Corporate approach to identify ‘untouchability’ practice


The Koppal district administration in Karnataka state has adopted corporate approach to tackle the menace of untouchability in the district. The district administration has hired a private agency to assess and report the practice of untouchability in villages of the district.

Not only this, the district administration is holding oath taking ceremonies among the residents of villages where untouchability is practiced.

Close on the heels of a parent of Dalit boy being fined Rs 25,000 for entering temple near Kusthagi, another incident of fining a Dalit man being fined Rs 11,000 for entering Lakshmidevi temple by a group of upper caste people in Karatagi village in Koppal district.

Superintendent of Police of Koppal district T. Shreedhara told IANS the police have registered a suo moto case as the complainant is not coming forward to register a complaint. The investigation is on and action will be taken against the culprits, he added.

Sreedhara further explained that, to tackle the menace of untouchability, the district administration has taken a pro active measure. “Considering the fact that, if government agencies assess the situation of untouchability in villages there might be possibility of being influenced, private agency has been asked to study the situation in villages and other regions of the district on practice of untouchability,” he explained.

Third party approach will be unbiased and private NGOs have already started conducting studies on untouchability in the district. “It helps us to narrow down on the specific places where the social evil of untouchability is being practiced,” he said.

There are some taluks in Koppal district where there is absolutely no trace of untouchability. At the same time, the practice is found to be rampant in some villages, he explained.

“The educated in the district chose to keep mum over the menace even if they come to know about the practice of untouchability. They must educate ‘hotel owners’ and ‘priest of village temple’ regarding the untouchability. We are not getting complaints by victims and we are working on it,” he explained.