Teacher sprinkles cow urine to 'purify' Dalit kids
CASTE HORRORS: Some of the students of the ZP school who were humiliated by their teacher's action(Agencies)
BHANDARA: Caste corrupts civil society even in the 21st century. A so-called upper caste lady teacher at a Zilla Parishad higher middle school in Surewada village, about nine km from Bhandara city, sprinkled 'gomutra' (cow's urine) on students and inside the classrooms to "purify'' them and drive out an "evil spirit'' from the premises earlier this month.
The ZP school runs classes from first to seventh standard and has 210 students, including 20 Dalit students. Last month, Tilottama Tembhurkar, headmistress of the school, who belongs to a 'lower' caste, was transferred but not relieved of her charge. However, teachers from the upper caste believed that Tembhurkar's presence was inauspicious for the school.In the last week of March, Tembhurkar handed over charge to senior teacher Sharad Kaitade (an upper caste). In early April, when he formally took over as the school headmaster, Kaitade allegedly performed a puja in the school and asked a lady teacher Madhavi Raut to sprinkle gomutra inside the classes and school premises.
Raut promptly went around the school premises and classes sprinkling cow urine—while the students were appearing for their annual exam. She entered the class where Dalit students were also solving the question paper.
Raut allegedly asked the Dalit students to get up and sprinkled 'gomutra' on them, saying it would "purify'' them. However, while doing so, some of it fell on the answersheets and the students' faces too. Feeling humiliated, the students narrated the incident to their parents, who along with other villagers, registered a protest with Kaitade. Subsequently, he and Raut, both tendered apologies to the irate villagers and assured such an incident would not recur. But the villagers wanted a written apology, which the teachers refused.
The villagers then approached the district collector and superintendent of police, Bhandara, demanding action against the erring headmaster and lady teacher. The administration ordered a probe into the incident. The police personnel interrogated the headmaster, Raut, other teachers and also met the students and their parents. Finding substance in the villagers' complaint, an offence was registered against Kaitade under Section 7, 1(D) of the Protection of Civil Rights Act, 1985. He was arrested and later released on bail.http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2007-04-21/india/27887915_1_dalit-students-lady-teacher-upper-caste