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Bias runs deep and far

delhi Updated: May 06, 2009 01:54 IST
Chetan Chauhan

Despite Dalits being a strong political force in the country, discrimination against them starts at the first pedestal of acquiring knowledge — enrolment in a school, and continues thereafter.

As highlighted on Tuesday by an HT report, Apartheid funded by the Indian taxpayer, the institute, whose managing trustee is University Grants Commission chairperson Sukhdeo Thorat, had found discrimination against Dalits in the mid-day meal scheme and school admissions in five states. The institute’s survey covered Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. Uttar Pradesh is ruled by the BSP, which proclaims itself as a party of Dalits.

The surveyors found that in a village in Thiruvannamalai district of Tamil Nadu, a Dalit girl was chased out of school when she demanded her mid-day meal.

In most states, Dalit children were given their mid-day meals — but many of them were forced to sit in a separate line and were served food after the others had eaten. Many Dalit girls were assigned to clean the utensils, the survey found.

Most of the schools surveyed were located in villages dominated by the upper castes, resulting in local influence over school authorities. In such areas, Dalit children were the last to get admission in schools.