Humiliated dalit family uses separate well
Last Updated : 2010-01-09 1:12 PM
The Himalayan Times - Saved Articles(s)
SIRAHA: Patasiya Marik of Takadiya in Siraha's Lalpur-2 is not allowed
to collect water from a public well.
"Everyone abhors us if we go near the well, labelling us as low-caste
people. We are not allowed even to touch the source of water,"
Patasiya is a figure that represents 700 families in Siraha and
Saptari districts, which face similar social discrimination. The Dom
families have complained of numerous assaults and fines from the
so-called upper-caste people in the village in the former's bid to
consume water from public wells.
"Leaders of Madhes-based political parties and even the armed groups
are silent on the discrimination against Doms," said Ram Chandra
Marik, a leader of the Doms, who stood for the Constituent Assembly
membership. "They are merely paying lip service for the liberation of
The only Dom family in Takadiya, however, uses water from a separate
well built for them. "We feel humiliated to have been barred from
using the public well, though," said Patasiya. The well in front of
her house was built by Bhawani Community Development Centre, Siraha at
a cost of Rs 40,000.
To make for labour contribution, she paid Rs 9,000 by taking a loan.
She is horrified since the payable amount has exceeded Rs 15,000,
including the interest. Binod Bisunke, a local dalit rights activist,
said, "It is good that Patasiya got the supply with the help of NGOs.
But they have not been able to change people's mindset." He added that
the discrimination should end and the dalits be allowed to use public
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