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Food discrimination with tribal students in MP school, administration acts

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Casteism  Caste discrimination  Caste  Dalit  Tribal  Adiwasi  Madhya Pradesh  Food discrimination  Schools  Children  Students  Sheopur  Untouchability

Senior correspondent

BHOPAL: In a shocking incident of discrimination with tribal children, food was cooked separately for tribal and non-tribal children in a school in Sheopur district.

Cooks of different castes were appointed after many children stopped eating. Their parents had objected to eating food cooked by Adiwasi (tribal) woman.

Not just cooks, the chulhas were different too for tribal and non-tribal. The food is cooked under the mid-day meal scheme. While discrimination is rampant with Dalit kids, in this case the tribal children were discriminated too.

Finally, with the issue reaching children's commission, action has been initiated. A probe has been launched, officials have reached Badoda and one of the chulhas has been removed. 

The school is located in Badoda in Nayagaon (Sheopur). Initially, Draupadi Meena, was one of the cooks here. She quit due to personal reasons. Kaushalya, who is a Saharia [tribal], was cooking food subsequently.

But when some children and their parents objected, the decision of appoint another cook was taken. In fact, there were three cooks for children of three categories--backward, tribal and un-reserved categories, each.

So for half of the children, Kaushalya and Jamuna cook the food. For the remaining half, it is Santosh Sumitra Yogi who cooked for children belonging to un-reserved category. Worse, there were separate 'chulhas' in the same hall. After the news was reported, the district administration has taken action. 

The issue reached the children's commission. Subsequently, the school authorities broke a chulha. The district collector has begun inquiry. On Friday, deputy collector BP Srivastava arrived here and urged local residents to shun casteism. [Photo credit: Dainik Bhaskar]