On October 22, Bindu Thankam Kalyani tried to enter Sabarimala. She was unsuccessful, as protesters surrounded her and chased her. The Dalit activist has had to face harassment, and was even evicted from her rented house. Now, Bindu even claimed that her child was denied admission at Vidya Vanam Higher Secondary School at Anaikatti in Tamil Nadu, owing to protests from local residents.
â€śWhen I came to the school with my daughter today, their behaviour was strange. The school principal told me that she is not an activist, but an educational activist. What was the need for such conversation while I am seeking admission for my child? I had gone there twice to arrange for admission and the school authorities had agreed. Suddenly they have changed their stand â€“ saying they donâ€™t want to distort the peaceful atmosphere of the school,â€ť Bindu tells TNM.
Bindu also claimed that over 60 men had gathered at the school to protest when she and her child went there to seek admission. 'Only later, a teacher told me that they were assembled to raise an objection to my daughterâ€™s admission. The school then got afraid to give a seat,â€ť Bindu says,
However, clarfifying the incident, Principal of Vidya Vanal Higher Secondary school, Prema Rangarajan, said contrary to her claim, Bindu had not informed the school about the trouble she was in following her attempt to enter Sabarimala and the school authorities learned about it only after locals protested. "We would have been better prepared to handle the situation if she had," the Principal added.
The school also clarified that their denial of admission was because Bindu had not filled any forms of submitted documents from the child's previous school for requirement of admission, and did not infact have anything to do with Sabarimala.
"Our entry point is kindergarten and for other classes we have to see if we have vacancies. Bindu had also not filled forms or submitted documents for admission from the child's previous school. Admission can only be granted after due process," the Principal told TNM.
A Bindu, who is a teacher herself, had attempted to enter Sabarimala on October 22. She was forced to turn back after angry protests. Ever since, she has been facing abuse, was evicted from her rented house in Kozhikode, and harassed at her friendâ€™s house.
Binduâ€™s daughter was studying at Agaly Vocational Higher Secondary School where Bindu is a teacher.