Periyapatna: Parents of school children at a Periyapatna school have been accused of practicing untouchability as they have reportedly asked their children to stay away from mid-day meals as the food is prepared by a Dalit woman. The issue has now been resolved with the intervention of Education Department officials.
The incident came to light recently at the Government Lower Primary School, Chikkabelalu in the taluk, when the matter was brought to the notice of the authorities. Villagers said that a section of children have been boycotting the meal since over two years.
As the food for the mid-day meal scheme was prepared by Chaya Mahadev, a Dalit woman, the parents of upper caste children are said to have asked their wards not to have food and accordingly the children refused to have food.
Some parents have demanded the immediate transfer of Chaya Mahadev and according to villagers, a section of parents have been harassing Chaya and her husband has brought this to the notice of Education Department officials.
Soon, the matter was brought to the notice of Block Education Officer R. Karigowda, Taluk Akshara Dasoha Assistant Director Shivaraju, CRP Vasanth Kumar and the school headmaster Girish, following which the officials summoned the parents of upper caste children and counselled them.
The parents are said to have given an undertaking that they have no objection to their wards having mid-day meals at the school, it is learnt.
Following reports of untouchability practice, Education Department authorities have spoken to the parents of nine children. Speaking to Star of Mysore, the Department officials said that the issue has been resolved now and the children are having the mid-day meal along with other children.
Meanwhile, members of Dalit Sanghatanegala Okkoota staged a protest yesterday demanding action against Education Department officers, especially BEO R. Karigowda, Taluk Akshara Dasoha Assistant Director Shivaraju, CRP Vasanth Kumar and the school headmaster Girish for allegedly ignoring the social evil of untouchability.
The protesters demanded disciplinary action against the officials under the The Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.
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