Monday, June 27, 2011

[ZESTCaste] Dalits shift children from school at Villoor

MADURAI, June 24, 2011
Dalits shift children from school at Villoor
Staff Reporter

The Dalits of Villoor village, fearing psychological intimidation,
bullying and problems in future, have withdrawn their children from
Villoor Government Higher Secondary School near Tirumangalam here
during the last two days and admitted them to the nearby Kalligudi
Government School.

V. Ramakrishnan (38), a farmhand belonging to the Dalit Pallar
(Devendra Kula Vellalar) caste in Villoor, East Street, told The Hindu
here on Thursday that close to ten Dalit families in the village have
got their Transfer Certificates from the school following pressure
from their children that they have been abused and bullied by their
fellow dominant-caste students.

"During the break, while playing and after school hours when the
teachers are not around they ask us to call them as Ayya and not use
words like dey or aelay," this was the major complaint that our
children made in the recent past, he said.

"These complaints became a regular feature so we decided to shift my
son Karthiselvan to Government Higher Secondary School at Kalligudi
where he has joined eighth standard."

K. Veerammal (32), said that her son Karuppasamy was abused by fellow
students and this affected him psychologically. "So we decided enough
is enough. We do not want unnecessary trouble that will jeopardize his

M. Palaniammal, wife of G. Murugan, said that the prevailing situation
in the village was the reason for them to shift their daughter
Balamani out of the school to Kalligudi where she is now studying in
eighth standard.

Balamani's father G. Murugan is one of the affluent Dalits in the
village. His brother who was abused for riding his vehicle on the
street where Dalits are not allowed to drive two wheelers. They have
to push the vehicles.

V. Murugan, agricultural worker, took his sons M. Muthupandi and M.
Muniyandi from the school and has admitted them to the hostel of a
government school at Kovilpatti. Agnimuthu, a migrant labourer working
in the construction sector at Coimbatore, took his son Ajith Kumar
from the Villoor School to the Kalligudi School.

Alagammal, wife of Muniappan, said that problems are there, "but we
have taken our children because we are shifting to Kalligudi soon."
Kaliappan, son of Irulappan, farmer, was also shifted to Kalligudi
School. Muthukrishnan who had passed Class VI has been shifted to a
government school in Krishnankoil.

Sensitive issue

School authorities, when contacted, said that this was a sensitive
issue. "We have warned everyone in school against discrimination."

The authorities refused to reveal what the parents had stated as
reason while obtaining Transfer Certificate for their wards. They
termed these transfers "usual affair" and refused to elaborate.

Villoor village has been in the news for the practice of various forms
of untouchability against Dalits.


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