Dalits ostracised for entering temple in Gujarat are now self-reliant

15 Dalit families at Rampar village in Surendranagar district of Gujarat were ostracised by the upper caste when they entered into a temple on 22 January. Initially these boycotted Dalit families had to bear the brunt. And it was difficult for them, to make ends meet, but none of them had ever thought that they would be able to cope with this in just three months. Slowly and steadily these people have become independent, they have created their own sources of income and with unity they have become self-reliant. After the boyocott call by the dominant caste the Dalits were not allowed to travel in their tempos, not allowed to buy flour from their mills, as well as groceries. As a result the Dalits have got their own mills and Kala Chavda grinds flour for the Dalits. Another Dalit Naryan Chavda now drives a tempo only for the Dalit families. Caste discrimination and untochability is prevalent in this village even today. According to social worker Romila Parmar the upper caste grocers used to give us anything while keeping them at a distance and thereafter they washed their hands and even money given to them. Ratan Chavda recalls that the upper caste people never treated them like human beings. After receiving complaints the National Human Rights Commission has taken up the issue with the state government. PK Gadvi, district collector has denied reports of social ostracisation of Dalit families by upper caste people.
MG News Desk

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 May 2011 on page no. 4

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