Students at Karur school refuse to eat 'breakfast' cooked by Dalit cook
District Collector T Prabhu Shankar met the parents of these students and warned them of the consequences if they continued to discriminate against the government-appointed cook.
While Tamil Nadu is celebrating the 'free breakfast' scheme for the school kids, more than half the students of a government school in Karur refused to eat the food cooked by a Dalit cook.
The incident took place in the Panchayat Union Primary School located in Velanchettiyur village near Aravakurichi, Karur district.
Some parents belonging to the Backward Caste and Most Backward Caste communities refused to send their children to school and prevented them from eating the food cooked by Sumathi, a woman belonging to a Scheduled caste community.
In a solidarity gesture, District Collector T Prabhu Shankar visited the school and had the food made by Sumathi. He had also met the parents of these students and warned them of the consequences if they continued to discriminate against the government-appointed cook.
The NewsMinute reported that more than three Backward communities in the village opposed Sumathi preparing the food, and declared a boycott against her.
After a discussion with Collector, most of the parents agreed to send their children to avail the breakfast scheme, except one man from the Most Backward Class community. He insisted that he would not allow his kids to have breakfast there.
According to the TNM news report, the man was then taken to the police station where he was warned for practising caste discrimination against the woman, and the possible action that could be initiated against him under the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. He was later let off.
The district administration said that if the people fail to comply again, stringent action would be taken.
The new breakfast initiative was introduced by Chief Minister MK Stalin on August 25 for students of classes 1 to 5. A total of 17 lakh students across the state would be benefited under the scheme. The Tamil Nadu government has allocated Rs 404.41 crores towards this scheme.