Skip to main content

Anti-caste campaign launched as Gujarat rural schools "display" caste, sub-caste of children on notice boards

By Our Representative
In a stark revelation, several rural schools in Gujarat have begun to display their notice boards with castes and sub-castes represented in the schools. Alleging this is how the rural schools in Gujarat are splurging public money, well-known Dalit rights activist, Martin Macwan has told Counterview, "I have seen this in several schools. It is a new trend. This should be reversed."
Macwan significantly said this on the sidelines of a function organized by a school run by the Dalit rights NGO Navsarjan Trust, the NGO founded by him, launched the "No caste, No plastics" campaign on Sunday. The schools is situated 80 kilomtres west of Ahmedabad, and the function was meant to seek people's support contribution in order to propagate the "no-caste" concept.
A unique school where caste discrimination is an anathema and children are taught why it should be shed, Macwan told the audience, "While the Gujarat government has sought people's support in its 'no plastics' campaign, we believe that it is incomplete without the slogan 'no caste, no plastics'."
Situated in Limbdi taluka of Surendranagar district on the highway connecting Ahmedabad and Rajkot, the children at the school uniquely wore Aam Aadmi Party-type "No caste, No plastics" Gandhi topi. The function was held to mark the birth anniversary of Dr BR Ambedkar, father of Indian constitution, which falls on April 14. Children of classes fifth to eighth study here.
Mainly consisting Dalit and OBC children, the venue of the school had several bills on display with tens of slogans painted by children on the "No caste" theme. The participants, who included well-known Gandhian activist Indukumar Jani, were called upon to tick the slogans which they liked the most. "The OBC parents, mostly Bharwads, were initially reluctant, but found this school to be more useful for their children, hence decided to admit them here". said Macwan.
"We believe that those who are interested in learning should pay for what they study, one reason why we decided to take Rs 750 per month from the children who come here to study. We are a residential school, one reason why the amount mostly goes into the payment of meals". Macwan said.
"Our expenses per child are Rs 1,300, plus we must improve infrastructure facilities in order to begin new classes. Hence the need to collect funds from different sections of society", Macwan said. "We are glad that we are getting good response." As the function drew to a close, participants rushed to donate funds to the school and its campaig.n
The campaign saw children speaking from the stage exhorting audience, which included social workers, parents and other relatives of the students, to shed caste, which they said was the main bane of the rural life in Gujarat. "Unless you remove untouchability and caste discrimination, social fabric will remove divided", said Vijay, a student who took the centre-stage.
A play staged on the occasion gave the message that today's politician's chair had four legs -- casteism, communalism, corruption and violence. Another play was staged in the memory of Savitriben Phule, well-known school teacher who brought education to rural women in Maharashtra. Later on, the participants at the function -- which was held to mark the birth anniversary of Dr BR Ambedkar -- tasted food prepared by the children for lunch.

Comments

TRENDING

132 Gujarat citizens, including IIM-A faculty, others declare solidarity with Kashmiris

Counterview Desk
A week after it was floated, 132 activists, academics, students, artists and other concerned citizens of Gujarat, backed by 118 living in different parts of India and the world, have signed a "solidarity letter" supporting the people of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), who, it claims, have been silenced and held captive in their own land. The signatories include faculty members and scholars of the prestigious Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad (IIM-A).

Amit Shah 'wrong': Lack of transparency characterized bank frauds, NPAs, jobs data

Counterview Desk
India's senior RTI activists Nikhil Dey, Anjali Bhardwaj, Venktesh Nayak, Rakesh Reddy Dubbudu, Dr. Shaikh Ghulam Rasool, Pankti Jog and Pradip Pradhan, who are attached with the National Campaign for Peoples' Right to Information (NCPRI), have said that Union home minister Amit Shah's claim that the Government of India is committed to transparency stands in sharp contrast to its actual actions.

Bharat Ratna nominee ‘joined hands’ with British masters to 'crush' Quit India

By Shamsul Islam*
The Quit India Movement (QIM), also known as ‘August Kranti' (August Revolution), was a nation-wide Civil Disobedience Movement for which a call was given on August 7, 1942 by the Bombay session of the All-India Congress Committee. It was to begin on August 9 as per Gandhi's call to 'Do or Die' in his Quit India speech delivered in Bombay at the Gowalia Tank Maidan on August 8. Since then August 9 is celebrated as August Kranti Divas.

Gujarat's incomplete canals: Narmada dam filled up, yet benefits 'won't reach' farmers

By Our Representative
Even as the Gujarat government is making all out efforts to fill up the Sardar Sarovar dam on Narmada river up to the full reservoir level (FRL), a senior farmer rights leader has said the huge reservoir, as of today, remains a “mirage for the farmers of Gujarat”.
In a statement, Sagar Rabari of the Khedut Ekta Manch (KEM), has said that though the dam’s reservoir is being filled up, the canal network remains complete. Quoting latest government figures, he says, meanwhile, the command area of the dam has been reduced from 18,45,000 hectares (ha) to 17,92,000 ha.
“According to the website of the Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd, which was last updated on Friday, while the main canal, of 458 km long, has been completed, 144 km of ranch canals out of the proposed length of 2731 km remain incomplete.
Then, as against the targeted 4,569 km distributaries, 4,347 km have been constructed, suggesting work for 222 km is still pending. And of the 15,670 km of minor canal…

Ceramic worker dies: 20,000 workers in Thangadh, Gujarat, 'risk' deadly silicosis

By Our Representative
Even as the country was busy preparing for the Janmashtami festival on Saturday, Hareshbhai, a 46-year-old ceramic worker from suffering from the fatal lung disease silicosis, passed away. He worked in a ceramic unit in Thangadh in Surendranagar district of Gujarat from 2000 to 2016.
Hareshbhai was diagnosed with the disease by the GCS Medical College, Naroda Road, Ahmedabad in 2014. He was found to be suffering from progressive massive fibrosis. He is left behind by his wife Rekha sister and two sons Deepak (18) and Umesh (12),
The death of Hareshbhai, says Jagdish Patel of the health rights group Peoples Training and Research Centre (PTRC), suggests that silicosis, an occupational disease, can be prevented but not cured, and the Factory Act has sufficient provisions to prevent this.
According to Patel, the pottery industry in the industrial town of Thangadh has evolved for a long time and locals as well as migrant workers are employed here. There are abou…