New Delhi: An online
signature campaign has sought action against alleged untouchability in a Rajasthan district where Dalit women are
forced to remove footwear while passing through upper caste
neighbourhoods, an activist said Thursday.
The alleged practice was going on in Dangariya village in Karauli
district since generations though such acts are punishable under
the constitution, said campaign initiator and Goa-based social
activist Stalin K.
Stalin appeared in last weekend's episode of actor Aamir Khan's TV
show "Satyamev Jayate" to discuss the issue of untouchability and
how this illegal, abhorrent practice was still a part of the
"In Dangariya village, lower caste women are asked to remove their
footwear as they pass through upper caste neighbourhoods. This has
been happening for several years, despite of untouchability having
been declared illegal by the constitution," said Stalin.
"If these women wore slippers in front of the so-called upper
caste neighbourhoods, they would be abused and their husbands
would be troubled for days," said the activist.
Stalin said that he started the campaign on www.change.org to
"help these women get their dignity back".
The campaign, which received close to 2,000 hits within hours of
its launch, asked District Magistrate Bishnu Charan Mallick to
abolish the practice and punish the perpetrators. Karauli is
around 180 km from state capital Jaipur.
The campaign's webpage also carried a video showing Dalit women of
Dangariya village walking barefoot, carrying their slippers in
Asked why they removed their footwear, the women interviewed in
the video said the houses belonged to upper class people and they
had been following the practice for generations.
"My mother-in-law asked me to do this and when we get
daughters-in-law in our houses we ask them to do the same," an
unnamed woman said in the video. She added that if they forgot to
remove their footwears, they would be "treated badly".