Puthirai Vannars forced to prove caste-based occupation for community certificate in TN

nstead of carrying out a field visit, the VAO asked the family to provide proof of their caste-based occupations, such as washing clothes, conducting post-death rituals, and hairdressing.
Image for representational purposes. (File Photo)
Image for representational purposes. (File Photo)

TENKASI:   Despite the previous collector instructing revenue officials in Tenkasi not to demand caste-based occupation proof for issuing SC certificates, revenue officials on Friday asked two Puthirai Vannar students and their father to produce a letter from the village nattamai, stating that they are continuing their caste-based occupation. 

Sources said the demand was placed across by the Village Administrative Officer (VAO) of Kambaneri Puthukudi (part 2) revenue village to M Vijayakumar (47) and his sons V Venkatesh and V Mathavan, studying in Class 10 and Class 5 respectively, after the revenue inspector rejected their applications. It is alleged that the Kadayanallur tahsildar also took no steps to clear the application following requests from the family.

“The VAO had initially approved the applications. However, they were rejected by the revenue inspector. The tahsildar returned the applications to the VAO for field inspection. Instead of carrying out a field visit, the VAO asked the family to provide proof of their caste-based occupations, such as washing clothes, conducting post-death rituals, and hairdressing for SC communities,” said S Isaivanan, who has been helping the Puthirai Vannar students obtain community certificates. 

He added that Vijaykumar was working as a driver as he was unwilling to continue his father’s occupation. “Owing to this, the naattamai (village head), who belongs to the Devendrakula Vellalar community, refused to give them a letter as requested by the VAO. It is inhumane that the revenue officials expect that the applicants should continue their caste-based occupation even in 2023,” said Isaivanan, who had earlier protested in Shengottai against the revenue officials of Tenkasi and Shengottai taluks for rejecting applications of 15 students two months ago.

The then District Collector P Akash had instructed officials to issue community certificates for the kids, urging authorities not to ask the applicants to produce occupation proof. District Collector Durai Ravichandran told TNIE he would instruct the revenue officials to issue SC community certificates to all three applicants of the Puthirai Vannar community.
 

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