Uttar Pradesh school replaces Dalit cook with Brahmin


Lucknow : A Dalit cook was replaced with a Brahmin one in a government-run primary school in Uttar Pradesh when students protested and refused to eat the food cooked by the Dalit woman, officials said Wednesday.

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The incident took place at the Lalgarhi Primary School in Uttar Pradesh’s Firozabad district — about 300 km from here — where students refused to eat the lunch provided by the school under the midday meal (MDM) scheme.

“Most of the students were not eating the food cooked by Vimla Jatav, who comes from a low caste. It’s just two days back, the student started having their MDM, when school authorities replaced Jatav with a Brahmin cook,” a teacher at the school told IANS on condition of anonymity.

The teacher added that Jatav was employed in the school 15 days ago, when the earlier cook — from an upper caste — left. “Nearly 140 of the 200 students did not eat the lunch during this period.”

The education department and the district administration have initiated an inquiry into the matter.

When contacted, S.K. Rathore, the chief development officer (CDO), who is also officiating as the district magistrate, told IANS: “Social discrimination would not be allowed under any circumstances. We have already initiated a probe into the matter and will take necessary action.”

Meanwhile, Neelu Mishra, MDM cocoordinator of the district, said: “If such an incident is reported from a school, its officials automatically come under the scanner. Action will be taken against them.”