ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

A+| A| A-

Bhojanmata’s Struggle for Dignity

Caste consciousness imposes moral limits on preferential hiring in the mid-day meal schemes.

 

Various state governments, for the last several years, have introduced the mid-day meal scheme for school children to provide them with nutritious food and ensure their physical retention in the classroom. It was also intended that such a scheme would contribute to the food economy of the needy households. However, as the media reports and several ground-level studies show, such a scheme, though useful, has been a cause for maintaining caste hierarchy that is mediated through the social construction of children, who otherwise are considered to be ethically innocent of caste consciousness.

The recent mid-day meal controversy that occurred in a government school from a district in Uttarakhand has once again brought forth the problem of caste discrimination against a Dalit woman who, as the media reports suggest, was first appointed and immediately dismissed from the job of a bhojanmata or a mid-day meal cook. The job of a bhojanmata was reportedly then given to an upper-caste woman. However, after determined protests by the aggrieved Dalit woman, the promise to restore her job seems to have been given.

Dear Reader,

To continue reading, become a subscriber.

Explore our attractive subscription offers.

Click here

Or

To gain instant access to this article (download).


Pay
INR 59

(Readers in India)


Pay
$ 6

(Readers outside India)

Published On : 20th Jan, 2024

Support Us

Your Support will ensure EPW’s financial viability and sustainability.

The EPW produces independent and public-spirited scholarship and analyses of contemporary affairs every week. EPW is one of the few publications that keep alive the spirit of intellectual inquiry in the Indian media.

Often described as a publication with a “social conscience,” EPW has never shied away from taking strong editorial positions. Our publication is free from political pressure, or commercial interests. Our editorial independence is our pride.

We rely on your support to continue the endeavour of highlighting the challenges faced by the disadvantaged, writings from the margins, and scholarship on the most pertinent issues that concern contemporary Indian society.

Every contribution is valuable for our future.