BALLIA, UP — A controversy erupted in the mid-day meal in Uttar Pradesh after a shocking revelation that upper caste and lower caste children ate separately at a primary school in the state’s Ballia district.
The incident came to light through a video which went viral. An inquiry has been ordered into the incident which was strongly condemned by BSP chief Mayawati.
The video also shows that general and backward caste students bring their own utensils and do not have their meals in plates provided by the school as Dalit students use them, reports PTI.
District Magistrate Dr Bhawani Singh Khangaraut visited the school on Thursday morning to take stock of the situation, after he came to know about the video.
“Prima facie there is no basis to reports of discrimination with Dalit students in the school. However, a detailed inquiry by a joint magistrate level officer is being ordered to look into the matter in detail,” the District Magistrate said.
However, the principal of the primary school, Purshottam Gupta, said children do “have some feeling of discrimination”.
A school teachers said that the children belonging to the upper castes did not want to have their mid-day meal with SC/ST children.
”We tried our best to convince them to shun such practice but they remained adamant…they bring their own plates…may be they are told by their parents not to eat with lower caste children,” said the teacher.
Bahujan Samaj Party president Mayawati took to Twitter to express concern over the incident.
यूपी के बलिया जिले के सरकारी स्कूल में दलित छात्रों को अलग बैठाकर भोजन कराने की खबर अति-दुःखद व अति-निन्दनीय। बीएसपी की माँग है कि ऐसे घिनौने जातिवादी भेदभाव के दोषियों के खिलाफ राज्य सरकार तुरन्त सख्त कानूनी कार्रवाई करे ताकि दूसरों को इससे सबक मिले व इसकी पुनरावृति न हो।
— Mayawati (@Mayawati) August 29, 2019
“The news of Dalit students being made to sit separately and eat in a government school in Ballia is most condembable and sad. The BSP demands that the state government immediately take strict legal action against the perpetrators of such disgusting racist discrimination so that others get a lesson and such cases do not recur,” Ms Mayawati said.
(With inputs from PTI)