K'taka govt adopts Dalit boy who faced 'untouchability'

The Karnataka government has decided to adopt the boy who faced the trauma of "untouchability" at his village for entering the temple.
K'taka govt adopts Dalit boy who faced 'untouchability'

The Karnataka government has decided to adopt the boy who faced the trauma of "untouchability" at his village for entering the temple.

As per sources, the government will bear the entire expenditure of the four-year-old boy's education.

Minister for Social Welfare Kota Srinivas Poojari has confirmed it. However, talking to IANS, Chandrashekar Shivappa Dasar, a 29-year-old father of the victim boy stated that after the incident they have been forced to move out of the village. "In my village, we lived in our house and somehow managed to find livelihood. Now, we have to pay rent and also struggle for earnings," he explains.

"We don't want funds, financial assistance. I want a loan to be given by the government. Let them take my house and little land as mortgage. Lend me help to stand financially independent," he says.

"What my son had gone through, no one should ever. After the incident, he does not allow me to go near the temple fearing that people would assault me. Whenever he sees police, he gets traumatised," he said.

The government has decided to get the boy admitted in a reputed school for first to fifth standard. From sixth to tenth grade, he would be given direct admission in Morarji Desai Residential School without entrance. For II PUC also, he would be given a place in Morarji Desai Hostel. The Social Welfare department would sponsor graduation studies of his choice and if he wants to pursue a professional course like MBBS, the government would also take care of the fees, sources said.

Speaking to IANS, Suralkar Vikas Kishore, Deputy Commissioner, Koppal stated that the government has declared a scheme in the name of the boy and there is a communication that he had been adopted. "But, exact guidelines and nature of the adoption we are yet to receive," he said.

"It can be one step in the direction of sending a message to the society regarding creating awareness on untouchability we can say. Actually as we are waiting for the clear cut and exact nature of guidelines in this regard, the message has been informally communicated to his family", he explained.

Karnataka government has proudly announced a scheme in the name of Dasar's son Vinay to bridge the gap between upper caste and Dalits in rural areas. It is called the 'Vinaya Samarasya Scheme'. Dasar, the father of the boy, has got a Rs 1 lakh loan from the government and feels that at least he should have been given a loan of Rs 5 lakh to restructure his life.

The incident had taken place when the family of the boy had gone to the Marutheshwara temple in Miyapur village to get the 'abhishek (ritual)' done on the occasion of the birthday of his son Vinay. They had to stop at the main entrance of the temple as Dalits are not allowed inside and priests would perform rituals and bless them.

There is a tradition of pieces of coconut being placed on either side of the doors of the main entrance. The boy ran and took one of the pieces of the coconut from there and it was observed by the upper caste people.

Later, a fine of Rs 25,000 was imposed on the family for letting the boy pick up the coconut piece saying that the sanctity of the temple has been lost. The news came out and it made headlines. After which the police were forced to take action.

The family was allegedly forced to move out of Miyapur village following the police action against the practice of untouchability including the arrest for five persons belonging to upper caste.

Dasar claimed that he had to take care of his parents and two children, including a new born baby. After the police action, his life allegedly turned to hell in the village. When his wife was nine months pregnant and faced health issues, the local villager who runs a car on rent, denied transport despite being offered money. The whole village allegedly stopped talking to him after the police action. He could not send their son to the Anganwadi center.

Miyapur village in Koppal district, where the incident had happened has 1,000 houses. Of these, 970 belong to Ganiga Lingayat community people. Twenty-five families belong to Scheduled Caste and five belong to Valmiki community.