Dalit students say teachers discriminate against them
DIL BAHADUR CHHATYAL
DHANGADHI, Kailali, May 18: Students of a school in Dhangadhi say that their teachers themselves discriminate against them.
“Our teachers treat us like untouchables. They don´t even drink from the tap in the school because we use it,” says Kalapati Magarati, an eighth grade student of Saraswati Lower Secondary School of Dhangadhi Municipality-1.
Kalapati says that such behavior from their teachers disturbs her psychologically and disrupts her studies.
Kalapati´s views are shared by most dalit students of Saraswati School, which has the highest number of dalit students in the district. The school though doesn´t have even a single dalit teacher.
“I wish our school had dalit teachers. That way they would understand our feelings and wouldn´t discriminate against us,” says Tulasi Koli, another dalit student of eighth grade.
While the students are troubled, their parents are angered by this kind of treatment.
“I have raised this issue with the teachers many times,” says Nar Bahadur BK. “But they still don´t drink form the school tap, claiming that it is dirty.”
Padamraj Joshi, the principal of the school, says that he personally doesn´t discriminate against the children in his school.
“No student has complained of such behavior by their teachers. And if they have problems, they should come to me,” says Joshi.
Kishori Rawal, a teacher of the school, however, has her own reasons for not drinking the water from the school tap.
“The water from the tap is too hot as the water tank heats up during the day,” she says.
That´s an argument most of her students do not buy.
Saraswati School which was established in 1976 is situated in the middle of a dalit settlement and 63% of the students are dalits.