Kerala

A salon to break social inequality

A first in the State, a grama panchayat has taken the initiative to open a salon. The Vattavada grama panchayat decided to open a salon with a view to breaking the caste system.

The salon will be opened on September 14. The panchayat took the initiative as hairdressers refused to attend on people belonging to a particular caste.

When the issue was raised before panchayat authorities by a few youths, the panchayat gave a directive to hairdressers to treat people equally. But it had little impact as those salons that followed the directive faced a social boycott.

The authorities then asked all salons in the village to close down from August 13 and a discussion was held on September 6. “Meanwhile, we took steps to open a salon under the grama panchayat where all could go. A hairdresser was given charge and a building under the panchayat is being refurnished. It will be opened on September 14,” grama panchayat secretary R. Nandakumar said.

“Anyone can go there and no one will be discriminated against,” he said.

Vattavada, a vegetable cultivating village 42 km from Munnar, has a predominantly Tamil origin population.

“However, the Chakliya community members were discriminated against and barred from saloons made use of by others,” said a ward member. “When the efforts of the grama panchayat to set things right failed, it decided to open the alternative channel,” he said.

Strict action

Now all salons in the village are closed and they will be allowed to function only if they attend to all without social discrimination, the panchayat authorities said.

Till recently, certain castes were forbidden from drinking tea in glass from tea shops.

They were served tea in coconut shells. With the new salon, the ice is expected to break in Vattavada.

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Printable version | Oct 29, 2020 11:02:46 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/a-salon-to-break-social-inequality/article32565230.ece

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