SC/ST students in a government college of Madhya Pradesh, facing the stigma of caste based discrimination have finally spoken out of how they are tortured under the guise of incorporation of them in mainstream culture of schooling. One of the students said, “The students not belonging to the SC/ST community look down on us and we face discrimination.” Recently, a picture of the bag printed as SC/ST scheme has brought much attention of social media towards a serious issue.
Recently, around 250 bags were circulated to the students of scheduled caste and tribes, in a government college of Mandsaur district in Madhya Pradesh.It has been said that these bags which have “SC/ST scheme” printed on them are distributed in accordance with SC/ST scheme launched before. However, when the BJP leader and Madhya Pradesh Higher Education Minister Jaibhan Singh Pawaiya was asked about it, he denied any implementation of any such scheme in the department of higher education in which such bags are to be distributed.
“As soon as the matter came to my knowledge, I ordered the Principal Secretary to investigate as to under which scheme these bags have been distributed and why unnecessarily the name of the scheme has been printed on these bags,” he added.
This statement is clearly in contrast with what the principal of the college has to say. “What’s wrong if it is spelled out clearly, because the bags were distributed under a welfare scheme… If some people don’t like it, I will get the words erased… In any case, it was the supplier who wrote it on the bags,” B.R. Nalvaya, the college principal, told The Indian Express. The question is who actually printed this and for what purpose? Whether there is any such scheme of the welfare for backward classes in MP truly exist or not?
Where this print has hurt the sentiments of the people belonging to SC/ST community by making them stand out of the circle, politics has other things to do of its own. Arun Yadav, president of the Congress Committee in Madhya Pradesh, tweeted that the bags exposed the “anti-Dalit and anti-tribal” mindset of the RSS-backed BJP government.
If the scheme has any sort of existence and was really implemented in the college there was no need to specify their caste on their bags, although meant for the well-being of marginalized students. Bag for any student is the very symbolic of his/her right to education, categorizing it as SC/ST not only disrespects their right but also identity. It is really ironic that you try to help them for their betterment but in that help also, you don’t forget to mention the reason why they are being helped.