For a second day in row a huge team of district administration visited village Dagawashankar and held discussions with the villagers on the issue of discrimination with dalit school children.
After the visit, the sub-divisional magistrate of Harda Manjusha Rai, who led the team, told HT that the allegations were wrong and no discriminatory practice was adopted at the school. However Sunita Rodge of NGO Ambedkar Vichar Manch, who was present at the village during the interaction, alleged that the administration was trying to hush up the matter and not recording the actual facts.
"If the children and their parents are openly making the allegations before media (HT has audio and video records of the allegations) and us (NGOs) how can the administration say there is no discrimination?," Rodge asked adding that the self-help group that prepares mid-day meal for the school had no dalit member.
Rodge has also alleged that the discriminatory practice was not limited to Dagawashankar, but similar cases have been reported from villages like Balagaon, Nausar, Kartana and others in the past.
NGOs send representations: Meanwhile, other NGOs like Ambedkar Vichar Manch and Nagarik Manavadhikar Parishad have faxed representations to the office of principal secretary of SC welfare department M Mohan Rao demanding unbiased inquiry into the matter. President of Ambedkar Vichar Manch Lakhanlal Osle and office bearers of the Parishad Arpit Tiwari and Anand Rai have strongly condemned the discrimination and termed them as violation of human rights.
Another NGO Ambedkar Chhatra Sangathan would be holding a two-hour silent protest before the statue of Mahatma Gandhi on Tuesday (Gandhi Jayanti) to protest the discrimination.