Dalit student thrashed by school teacher for touching mid-day meal utensils in Rajasthan
On October 1, a 10-year-old Dalit student of a government school in Osian tehsil in Jodhpur district was allegedly thrashed by his teacher for touching utensil when the mid-day meal was being served inside the school premises.
Dinesh Meghwa is a Class four student at the government secondary school in Osian tehsil, 50 km from Jodhpur. He sustained minor injuries due to the incident and was taken to the Ummed hospital in Jodhpur on October 2.
It was also revealed that separate plates were kept for Dalit students and those belonging to a higher caste, Jats. Malaram, father of the Dalit student, was also allegedly beaten up when he came to pick up his son from school.
A complaint has been filed against the teacher but police is yet to take any action against him. On October 3, Nisha Siddu, a child activist from Jaipur expressed concern over the incident of discrimination that happened in a state-run institution, regarding the government-funded mid-day meal scheme, which provides free lunch to school children.
Although, India banned caste-based discrimination in 1955, its 170 million Dalits continue to face prejudice in every sector from education to employment, because of their traditional occupations such as street sweeping and grave digging.