A 50-year-old government school teacher in Surendranagar district of Gujarat is denied housing settlement by the panchayat of the village – where he is posted as he belongs to Scheduled Caste. This forces him to travel approx. 150 km every day from home to school and back.
Kanhaiyala Baraiya, who belongs to Valmiki community, lives in Chhatiyala village of Chuda taluka in Surendranagar district. He was transferred to a school in Ninama village of Surendranagar, located 75 km far from his residence. When he set out to hunt a house on rent in the village, he was enquired about his caste and on revealing the fact that he belongs to the Valmiki community, Baraiya was left with a denial, hearing that “The village has no Valmiki settlement and hence you will not get a house on rent!”
According to a report, he was told this on an official letterhead of the village panchayat by the Talati and Sarpanch on December 16, 2020. Followed by this, Baraiya made official complaints to all departments concerned and had also requested Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel for a transfer.
The incident has led the Social Justice and Empowerment Department of Gujarat government to write a letter to the Education Department asking for the transfer of Baraiya as soon as possible. “…the teacher from the scheduled caste has been a victim of discrimination, inequality, casteism and torture,” acknowledged the department in its letter.