UNICEF white-wash, will that defy caste barriers?

25May07

Zero contemplated actions from any quarters of society invites ease somehow, but with big unforeseen trouble. One of the international funding agency is doing exactly the same mistake. UNiCEF is reported to have indulged into funding a project which is  ill-conceived and which is no way near to the larger goal of releasing Dalits out of the shackles of caste based prejudices. The project, however, would do opposite. 

Please read the following article; the project funded by UNICEF is just an adjustment to social evil observed in India in the name of caste system. Where is the sensibility of civil societies gone in modern age? Dont they find enough time to research on long term solutions for annihilating deadly caste virus which is not of a day or two but of 2500 years old. Instead they seem to provide temporary white-wash to the sufferings of millions and taking false pride for self. Why don’t they dare to fight directly against the caste based prejudices by sensitising governance to act on already enshrined Indian Constitutional provisions in favour of Dalits. It seems they contracted from government beurocracy the habit of playing here and there on sentiments of poor lot. This is no-effort game for them.

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Southasia.Oneworld.Net reports…………..”The steep, narrow path leads you to an enclosure covered by a thatched roof. The floor has been plastered with clay and the walls are built on columns of tree trunks. At 4 p.m., 40 children ranging from four to seven years of age are seated on the floor. They are engrossed in a picture story that Sonia, their energetic young volunteer teacher, is reading out to them.The school was born out of sheer necessity because the primary school in the adjoining village denied access to these children, who are from a socially excluded group. Not willing to take this lying down, their parents chose to educate the children by setting up their own school, which is run by teenagers.

Today the school in this Sahariya hamlet, which has 30 households and a population of around 350, stands as a shining example of what firm resolve and community participation can achieve in the face of adversity.The Sahariya tribal people earn their livelihood by breaking stones or working in agriculture. When they decided to settle in Jamalpur, they enrolled their children at the lone primary school, about 1.5 km from their hamlet.

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Pic01 : Children in  ‘school’

Each day the children had to pass the village inhabited by the so-called ‘higher caste’ on their way to school. The villagers found the sight of these children inauspicious and tried to shoo them away, using their own children to harass and frighten them as well.

One child, Chandrapal, describes his tormentors: “Sometimes the children would take away our slates, sometime our chalk. They also passed remarks and ridiculed us.”Frightened, the students slowly started dropping out. That is when the Sahariya elders decided to do something. With the help of the UNICEF-supported Saarthi Foundation here in Lalitpur District, they set up their own informal school in the Panchayat Community Centre. Adolescents from the hamlet, who are students themselves, volunteered to teach.

Saved from illiteracy

“We decided to hold classes in the evening as this would give us time to finish our own studies and household chores,” says Sevkunwar, one of the volunteers. “Also, some of the kids who accompany their parents to work would be back and hence not miss this opportunity.”If any teacher is held up with work, bright pupils like Bharati and Laxmi, both 5, often double up as temporary teachers.

These innocent Sahariya children have not only been saved from falling into the clutches of illiteracy, but at a tender age have also learnt how to jump the hurdles of discrimination.”

What you say readers?

Please write-back…



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