Students boycott school, mid-meal over Dalit cook at CM Siddaramiah's school
news Wednesday, February 11, 2015 - 05:30
The News Minute | November 29, 2014 | 12.00 pm IST On Friday, 33 students refused to attend school and at least seven students declined to eat the mid-day meal prepared at school because the food is cooked by a Dalit woman, reported the Deccan Hearld. The incident occurred Government Higher Primary school at Kuppegala village in Mysuru district. Incidentally, Chief Minister Siddaramiah is the alumnus of the school. The post of the assistant cook is reserve red for a SC candidate and had remained vacant for the past six years since villagers of higher caste had protested the appointment of anyone from the SC community and threatened to not send their wards to school. However, the issue came to the light of Assistant Commissioner Saeeda Aiisha who directed the School Development Management Committee (SCMC) to look into the matter and recruit a suitable candidate for the post. Manjula, a woman belonging to the dalit community was appointed and she resumed work after the Dasara vacation. Soon after, in October, 60 students had skipped school because of her appointment. Students returned to school four days ago when Manjula stayed at home citing tooth problems. The parents were further assured with two cooks of upper castes began preparing meals. The headmaster of the school made an attempt to convince her to return to work but in vain. In a related incident in the same village, a common burial ground has become a bone of contention between the upper castes and dalits as a member of the latter allegedly encroached upon the land. The chief minister though had assured the dalits of allotting a 1.5 acres of the land for their burial, it is yet to become reality.