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

Green revolution "not sustainable", Bt cotton a failure in India: MS Swaminathan

Counterview Desk
In a recent paper in the journal “Current Science”, distinguished scientist PC Kesaven and his colleague MS Swaminathan, widely regarded as the father of the Green Revolution, have argued that Bt insecticidal cotton, widely regarded as the continuation of the Green Revolution, has been a failure in India and has not provided livelihood security for mainly resource-poor, small and marginal farmers.
Sharply taking on Green Revolution, the authors say, it has not been sustainable largely because of adverse environmental and social impacts, insisting on the need to move away from the simplistic output-yield paradigm that dominates much thinking. Seeking to address the concerns about local food security and sovereignty as well as on-farm and off-farm social and ecological issues associated with the Green Revolution, they argue in favour of what they call sustainable ‘Evergreen Revolution’, based on a ‘systems approach’ and ‘ecoagriculture’.
Pointing out that Evergreen Revol…

Rejoinder: Inescapable to have Central Water Commission as strong technical body in India

By BN Navalawala*
This is with reference to Counterview Blog (December 5, 2018), "Modi govt 'shelves' water reforms report, shows 'no interest' in its recommendations", below mentioned are my comments/observations thereon:
A committee was constituted under the Chairmanship of Dr. Mihir Shah, Former Member, Planning Commission, for restructuring of Central Water Commission (CWC) and Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) for optimal development of water resources in the country in the backdrop of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM).

Some Hindu bodies in US defending BJP-RSS' divisive, violent activities: Agnivesh

Counterview Desk Last week, Washington DC saw speakers at a religious freedom roundtable, chaired by the US Ambassador for Religious Freedom, Sam Brownback, express concern over "eroding" space for religious freedom in India. Dr Mike Ghouse, executive director, of the Center for Pluralism in Washington DC, referring to the roundtable, said in an email alert that Indian-Americans have "a moral duty to prevent India from being labeled as a Country of Particular Concern by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF)".

World Bank clarifies: Its 26th rank to India not for universal access to power but for ease of doing business

By Our Representative
In a major embarrassment to the Government of India, the World Bank has reportedly clarified that it has not ranked India 26th out of 130 countries for providing power to its population. The top international banker’s clarification comes following Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s claim that India has “improved to 26 position from 99” in access to electricity in just one year.

Preventing childhood deaths: India performs worse than Bangladesh, "equals" Pakistan

By Rajiv Shah
A just-released study, “The Pneumonia and Diarrhea Progress Report 2018”, prepared by the International Vaccine Access Centre (IVAC) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, has identified India among 15 other countries which are still far off the mark in achieving the targets of the Global Action Plan for the Prevention of Pneumonia and Diarrhea (GAPPD).

India's rewritten textbooks talk of demerits of democracy, praise Hitler, underrate Mughals

Counterview Desk
A detailed, 3,800-word review of the books rewritten under directions of the BJP rulers across India since Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power in May 2014 has suggested that one of aims of the books is to instill a sense of doubt about India’s democratic polity among the country’s young minds. Reviewed in the prestigious US journal, “The New York Review of Books”, in its latest issue (December 6, 2018) by Alex Traub, the scrutiny insists, the effort has also been to paint Indian history from the angle of “Hindu triumphalism”, even as creating “Islamophobia”.

Govt of India "tarnishing" NGO reputation, dossier leaked selectively: Amnesty

Counterview Desk
Amnesty International India has said that a deliberate attempt is being made to tarnish its reputation by leaking a dossier, supposedly made by investigating agencies, to media without giving it access to any such information. The high profile NGO’s claim follows a Times Now report about proceedings launched by investigative agencies, including Enforcement Directorate (ED) against the rights body for “violations” of rules pertaining to overseas donations.

Four children die after poor UP Dalit, Muslim families forced to flee to forest area: PVCHR

Counterview Desk
Peoples’ Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR) has said that the forest department police’s crackdown, allegedly without any prior notice, on Dalit and Muslim households in Dakhin Tola, Churk Bazaar, Sonbhadra district, Uttar Pradesh, beating up “children and old people, women, and men in an inhuman way”, has led to “forced displacement, starvation and discrimination”. This has reportedly affected about 350 people.

Social workers, architects, students, historians, common people come together, protest "politics" of renaming Ahmedabad

By Nandini Oza*
No sooner did the BJP leaders of Gujarat announce the intention of changing the name of Ahmedabad to Karnavati just before Diwali, on November 7, 2018, many people’s mood changed from festivity to heated debate and furor across the state. For many of us, an online petition, initiated by Bandish Soparkar, on change.org protesting name change came to immediate rescue.

Vedanta is out but corporate loot continues in Odisha: Local activists tell NAPM yatra

By Our Representative
Lok Shakti Abhiyan leader Prafulla Samantara, winner of the Goldman Environmental (also known as Green Nobel) Prize in 2017, has regretted that though Sundergarh in Odisha, like other forest areas, is a fifth schedule area, where Forest Rights Act (FRA) and Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act (PESA) is applicable, but these laws are being “outrightly violated to facilitate corporate loot.”