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

Modi, Shah 'forget': Gandhi’s first Satyagraha was against citizenship law of South Africa

By Nachiketa Desai*
Hindu fanatic Nathuram Godse assassinated Mahatma Gandhi once on January 30, 1948 but his followers raising the war cry of ‘Jai Sriram’ are killing the Mahatma every day. In his home state of Gujarat, Gandhiji was killed a thousand times in 2002 when over 2,000 Muslims were butchered, their women raped, homes and shops plundered and set on fire and even unborn babies ripped out of the wombs of their mothers.

Union Budget 'moves away' from Right to Education, 1.3 lakh schools closed down

By Dr Aparajita Sharma*
It was a shocking reply by the Union human resource development minister to a question raised in Parliament on closure of schools in a country where lakhs of children are still out of school. On December 2, the minister, Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, told Lok Sabha that the NITI Aayog’s education project, Sath-E, has led to 35,996 schools of different levels being merged in Madhya Pradesh, 4,312 in Jharkhand and 1,803 in Odisha. NITI Aayog is the Central Government’s policy think-tank.

CAA-NPR-NRC will 'target' 99% homeless, who are without birth certificates: NCU

Counterview Desk
Claiming to base on a survey in five states (Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu), which finds that over 99% of the homeless people do not have birth certificates, a civil rights organization which networks activists, researchers, urban practioners, lawyers, informal sector workers, has claimed that the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), as also the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the National Population Register (NPR), are likely to adversely impact this section the most.

Modi 'warned': Will not remain silent when women are labelled terrorists and traitors

Counterview Desk
As many as 13 women's rights organizations and 162 individuals have issued an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi stating that in the light of hate speeches during Delhi elections, especially directed against women, it is his "Constitutional duty to protect all citizens" and tell his partymen "to fight the elections in a manner that upholds the Constitution, not one that increases the fear and insecurity among women."

Law 'governing' world's tallest Statue of Unity refers to local tribals as occupiers

By Rohit Prajapati, Krishnakant*
The recently enacted Statue of Unity (SoU) Area Development and Tourism Governance Act, 2019 in Gujarat comes amidst a terrifying atmosphere of intimidation, house arrests, detentions and FIRs, not to mention the overarching implementation of Section 144 across the state.

Ramchandra Guha on how Gandhi outgrew his Gujarati bania 'parochialism'

By Rajiv Shah
More than a fortnight ago, prominent historian Ramchandra Guha, who calls himself Gandhi scholar and not a Gandhian, came to Ahmedabad. While I was part of a small group of persons who met him at lunch, his lecture on Gandhi in the evening, where he sought to interpret what swaraj meant to Gandhi, surely, interested the selected audience that had been called to listen to him.

Trump in Ahmedabad: Did Modi display servile colonial mindset towards gora sahib?

By Rajiv Shah
Donald Trump left Ahmedabad for Agra to "enjoy" the Mughal monument Taj Mahel in the afternoon on Monday, leaving behind scores of huge billboards standing across the megacity showcasing larger than life images of the US president and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, some of them boldly captioned: “Two strong leaders of two strong democracies”.

Ironical? Hindutva is all 'fire and spite', as Muslim women become apostles of peace

By Sandeep Pandey*
On January 26, Republic Day, 2020, while protests simmered against Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC) throughout India, a dozen North American cities also witnessed historic protests. Indian Embassies have been witness to protests in the past. But this time it was different.

Union Budget: 24 crore people live in the dark, Sitharaman talks of prepaid smart meters

Counterview Desk
The Centre for Financial Accountability (CFA), a Delhi-based advocacy group, commenting on the Union budget 2020-21, has has called it a case of missing wood for the trees, pointing out, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman "missed an opportunity to fix the economy, which is reeling under an unprecedented slowdown, with all indices pointing towards a recession."