Dalit Boy Drowns in Well After Being Denied Water From Hand Pump

A third standard student fell into a well and died because he was denied water from the school hand pump

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The victim’s brother alleges caste discrimination. Photo used for representation. (Photo: iStockPhoto)

A nine-year-old Dalit school boy, thirsty for water, drowned in a well in Madhya Pradesh’s Damoh district. He was denied access to the hand pump in his school after which, he went to the well to procure water to drink, reports The Hindustan Times.

Deceased Veeran Ahirwar’s brother, Sewak, a student of class 5 at the same school alleged that teachers at their school – the government primary school of Khamariya Kalan village, Tendukhera block – refused to let Veeran near the hand pump, saying they discriminated him because of his caste.

The primary school headmaster and middle school headmistress have been suspended. Action has been initiated against the teachers to terminate their contracts. 

After their midday meal, the deceased, Veeran, his brother, Sewak and a few other students went to drink water at the hand pump where they were stopped by the teachers. The students then decided to go to a nearby well. While trying to fetch a pail of water, Veeran lost his balance and fell in.

Members of the Dalit community told the Damoh district panchayat CEO, JC Jatiya, that Dalit children often face discrimination by teachers.

Sriniwas Sharma, the collector at Damoh, however, ruled out caste-discrimination as the reason for the incident. He said overcrowding at the school hand pump had forced the children to move to the well near the school.

We’re sending a detailed report on the matter to the state government, but no caste discrimination has taken place. 
Sriniwas Sharma, Collector, Damoh District

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