Kotdwar: ‘Gurukuls’ of traditional India were centre of not only providing education to students but also inculcating lessons on moral values and ethics. However, in the fast paced 21st century - when efforts are underway to teach equality and brotherhood amongst students, there are few educational institutes which have brought a dubious distinction to the noble profession by promoting casteism. 

The bitter truth has been exposed by a government report which indicts a Headmaster of a Primary School under Pauri district of promoting discrimination amongst students of different castes. With the motive to promote education in rural belts and students hailing from financially weak background, the government had launched the midday meal scheme.

However, the project has been used by Headmaster of Thangar primary school to create a divide between students of upper castes and Dalits. During the distribution of food, students of upper castes and Dalits are made to sit in different queues.

Out of the total strength of 62 students of Thangar primary school, 30 are Dalits. The repeated complaints in this context failed to make any impact on the Headmaster. 

It was only after the Chairman of the Management Committee Vinod Kumar apprised the SC-ST Commission about the issue, the District Magistrate ordered a probe into the matter.

Naib Tehshildar Ramcharan in his report confirmed the charges levelled on the Headmaster. During the probe it was found that owing to the caste factor the Headmaster had previously sacked a Dalit cook. Thereafter, two cooks belonging to upper castes were appointed to prepare food for students. Parents and the Gram Pradhan also approved the charges.

MC Upreti, District Magistrate of Pauri said, “This is a sensitive issue and only after going through the report sent by the Additional District Magistrate, the required action would be initiated.”

(JPN/Bureau)