Published: 27th December 2021
SC students boycott mid-day meal in an Uttarakhand government school. Here's why
Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad Ravan said that his outfit will gherao Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami if the Dalit woman is not reinstated
Scheduled Caste students at a government school in Uttarakhand's Champawat district refused to eat mid-day meals cooked by an upper-caste woman after a Dalit cook was sacked following alleged discrimination over her caste.
Sunita Devi was sacked from the Sukhi Dhang Government Secondary School after 43 children from upper caste communities, studying in Classes VI to VIII, refused to eat the food cooked by her. The Champawat Education Department officials claimed procedural lapses in her appointment as the reason for her ouster. She was replaced by someone believed to be from an upper caste.
In retaliation to the move, 23 Dalit students of the school refused to eat the meal prepared by the new cook. Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad Ravan said that his outfit will gherao Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami if the Dalit woman is not reinstated. However, the district administration is firm in its stand and believes that the issue has been resolved after members from both communities arrived at a consensus. "I hope Dalit students will resume eating food prepared by the new Bhojan Mata (cook)," Champawat District Magistrate Vineet Tomar said.
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He added that an inquiry has been initiated and the report is expected in a week. After the news about the ouster of the Dalit cook made headlines, Congress Rajya Sabha MP Pradeep Tamta said that his party will launch an agitation to restore the woman's constitutional rights.