VELLORE:In a clear reflection of how deeply caste is interwoven in the daily lives of rural India, it has been found that a young couple along with a nine-month-old child at Melapulam Mottur panchayat, for the last six months, have been living without electricity connection and access to basic amenities such as water and milk. The duo’s only crime is that they belong to different communities and got married much against the wishes of the village elders (Ooru Nattamai).
The couple — Parthiban (26) of Vanniya community and Uvaniya (23) of Mudaliyar community — is neither permitted to fetch water from the common tap nor are villagers allowed to sell milk to the duo.
Their repeated pleas to the district administration and the police department, to come to their rescue, have fallen only on deaf ears. But unperturbed, on Friday, they knocked at the doors of the officials once again, who casually assured them that they would look into it.
Parthiban claimed that the village elders Elumalai, Palani and Ellappan ostracised his family by issuing a diktat that no one in the village should have any truck with his family.
“No one sells even milk for our child nor do they allow us to fetch water from the village tap. My husband is buying everything from Panappakkam, which is three kms away from our village,” said Uvaniya.
Braving the vehement objection of the village elders, the couple eloped and got married on February 7, last year. After living in Thakkolam for some time, the couple returned to its village, nearly six months ago. They had even begun constructing a house when the power supply was abruptly disrupted by the village elders.
“We were living in a thatched house and had started constructing a concrete house. But, all of a sudden, the electricity connection was cut. When we approached the electricity department at Panapakkam to request them to resume power supply, we were told that the villagers had asked them not to provide electricity and asked us to bring the elders to their office,” Parthiban claimed.
As a result, the family has been living in darkness in their thatched home, he said adding “No action has been taken on our repeated pleas to the collector and superintendent of police. We sought the help of the panchayat but were turned away as it comprises our local village heads,” Uvaniya added.