MADURAI: In what has come as a relief, the oral order transferring two Dalit women working in an anganwadi in Valayapatti, after protests were raised by caste-Hindus, has been revoked. Soon after M Jothilakshmi and M Annalakshmi were appointed as cooking supervisor and cook at
Valayapatti noon meal centre on June 3, several caste-Hindus petitioned the district administration saying their children would not eat food made by Dalit women.
Based on the petition, and citing law & order issues, the Thirumangalam police made a recommendation to the social welfare department officials that the women be transferred. Police say they did so due to prevailing caste tension in the village.
Recently, due to disputes during the temple festival, water supply to the Dalit hamlet was disconnected by a section of the caste Hindus. Some houses in the hamlet were also damaged. Police have booked 11 persons in connection with the case.
Speaking on the issue, DRO Shanthakumar denied the women were transferred. “They were only asked to also look after the centres in Madhipanur and Kilavaneri.”
“The officials have assured us proper protection,” said Jothilakshmi, though she was apprehensive about that promise considering the situation in the village