATP will work towards achieving this goal. Furthermore, ATP currently insists the Central Government of India to provide inner reservation in central government departments and public sectors for Arunthathiyar community.
3. Untouchability and atrocities associated with untouchability is observed in certain districts of Tamil Nadu, especially in certain cities and villages surrounding Coimbatore district; where even to date there remains a practice of “two tumbler” system in tea stalls. By implementing such atrocities by the caste hindus (called as "sutras" by brahmins) practice untouchability against arunthathiyars.
ATP protests such practices lawfully and will bring these issues to the attention of the government and government authorities and thereby strives to eradicate such atrocities. Provided if this does not bear fruit, ATP will assemble in front of the tea stalls gathering its allies, associated parties, arunthathiyar people and other supporting communities to protest against the “tumbler bias”. Furthermore ATP will raise the issue nationally by drawing attention of the people of the country by officially approaching national newspapers, weekly magazines and press to cover the issue.
Similarly ATP will protest against other atrocities associated with untouchability such as “separate water pipes”, “common water pipes”, “separate water wells”, “common water wells”, “separate graveyards” and other atrocities against arunthathiyars.
4. The ramification of arrack and toddy addiction is felt in social, economical and cultural impairments in arunthathiyar community. ATP aims to completely eradicate arrack and toddy.
5. Proscribed not just by Brahmanism but also by caste hindus, arunthathiyars are repressed in education, economical, political and governmental organizations. Social aim of ATP includes the development of social awareness, growth and development; to kindle intellectual knowledge and self awareness; to uphold self respect of the individual and of the community. Furthermore ATP aims to eradicate jobs such as cobblers and enslaved bonded labourers in agricultural fields within the arunthathiyar community.
6. Historically arunthathiyars migrated from Tamil Nadu to Kannada and Telegu speaking regions, and after certain period of time they resettled in Tamil nadu. Ironically, ignorant to this historical truth, arunthathiyars believe themselves to be kannada or telugu speaking community. Using this unfortunate situation, the caste hindus are differentiating the arunthathiyar community as non Tamils. ATP aims to destroy the caste hinduism and by active propaganda will reinforce the truth that arunthathiyars are Tamils and a difference based on languages does not remain within the community.
7. Brahmanism has divided Hinduism based on “varnas” into four castes and further into various sub castes and divisions within them. Based on these divisions arunthathiyars have sub divisions within the community, such as the “amma”, “avva”, "therkathiya (south)", "vadakathiya (north)" divisions and so many "kulams". ATP aims to eradicate the divisions by instilling unity within the community and reinforce the fact that everyone within them are one as “ARUNTATHIYARS” and are strengthened being as ONE TOGETHER without any divisions.
8. In principle ATP stands in solidarity with caste denial marriages. Furthernore ATP insists on seperate reservation for the offsprings born out of caste denial marriages.
9. For long education has been denied and restricted for arunthathiyars by caste hindus and their caste feeling. Illiteracy is one of the main reasons for the downfall of arunthathiyar community. Due to the protests and hard works of Thanthai Periyar, today education has been made available to the oppressed and downtrodden. In spite of that, even to this day economical difficulties have made education a non priority to the arunthathiyars. ATP aims to change this situation by insisting compulsory education for arunthathiyar children. ATP will take efforts to improve education among the community by advocating the importance of education via speeches and propaganda in villages and communities. Furthermore ATP insisits and supports one standard syllabus education for all (instead of Central, Marticulation, Anglo Indian and State board).
10. Another major reason for the down fall of the arunthathiyar community is economical and financial limitations. ATP aims to educate the vulnerability of economical situations in the midst of the community and will encourage the habit of small savings. ATP will facilitate in providing information on self employment, co operative society and other government aided schemes. ATP will provide counselling to the youth of the community on financial stability by organizing group discussions and forums.
11. Women’s education and empowerement is not given priority and is hampered in the midst of arunthathiyar community. ATP imbibes on the principles and foundations laid by Thanthai Periyar on complete freedom of womenhood and Dr. B.R. Ambedkar on women rights; who implemented eight hour work limit and maternity leave. His resolve for the upliftment and empowerment of women was shown in his commitment for the "Hindu women's right to property act 1937 legislature", where he resigned his cabinet berth in Pt. Jawarhalal Nehru's cabinet. ATP aims to impart awareness of this situation and will encourage women education. Also ATP will encourage employment of women, provide information on establishing cottage and handicraft industry. It will provide information and counselling on their rights and facilities available through government programmes.