The Brahminical system tries its best to stop Dalit-Bahujans from progressing and adopts different tactics to deprive opportunities of education to Dalit-Bahujan communities. Depriving Dalit-Bahujan students from their scholarships is one such method developed by Brahminical forces.
Rohith Vemula’s scholarship was also delayed for months and months.
The suicide note of Dalit PhD scholar Rohith Vemula highlights how the delays in government-sponsored scholarships drive the students from Schedule Caste and Schedule Tribe (SC/ST) communities into desperation and create misery in their lives.
“I have to get seven months of my fellowship, one lakh and seventy-five thousand rupees. Please see to it that my family is paid that …” Rohith Vemula, January 17, 2016
Delaying scholarships to SC/ST/OBC students is another form of discrimination and should be treated under criminal acts and all those involved should be punished.
A Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report tabled in the Uttarakhand state assembly on 2nd May 2017 has brought into light many irregularities in the award of post-matric scholarships to Scheduled Caste and Other Backward Class students in the Uttarakhand.
“It was observed that 53,385 students remained deprived of the due scholarship,” the report says.
17,376 students from Haridwar, 15,837 from Dehradun and 20,172 from Udham Singh Nagar district were deprived of their rightful scholarships for the period 2013-14 to 2015-16.
CAG also found “major weaknesses in the implementation of the Right to Education (RTE) Act in Uttarakhand especially in the identification of beneficiary children as well as the delay in the release of funds and reimbursement to schools that impaired their ability to continue the education of children admitted under the Act.”
Rs 8,000 crore is Modi government’s unpaid bill towards scholarships for meritorious Scheduled Caste students. Students suffer as the government doesn’t issue funds on time. Not only that many a times government diverts the money allocated for the Dalit students to use that money on organising puja in the schools! Dalit students face discrimination at each and every step during their studies.
Funds for Dalits were diverted when Commonwealth Games were held in India, Rs. 744 crores from Dalits’ fund were diverted to organise games by Congress government! The case is same with Modi-led BJP government; there is record rise in the unspent funds for the Dalits and tribals.
Karnataka Dalit Sangharsha Samiti State convener Venkatagiriyaiah had recently alleged that the Karnataka State government had diverted benefits meant for the Dalit community to other castes.
In Karnataka alone, out of the Rs.16,000 crore meant for the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, as much as Rs. 6,000 crore had been diverted to upper castes.
When it comes to cutting the funds, Dalits’ fund is cut at first. National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights (NCDHR) has claimed that even special funds earmarked for SC/STs, including those in the education sector, seldom directly reach beneficiaries.
Be it Congress, BJP or AAP, all have robbed Dalits and denied their share. AAP government has cut down the number of beneficiaries in every single scheme meant to benefit SC/ST/OBC students. Here are the facts, drawn from the Government’s own documents:
- The number of school scholarships awarded to SC/ST/OBC students came down from 7,50,021 in 2014-15 to 6,79,976 in 2015-16, a massive reduction of 70,045.
- A similar scheme meant for higher education, “Merit Scholarship for College and University students” for SC/ST/OBC went down from 13,898 to 8,361 during these two years, a shocking drop of 40%.
- The beneficiaries of the scheme for reimbursement of tuition fee in public schools to SC/ST/OBC students came down from 26,777 in 2014-15 to 23,650 in 2015-16, a drop of more than three thousand.
- Worst of all, the scholarships for vocational and technical education meant for SC/ST/OBC students were 2,062 in 2014-15. The number was NIL for 2015-16.
We demand that fund allocated for Dalits should be used on time and all those involved in irregularities should be punished.