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The Dalit children of Donar Vojgati

1 April 2010

On the occasion of Independence Day (26 March) the students of the Primary School in Vojgati village under Monirampur upazila, in Jessore district were requested to pay a fee of 20 taka to contribute to the preparation of the festival for the Independence Day. In particular the money was to be used to buy caps to be worn during the colourful rally planned for the 26th. The Rishi students of the Donar Vojgati village had participated in the collection but when it came to participate in the rally they were not handed over the promised caps. When both guardians and youngsters of the Rishi hamlet went to ask for an explanation, the headmaster of the school, Mr. Abdul Ajij, assaulted them verbally shouting that he was not supposed to give any explanation to Muchi people. Muchi is the derogative and offensive word used to indicate the Rishi, a grouping of Dalits, traditionally linked to leather work. Mr. Abur Razzaq, mayor of Vojgati Union, so far has stated that after having investigated the happening, he did not find anything which could make think of a discriminating behaviour on behalf of the headmaster. Mr. Probhas Das, Palash Das and Rajkumar Das, representatives of the Rishi hamlet of Donar Vojgati discriminated against, have lodged a complain in writing to the local UNO asking for a public redress of the injustice undergone. They threaten to go for a tougher movement in case their plea is not acknowledged.

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