TNN / Updated: Aug 7, 2021, 11:06 IST
Schools in Chhatarpur have been named after dominant castes
BHOPAL: After long and futile protests against castebased naming of schools, villagers in Chhatarpur district have begun blackpainting the objectionable names.
The first to have its name blacked out is a primary school in Mahoikhurd in Chandala tehsil, about 100km from the district HQ and 400km from Bhopal, on Thursday.
“This name indicates the identity of a particular caste and it’s insulting,” they said. Villagers got ladders and smeared the name with black paint.
“The government has not been able to change the names of schools based on caste and creed. So, we have done it ourselves,” the villagers said on Thursday.
“It is unconstitutional and illegal to have names like this. We have suggested it be changed to Kashipurva,” said one of them.
Like other districts of Bundelkhand, casteism touches nerves in Chhatarpur also.
There are some villages whose names indicate the caste of people who live there. They were named thus generations ago, but now, people realise it doesn’t have to be this way.
Hamlets that were once home to cobblers or fishermen now have diverse communities living there. There is one village where the school was named ‘distillery’, and linked to a local liquor company.
In the last 16 years, at least four government orders were issued to effect the changes but in vain.
Sandy Singh, an activist of an organization in Chhatarpur, said, “Despite repeated attempts, we failed to get a response from the authorities. On July 15, we submitted a memo to the district collector and the National SC ST Commission. When they did not act, we did.”