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TN school students refuse food cooked by Dalit cook, district collector steps in

TN school students refuse food cooked by Dalit cook, district collector steps in

Karur/ Tamil Nadu: Karur district collector Prabhushankar had his breakfast at a village school here to set an example to students who refused to eat food served by the school’s cook who is a Scheduled caste woman.

Prabhushankar ate the food served by Sumathi who belongs to the Arunthathiyar community, according to The News Minute.

The Collector on Tuesday made a surprise visit the Panchayat Union Primary School located in Velanchettiyur village near Aravakurichi in the district after the issue cropped up.

Interacting with the parents, he warned them of action if they continued to discriminate against the cook appointed by the government.

Some parents of the school’s 27 students belonging to the Backward Caste and Most Backward Caste communities refused to send their children to school because a Dalit woman cook for them.

More than three Backward Communities called for boycotting the food she cooked.

Subsequently, the collector and other officials of Education Department visited the school.

One parent belonging to Thottia Naiker community, which belongs to the Most Backward Caste, still protested against Sumathi during the collector’s interaction with parents.

The collector directed the police to take him to the station where he was warned of action if he continued to practice caste discrimination, before letting him go.

‘The issue came to our knowledge after we found out that half of the students did not have their breakfast at the school for a couple of days since the scheme was launched. When one of our officials went there and inquired about the matter, we came to know there was an underlying issue between Caste Hindus and Arunthathiyars and they oppose Sumathi continuing as a cook,’ Prabhushankar was quoted as saying.

‘But, if the people fail to comply again, the district administration would definitely take stringent action against the perpetrators,’ the collector reportedly said.

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