WARANGAL: As the demand for extending the benefits of Scheduled Caste status to Dalit Christians rises among both clergy and common man in the Christian community, various Christian organisations would gather on August 10 in protest against the Presidential Order (1950) of not providing Scheduled Caste status to Dalits who converted to Christianity and Islam.
The organisation say that SC converts suffer from the same social barriers as the Hindus in spite of their change of religion. They too should be provided similar benefits, they demand.
Speaking to reporters here on Tuesday, Bishop of Warangal Catholic Diocese Udamala Bala and Tri City Christian Fellowship (TCF) president Damera Issac questioned the hypocrisy of providing benefits to Dalits who have converted to Buddhism and Sikhism, while those converting to Christianity and Islam are denied the same.
“Even though we have converted to Christianity, there has hardly been any change in our economic or social status. We remain poor and backward like the Dalit Hindus. As there is no difference in our situations, we too deserve the same benefits that they receive,” said Mallepaka Sambaiah, a Dalit convert to Christianity.
A mere change of religion should not become a bar to Dalits in securing benefits that they would have been eligible to before conversion, the Bishop said. “When the right to follow any religion is provided in the Constitution, why is a person from Dalit origins denied their benefits just because they chose Islam or Christianity for his or her spiritual satisfaction?” he asked.