Dalits Media Watch – English News Updates 08.11.15

Family performs last rites of Dalit woman killed in mob attack – The Hindu


Sweep the floor or we’ll give you a TC: Threat to Dalit students in Jaipur school – The Indian Express




A hut without a toilet serves as a house for Uttar Pradesh’s new Dalit minister – The Indian Express


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The Hindu

 Family performs last rites of Dalit woman killed in mob attack



Last rites of the 54-year-old Dalit woman, killed in an attack by a group, were performed on Saturday in Kalauda village after much persuasion from the authorities even as tension prevailed in the area after the incident.

The police registered cases against 13 persons, including one woman. One-hundred-and-fifty unnamed persons, including 25 women, have been booked based on the statement of the victim’s nephew, the police said.

The police have managed to arrest four of the accused, Superintendent of Police Abhishek Jorwal said.

Irate family members of the victim Kulwanti refused to perform her last rites, but agreed after DC Vinay Kumar and SP Abhishek Jorwal persuaded them to do so.

The DC said that Rs.3 lakh were given to the family immediately and the compensation could be raised after talking to the Chief Minister.

Kulwanti, wife of one Sitaram from the Kaluda village, was killed yesterday in a clash between Dalit and Jat communities (from the neighbouring Danauda village) over dispute over ownership of 8.5 acre of land.

Kalauda Sarpanch Harfool Bhatti along with former village sarpanch Basau and the victim’s family members held a meeting with the two officers today.

Bhatti said that the administration has announced immediate compensation of Rs.3 lakh to the family. They have also agreed to conduct a probe by DSP Dinesh Kumar, suspend the police personnel posted at Danauda police station, and take action against those found guilty.

The victim’s family demanded Rs.20 lakh and a job for one of the family members, and Rs. 2 lakh compensation for the people who were injured in the incident yesterday.

The Dalit families also demanded arms license for them, dropping of “false” charges against them and prosecution of the guilty.

Kalawanti was killed and 12 other Dalit people received injuries when Jat community members from Danauda village attacked them over the land dispute in Kalauda village, a police officer had said yesterday.

The land’s ownership is contested between the Dalits of the Kalauda and Jats of Danauda village.

The Indian Express

 Sweep the floor or we’ll give you a TC: Threat to Dalit students in Jaipur school


“The Gujjars are rarely asked to sweep the floor and pick up the garbage. It is always the Dalit kids on duty,” says Manohar Devi, herself a Dalit, who helps run an anganwadi kendra on the school premises.

“Sweep the floor or we’ll give you a TC (transfer certificate).” Ram Avtar says this is a threat he often hears at school. In Class VI, the 12-year-old already knows what that means.

“We use buara (broom) twice daily, once in the morning, and then before the meals,” adds Vishal Bairwa, Class III. That’s not all, classmate Om Prakash reminds him. “Whenever the school gets too dirty, we must collect the litter, make a pile and set it on fire.”

They are all Dalits, all students of Rajkiya Ucch Madhyamik Vidyalaya in Benada village, on the outskirts of Jaipur. The Gujjars outnumber the Dalits here.

Last year, the Rajasthan High Court had directed the Bharat Gyan Vigyan Samiti (BGVS), an NGO that works in the field of education, to review the status of toilets in a hundred schools in and around Jaipur, following a PIL. One of the observations of the BGVS was, “A serious concern that we would like to highlight is that the girls and children from Scheduled Caste communities are made to clean toilets by the teachers and administration. Very obviously these children face discrimination because they belong to SC communities, reinforcing the evil of untouchability and caste roles of traditional societies.”

“Children should be taught to keep their surroundings clean but there should be no discrimination on the basis of their caste or gender,” says BGVS Rajasthan President Komal Srivastava.

Ram, Vishal and Om Prakash don’t have to clean the toilets. But almost everything else reinforces those caste roles. Parents of Dalit children say their children are rarely asked to fetch water for the teacher, are given smaller portions at mid-day meal than their Gujjar classmates, and bear the bulk of the duty of cleaning the school.

“The Gujjars are rarely asked to sweep the floor and pick up the garbage. It is always the Dalit kids on duty,” says Manohar Devi, herself a Dalit, who helps run an anganwadi kendra on the school premises.

Lali Devi, whose nephew Vikas studies in Class V, says “Dalit children are preferred for all the dirty work.”

Ram Avtar adds that in his class, “Gujjars don’t allow us to sit in the front.”

School principal Rewad Ram Sharma denies children are made to clean schools, saying they pay a “Dalit woman” Rs 500 a month to clean both the toilets and the premises. “She shows up every 3-4 days,” he says.

However, the children say she comes just once a month and “only cleans the toilets”. The school, from classes 1 to 12, has 465 students and 17 teachers.

Even the Gujjars acknowledge the “difference” between them and their Dalit counterparts when it comes to cleaning duty. “We are asked to sweep only if we are late, as punishment,” says Mukesh Gujjar of Class VI. Rajendra Gujjar, Class X, adds the only time they pick up the garbage is during the annual cleanliness week.

Almost everyone in Benada knows the case of Krishan Kumar Bairwa, a Class IX student who dropped out. The story goes that Kumar touched the water bottle of a teacher, was beaten up, and left the school soon after.

According to Rameshwar Gujjar, 60, a village elder whose son has studied at the same school, “Of course teachers have to beat up students if they misbehave.”

Rajendra Gujjar claims Krishan’s beating was linked to theft. “Mobiles, bats, tennis balls have been stolen from the teachers’ room.”

Manish Kumar, who knew Krishan, however, says beating of Dalit children is routine. “The Gujjars threaten us all the time.”

Sarpanch Neetu Meena claims the parents haven’t reported any discrimination to her. “There might be discrimination in closed rooms but how would I know unless it is brought to my notice?” she says.

An analysis of the Unified District Information System for Education Data for 2014-15 reveals that the annual average dropout rate at primary level in Rajasthan is 9.57 per cent among SCs, which is higher than the 7.58 per cent for OBCs and 7.74 per cent for general category students.

At the upper primary level, the SCs (7.51 per cent) fare worse than even STs (7), apart from OBCs (5.47) and general category students (5.25). Only Muslims are worse off, with a 20.59 per cent dropout rate.

In all social groups, the dropout rate is higher among girls. The Dalit girl students of the Benada school claim they are singled out to fetch water. “They send us even during classrooms,” says Anokh Bairwa of Class VIII. “Also, they don’t give us marks easily.”

Ram Avtar’s mother Lali has another concern. Worried her son doesn’t get enough to eat in school, she ensures he has a “proper” meal at home. “Daab daab ke khilate hain unko (They are given a hearty meal), while we are just given a single chappati,” says Ram Avtar.

“Our kids stay in school for several hours. They should not discriminate over food,” adds Parvati, whose son Sohan Lal studies in Class VIII.

However, even the Dalit children and parents acknowledge things have improved in the past year. Seven more teachers and several students have joined as part of last year’s “merger scheme”, under which as many as 17,000 schools were closed by the Rajasthan government after being absorbed into other schools.

That addition of numbers has altered the caste dynamics to an extent. “Earlier they would often call us ‘chamar’, but it has decreased in the last one year,” says Radha Bairwa, who studies in Class VIII.

Anita Bairwa, in Class X, says they can even serve food to other children now. “We couldn’t earlier.”

However, for Krishan’s parents, who have five other children, none of whom has finished schooling, that’s little consolation. With no one else she can blame, mother Teja Devi lashes out at him. “The teacher was on a fast, Krishan knew the teacher was a Brahmin. It was his fault as much as the teacher’s. Why did he need to touch his bottle knowing his teacher is from an upper caste?” she says.

Father Shiv Ram says when he asked Krishan why he wouldn’t go back to school after the beating, the 18-year-old just shook his head and said, “We are poor.”

“Now he is earning Rs 4,000 per month at a four-wheeler service centre.”

The Ahmadabad Mirrar



PTI | Nov 7, 2015, 06.47 PM IST

Lucknow: Members of All India Confederation SC/ST Organisations will gather here tomorrow (Sunday) to discuss and devise plan to get reservation in promotions implemented in Uttar Pradesh.

Leaders from different parts of the state will take part in the seminar tomorrow to devise plan to get reservation in promotions implemented in Uttar Pradesh, National Chairman of the Confederation, Udit Raj told reporters here today.

“Later on December 7, about 10 lakh people will take part in a rally in Delhi to press for the demand,” the BJP MP from North-west Delhi constituency said, adding that he will seek the remedy of the problem through the parliament.

Stressing that reservation in promotions was in force in other states, he said its denial in Uttar Pradesh because of some anomalies has led to widespread frustration among people.

Saying that there was a need to exert pressure on all the political parties and give shape to a big movement in support of the demand, Udit Raj said a massive rally would be held in the state in February-March in support of their demand.

Asked about the RSS chief’s remark on review of reservation, he said the matter has come to an end after a clarification.

He also criticised Hardik Patel, spearheading agitation for reservation to Patels under the banner Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) saying, the stir was an attempt to divide the nation in the name of reservation.

Allahabad High Court in 2011 had dubbed the reservation in promotion as “unconstitutional” and struck it down following at least 50 petitions by employees associations from across the state.

The high court order in 2012 was upheld by the Supreme Court following which many officials and employees in several departments promoted through this route were demoted.

The Indian Express

 A hut without a toilet serves as a house for Uttar Pradesh’s new Dalit minister


The Dalit MLA from the reserved constituency of Balha and his family of nine have lived in five huts for the past four decades.

A board in the red and green colours of the Samajwadi Party with his name and contact number now stands among mango and bel trees in Chahalwa village of Uttar Pradesh’s Bahraich district, just in front of a series of huts with thatched roofs.

Dalit minister UP

That’s the only indication that here resides Banshidhar Baudh, the 59-year-old newly inducted Minister of State, Social Welfare and SC/ST Welfare, in the Akhilesh Yadav government.

The Dalit MLA from the reserved constituency of Balha and his family of nine have lived in these five huts for the past four decades.

They have never had a toilet. Baudh once worked as a labourer and is one of the few UP MLAs who does not pay income tax.

The whole Tedhiya hamlet, barely 10 km from the Nepal border, is made of wooden huts. The village is a van gram (forest village) and no brick structure can be made there. It was allotted to Baudh by the government like to most other landless Dalit families in the village.

“None of the houses has toilets. We too go to the fields to relieve ourselves,” says Baudh’s son Awan Kumar, adding that Chahalwa got electricity only after his father became an MLA.

Sweeping one of the huts the family uses to sleep in, lifting the edges of a mosquito net, Baudh’s wife Lajjawati smiles at the suggestion that they may soon move to Lucknow. “What would I do in Lucknow? That house is for a few days and not for a lifetime,” she says.

Baudh’s hut, with its old tin door, stands out for the photographs of SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, Akhilesh and Gautam Buddha stuck outside.

The security personnel who accompanied him from Lucknow on his first trip back to the village after appointment as minister have no place to sleep. So they have been sent to a government guest house in Girijapuri, about 4 km away.

The inclusion of Baudh among the 12 new members inducted by Akhilesh last week had come as a surprise. However, headed into the 2017 elections, his importance as a Dalit leader with a BSP background is clear. While Baudh joined the SP only over a year back, he has had a 20-year association with the BSP.

Once a labourer, Baudh worked at the Postal Department for a few months in the early 1980s as a temporary employee. “After I gave up that job, I started a bicycle repair shop in Girijapuri, which also did not earn much. So I started work at a government firm as a watchman in 1986,” he says.

Baudh says it is because he is so poor that he continues to live in huts with his wife, five sons and two daughters-in-law. But the villagers say no one can build a brick house on forest land.

While he says he is educated up to Class X, his election affidavit said he is “literate (home-schooled)”. Baudh declared immovable property worth Rs 22 lakh in the affidavit, including agricultural land allotted to him by the government near Ghaghra river, and movable assets of Rs 1.22 lakh, apart from liabilities of Rs 1.28 lakh.

The realisation that he is now a minister is taking time to sink in. As Baudh fields congratulatory calls, he still introduces himself as “Balha MLA”.

When the call came from Akhilesh for the ministry offer, Baudh rushed to Lucknow borrowing an SUV of a friend.

With the change in Baudh’s profile, Balha expects things to improve. Most of the hamlets here still don’t have power.

“Besides, there is no college, and the nearest hospital is in Mihipurwa, 40 km away. There are no roads,” says Rajendra, the husband of the village pradhan.

While Baudh insists he has been working hard, there are signs of growing resentment. His daughter-in-law lost in the zila panchayat polls.

News monitored by AMRESH & AJEET


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