Q10. You are the sarpanch of a panchayat. There is a primary school run by the government in your area. Midday meals are provided to children attending the school. The headmaster has now appointed a new cook in the school to prepare meals. However, when it is found that the cook is from Dalit community, almost half of the children belonging to higher castes are not allowed to take meals by their parents. Consequently, the attendance in the schools falls sharply. This could result in the possibility of discontinuation of midday meal scheme, thereafter of teaching staff and subsequent closing down of the school. (20 marks) (250 words)
(a) Discuss some feasible strategies to overcome the conflict and to create the right ambience.
(b) What should be the responsibilities of different social segments and agencies to create positive social ambience for accepting such changes?
In India, casteism is still a major problem and untouchability continues to be practiced. However, education is important for the children of all classes and castes. Such discrimination can’t be allowed to continue in modern democratic India.
If the upper caste children refuse to take a meal cooked by a Dalit, it is they who are at fault. We must try to persuade upper caste parents to send their children to school and allow them to have meals in school. They must be informed that caste-based discrimination would bring disrepute to the whole village and indeed to the state. This can adversely affect the development of the village.
A discussion with the representatives of the upper caste parents must be held and their biases against Dalits must be assuaged. For this purpose, senior district officers, local politicians and religious leaders must be roped in to educate them about the modern values and the need to discard their caste biases.
They should also be informed about the consequences of their decision where the school might be closed because of their non-cooperation, which may affect their child’s future.
Responsibilities of different social segments and agencies
• Religious leaders must explain the true meaning of religion and obsoleteness of caste-system.
• Politicians must take along all castes and communities instead of a few selected ones.
• Community leaders like the sarpanch, pradhans and teachers must create a cordial atmosphere in the society.
• Organize social gathering during important festivals for celebration and social bonding.
• Organize award function where the best teachers and students are awarded irrespective of their castes to create better social bonding. (265 words)
Looking for a One-stop Solution to prepare for ‘Ethics, Integrity, and Aptitude’ and ‘Essay and Answer Writing’ for UPSC?
Buy Dr. Awdhesh Singh’s books from the links below-