Finding no way out, the Dalits in Dahi block of Dhar district are now busy in getting their photographs clicked in front of dead animals as per ‘order’ by the local tehsildar. The photographs will act as a ‘proof ’ and help their wards avail scholarships of ` 1,850 per year under Ashurakshit Dhandho Mein Lage Parivaar Ke logo Ke Vidhyarthiyon Kee Purva Matric Scholarship scheme of the state government.
A member of the community with the photograph near tehsil office at Dahi block of Dhar district. (HT Photo)
However, such a clause had never been put while filling forms. “I have made this ‘clause’ for my personal satisfaction. How would I believe that a person is from that particular community? I have not stopped anyone from signing but demanded the photographs as proof. There is no such clause of the government but I have to do this to ensure there is no fraud,” said tehsildar Dahi DK Dubey.
Meanwhile, dissent is brewing among the community people. Some are compelled to click photographs for the sake of the future of their children, while others have decided not to draw the scholarship, citing that the clause is an ‘insult’ to their community.
Bharat, the representative of the community, said this was for the first time the clause was added. “Our children get ` 1,850 as scholarship from the government every year and this amount is enough for us. However, most of us are not going to certify the form because the tehsildar is asking for a photograph while doing the act,” he said.
Shaane, a resident of Piplod village of the block, has gone to certify the documents for about five times.
“The tehsildar is asking for a photograph as proof. We have a certificate of the village panchayat, but he refused to sign without the photograph,” Shaane added. Another member of the community, Raval Singh, said the tehsildar’s order has insulted our community.
There are more than 250 children from this community in about 150 families in the block and all will suffer if this clause continues to be in place.
The tehsildar’s ‘demand’ has agitated the dalits as they virtually have to plead photographers to get their pictures with dead animals.
At least a dozen enraged members of the community have faxed a letter to district collector complaining about the clause on Thursday.