Untouchability still prevalent in Hoogyam village

Maramma temple in Hoogyam village, Hanur taluk, Chamarajanagar district. (DH Photo)

Untouchability or discrimination of a particular group of people, under the name of caste, creed and religion still exists in parts of the country. Hoogyam village in Hanur taluk, under Chamarajanagar district, is a sad reminder where the system is still being practised.

The people belonging to SC community castes are not allowed to enter the Maramma temple and Kashi Vishwanath temple in the village. They are not allowed into hotels and barber shops, allege locals here.

Hoogyam is 60 km from Hanur and is adjoining Tamil Nadu border. More under the influence of Tamil language, Nelluru, Anchepalya, Paddanapalya, Kudluru, Yarambadi villages come under the Grama Panchayat.

There are around 24,000 people under the GP, which includes considerable number of people belonging to SC communities.

Warning of no use

The district administration and the Social Welfare department are aware of the untouchability system here and has conducted several meetings. They have educated the people, warning that it is an offence as per law. But, the system continues.

The authorities had conducted four meetings in April. The village leaders, who readily agree to stop it, in front of the officers, follow it for a week. Then they forget, said an affected resident. Recently, salon owners denied hair cut for school students belonging to SC community. Only after the village leaders intervened, they agreed. The people had to go to Hanur and other villages for a hair cut, the victim complained.

Fear

One of the victims said, “The people belonging to the SC communities fear to raise their voice as we are totally dependent on them for eking out a living. Most of us work as labourers in their farms and houses. We borrow money when in need. Hence, we fear to question them about the system.”

“Apart from 30 day work for the youths under NREGA, there are no benefits from the government. There are plans to hold a meeting in Hoogyam to create awareness among the people,” he added.

When contacted, Deputy Commissioner B B Kaveri said that the issue has already been brought to her notice. Meetings were held to educate the people. The issue would be verified and necessary measures will be taken, she said.

SP H D Anand Kumar said that if the system continues despite necessary measures taken by the officials, steps would be taken to eradicate it.

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