People residing in Dalit colony in Kuruvanka village in Channarayapatna taluk are not allowed to touch water in the village pond. This has been the practice from time immemorial. If they want water, they have to request someone from the ‘upper’ castes in the village to pour water in their pots.
When this reporter visited the village on Friday, an elderly woman from the colony was seen requesting girls from ‘upper’ castes to help her get water. “This has been the practice for many years,” said another village resident, matter-of-factly.
In the village, which is about 10 km from Channarayapatna town, there are about 200 houses, including those of 20 Dalit families. The Dalits are neither allowed inside the Mahdavaraya temple, which belongs to the Muzrai Department, in the village nor allowed to take water from the pond. Many Dalit organisations have raised this issue, but there has been little change.
“Here the system continues even today,” lamented Manju Dandora, an activist. “Recently in a meeting on atrocities on Dalits, convened by police officers, I raised this issue and demanded measures to put an end to the discrimination. I wish the district administration takes the matter seriously,” he said.