November 7th was observed as Student’s Day in Maharashtra to mark Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar’s entry into school. He enrolled at the Pratapsingh High School in the Maharashtra’s Satara district 117 years ago on November 7, 1900. He faced caste discrimination in school and during his whole career.
What has changed for Dalit students in last 117 years that day should be remembered as Student’s Day? Caste discrimination faced by Dalit students is every day’s story. Did you know that in India 49% of children out of school are SC/STs and 25% are Muslims? It is really shameful that even after the laws such as Right to Education, nothing has changed for Dalits.
School dropouts are mainly because of the inhumane attitude & discrimination of Dalit students by the upper caste teachers. Poor students are unwilling to attend the schools to avoid humiliation as they’re not left with any options Dalit students are forced to clean toilets & cooking utensils & aren’t allowed to sit in the front row
Why are Governments not implementing Right to Education properly? Instead of playing the blame game and blaming the previous government for not doing this that, authorities must take urgent steps to not only to enrol poor children in schools but also ensure that they continue to attend classes so that the country will have a brighter future.
When Dalit students are being murdered in universities every now and then and BJP government wants us to believe in Student’s Day. Rs 8,000 crore is Modi government’s unpaid bill towards scholarships for meritorious Scheduled Caste students and many other funds allocated for Dalit students have been diverted. 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 of their scholarships is one such method developed by Brahminical forces. Rohith Vemula’s scholarship was also delayed for months and months.
Here are a few ways in which Dalit students face caste discrimination in a day to day life and at school, college or universities.
- Dalit students in schools are purified by sprinkling cow urine on them!
- There are separate pre-nursery schools (anganwadis) for the Dalits and non-Dalit students.
- Many Dalit students are forced to commit suicide because of caste discrimination at schools.
- Scholarships for Dalits students aren’t issued on time or many times diverted.
- Dalits students are forced to clean school toilets
- Dalits students are forced to sit at the back benches of the classroom or sometimes even out of the classroom!
- Some schools have separate attendance registers for Dalits.
- In many schools, Dalit students are not allowed to drink water from the tap.
- So-called upper caste students don’t eat food cooked by the Dalit cook.
- In many schools, Dalit Students are made to sit separately for lunch!
- Because of caste discrimination, many schools forbid Dalit students from participating in school events.
- Dalit students are raped and murdered in schools by teachers!
- Schoolchildren in India ‘made to wear colour-coded wristbands to show caste’ and are given bags marked with their caste!
- Dalit kids are forced to play in separate playgrounds.
- Even though Dalit students pass the examinations, they are failed by upper caste teachers purposely and are awarded lesser marks in the interviews!
We don’t see any reason to celebrate. When caste discrimination, against which Dr Ambedkar fought his whole life, is same what he faced during his lifetime then is there any reason we should be even bothering to acknowledge Student’s Day? Governments should act on Dr. Ambedkar’s words rather than just trying to fool common masses.