A Dalit widow working as a midday meal cook at a school in Bihar’s Aurangabad district was sacked by the headmaster. However, thanks to timely intervention by the District Magistrate (DM), she got back her job within 12 hours.
The incident happened in Batura middle school under Rafiganj block where the 36-year-old Urmila Kuwar was expelled by the school headmaster Govind Kumar Yadav on Monday ‘for being a Dalit widow’.
Urmila, who is a mother of four minor children was the sole earning member of the family after her husband passed away and was surviving on a meager salary of Rs 1,000 per month. Nevertheless, she was determined to fight back and went to meet the District Magistrate.
When the matter was reported to DM Kanwal Tanuj, he swung into action.
The Hindu reported: “Mr. Tanuj decided to verify the incident the very next day and made the 45-km trip to Batura Middle School in Rafiganj block. During the visit, he found many discrepancies in the registers. The principal, who could not answer his queries, was suspended.”
According to a report by the NDTV, after the death of her husband, Urmila was told that she won’t be able to work as a school cook because she is a Dalit. The headmaster had reportedly asked her a bribe of Rs. 10,000 if she wanted the job.
“My humanitarian instinct compelled me to do justice with the woman. Besides, I also wanted to give a strong social message against caste and social ills of distancing from widow to the people,” the DM said.
He also ordered the suspension of the school headmaster and a departmental inquiry had been initiated against him on the instruction to the district education officer Yaduvansh Ram.
(With inputs from PTI)
(Feature image source: Twitter| Lallantop)