Revealing identity of Dalit students in schools irks parents

Revealing identity of Dalit students in schools irks parents

A parent of a student belonging to scheduled caste community, complained about a practise generally followed in schools, wherein teachers ask students belonging to scheduled caste and scheduled tribe communities to raise their hands for availing scholarships offered by the government.

Referring to this practise, at the monthly SC and ST grievance meeting at the police commissioner’s office on Sunday, Dalit member Mohan Kumar said that his son who studies in a reputed aided private high school in the City, has had experience of teachers asking students belonging to SC/ST communities to identify themselves in the class by raising hands, to apply for scholarships. Though generally children are unaware of their classmates castes, the identity of Dalit students is revealed because of this practise, he said.

Further, Kumar complained that a few students also ridicule at Dalits students after their caste identity is revealed, which only adds to the humiliation. “My son even questioned me why was he given caste certificate. Upset over the incident, both my children are not claiming scholarship benefit since two years. An arrangement can be made by schools to notify information on the school notice board and avoid the humiliation,” he said.

Other Dalit community members present at the meet, too echoed his opinion. Taking note of the issue, Police Commissioner Manish Karbhikar said it was a common sense that teachers should not ask students to identify themselves based on caste in public.

He assured that the police department would co-ordinate with Dalits to write letters to the district administration, department of public instructions and departments concerned about the matter.

Conflicts within

Conflicts within the family and community, sidelined other issues in the meeting.

Pertaining to the case where a fight occurred between Dalit activist Ashok Konchady and his brother Hemanth on October 23, both the parties demanded the police to take action against the opposite group. Dalit activist Lingappa Nanthoor alleged the police of arresting the accused belonging to one group, while another group is let free. Kavoor police SI clarified that Krishnappa Konchadi was not arrested as he was stabbed in a separate incident on October 25.

Meanwhile, Dalit member Chinnappa Bangera regretted at Dalit members using the stage to discuss personal disputes rather than bringing to fore socially relevant issues that are bothering the community for long time.

When Dalit members blamed the police of doing favourism and passing unnecessary remarks, the Police Commissioner strongly advised the police to talk less and work more.
 “Police officers should stop speaking too much as it will only add to the problems. Do your work on paper and stop giving suggestions to parties. People who approach you have brains and the capacity to decide on matters, so do not give them advice,” Manish Karbhikar  said.

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