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In Banda Balmikis abused, humiliated if they get touched with other community persons

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat* 
I met Amarjit, president of Bhim Army, District Banda in Uttar Pradesh. Actually, we were travelling to the confluence of River Ken with River Yamuna, which is about 50 kilometers from Fatehpur town. The place is called Chilla Ghat and the Fatehpur Banda road is bumpy and extremely dangerous as big trucks carrying sand and moraine from both Ken and Yamuna play havoc with the road as well the environment.
My friend Dheeraj Kumar was looking for a local connection at Chillaghat and we went to the nearby village. The Balmiki households are at the end of the village. We met the family and they shared with us their plight. The house was old and incomplete because they did not have enough money to complete it. It was difficult for so many people to live. With no work and agricultural land the things at home were difficult. The Balmikis don't get any other work. The village has sizeable population of Muslims, Dhobis and Kewats but unfortunately all of these communities aggressively follow the caste culture and discriminate against the Balmikis. 
They are abused and humiliated. If any one get touched with other community persons. The dhaba give tea on disposal glasses and keep it on the floor to be self picked up. The barber does not allow their hair. They go to Lalauli about 20 kilometers away where the barber does mother know their caste. The naais are one of the most oppressed communities yet when they get the opportunity they too behave in brahmanical hierarchy.
There is no opportunity for the sanitation worker community. They are the most oppressed among the oppressed. A caste census and a caste wise information of various castes in the government services need to be put out. In Uttar Pradesh the presence of Balmikis, Doms, Mushahar, Bansfors remain negligent in government services particularly in the non sanitation jobs. Their political representation is miniscule. It is time government and social scientists focus on this politics and culture of exclusion which has kept these communities out of our power structure. A 5% quota is needed for these communities at all level.
Listen to Amarjit in the video above and you will understand the plight of the community he belongs to.
---
*Human rights defender

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