At a primary school in Rampur, Uttar Pradesh a few students were found to be bringing their own plates for the mid-day meal. They were also found to be sitting separately from the students belonging to the Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe and Dalit communities.
A few other Muslim students were also seen eating food in leaves rather than proper plates.
Students Bring Own Plates
This matter came to light when a video shot by media persons was shared widely on social media.
When asked about these incidences, the principal P Gupta of the said school said that while the school insists on students having food together without such segregation, but it seems to have less or no effect on them.
Mr Gupta said, “We make them sit in a line but they — perhaps they get taught that at home — display slight discrimination.”
In the video recorded, Mr Gupta tells the reporter, pointing towards a stack of plates in a distance and saying that the few students (identified as Muslims) seen eating off leaf plates do so despite availability of plates, implying that the concept of lower self-esteem is ingrained into the minds of these students.
Responding to allegations of caste discrimination and segregation, District Magistrate of Ballia said that the reports were incorrect. He, however, said that a detailed probe will be conducted into the matter.
BSP supremo Mayawati took to Twitter to criticise the practice and asked for strict action against enablers of this ‘condemnable’ behaviour.
यूपी के बलिया जिले के सरकारी स्कूल में दलित छात्रों को अलग बैठाकर भोजन कराने की खबर अति-दुःखद व अति-निन्दनीय। बीएसपी की माँग है कि ऐसे घिनौने जातिवादी भेदभाव के दोषियों के खिलाफ राज्य सरकार तुरन्त सख्त कानूनी कार्रवाई करे ताकि दूसरों को इससे सबक मिले व इसकी पुनरावृति न हो।
— Mayawati (@Mayawati) August 29, 2019
Other Cases Of Caste Discrimination
This is not the lone case of reported caste discrimination. In just last few weeks, many such disturbing stories have come to fore.
In many government schools in Tamil Nadu students have been wearing different colour threads on their wrists to indicate the caste they belong to.
BJP leader H Raja called the ban on this practice to be ‘anti-Hindu’. He also asked the government whether they would dare to do the same with any other religion.
However, the more worrying factor of the whole incident was that children themselves and their parents insisted on wearing these threads. There have been reports on children from ‘lower castes’ being identified on the basis of these threads and getting assaulted.