At our school, teachers complain that the computers are not fast enough, parents complain if their child doesn’t get the teacher they hoped for, students complain if they don’t get into the sports team of their choice…

To gain some perspective on the insignificance of our complaints, we should perhaps take a moment to read about the discrimination against Dalits (‘untouchable caste’) in Gujarat, India, and the impact this has on children in schools.

An article in The Times of India yesterday described mid-day meals in schools thus:

“We are made to sit separately during the lunch hour,” says Vijay Sitapara, 9, who belongs to the Valmiki caste, the lowest of the socially downtrodden. Vijay, who studies in class IV at the government primary school in Modhvana, says schoolmates from other castes avoid having food with them.

While other backward class children would still have food, though seated separately from the Dalits, higher caste pupils stay away altogether from mid-day meals at this school because the food is cooked by a Dalit. “I come from a Dalit family. Naturally, higher caste members will not eat what I cook,” says Gauri Vankar.

Even as the syllabus teaches equality, students learn lessons in untouchability in practice. All Dalit students are forbidden from participating in cultural events. Valmikis have to also clean up school toilets. ..”

See the whole article here and others from The Times of India about the issues of Dalit rights here and here.

PYP Key Concept: Perspective.   Series of posts through the lens of key concepts of PYP.

photo from flickr by Feuilla 

3 thoughts on “Perspective…

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