A. V. Ragunathan
Improvement in economic status of Dalits is a contributing factor
CUDDALORE: Thanks to the initiative taken by the law enforcing authorities and the advent of disposable cups, the scourge of double-tumbler system in the district is on the wane.
Improvement in economic status of Dalits has contributed to the jettisoning of the discriminatory practices. To demonstrate harmonious living, the residents of Nachiyarpettai in Sri Mushnam block and Karuveppilankurichi in Vriddhachalam block had tea together at the same shops recently.
Inspector of Police U. Gangappan, Social Justice and Human Rights wing, told presspersons here on Wednesday that following the media reports and complaints received from certain social activists, Inspector General of Police Pradip V. Philips constituted a committee consisting of Deputy Inspector General of Police B. K. Ravi and Deputy Superintendent of Police Chandrasekaran to visit those places.
The committee organised awareness camps to drive home the point that any attempt to divide the people on the basis of caste and community would be strictly dealt with.
The provisions of the Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act were stringent enough to fix the violators.
The personnel also organised mass feast and tea parties in which the people from all walks of life and political leanings participated in large numbers.
Along with the Friends of Police volunteers and service organisations, the police personnel also took part.
Mr. Gagappan said the advent of disposable cups had helped in tiding over the problem, as it did not require keeping two sets of tumblers.
There was general awareness among the deprived sections about their rights which they had begun to assert. Though there were stray cases of denial of temple entry, these were amicably resolved.
He cited the instance of Veerabhayanganur and Kuladeepamangalam in Villupuram district where the temples were now made accessible to all sections.
At Vada Ponparappi a school that remained closed for five years due to caste factor, was now functioning regularly.
Owing to sustained efforts, the discriminatory practices at places such as Sri Puthur, Kallipadi, Valliam, Pelanthurai, Sri Keeranur and Kavanur in Cuddalore district were eliminated.
As a follow-up measure, the personnel were visiting these places periodically to establish rapport with the people and to ensure that they lived in peace, Mr. Gangappan added.