Dalit family boycotted by their own community elders in Kothagudem
Kothagudem: Dalits in a village in Kothagudem district boycotted a family from their own community compelling the latter to spend all night at a funeral ground along with a dead body.
This rather inhuman act took place at Vijayalakshmi Nagar gram panchayat in Yellandu Rural mandal. The family had lost their bread-winner, Shanam Venu Gopal (57), who worked as a security guard in Hyderabad and died of heart stroke on Wednesday.
Gopal’s family members brought his body to their native village where they wanted to perform his final rites. But their community elders and members barred the family from entering the village to conduct the last rites.
The bereaved family’s only recourse was to take shelter at a newly built compost pit shed near the village Vaikuntadhamam built under Palle Pragathi programme. “All our family members had to spend the entire night in the shed braving the chilling cold weather, without food and water”, lamented Shanam Vamshi, the son of the deceased man.
According to him, the reason for the boycott was that his family failed to pay the customary money they had to offer to the community and its elders annually. As the family migrated to Hyderabad 10 years ago in search of livelihood, they did not maintain contact with the community and that made the community elders to ostracise their family.
Vamshi told mediapersons that his father’s body was brought to the village so that their friends and family members could pay final respects to him. ‘But we were shunned by our own people’, he grieved.
The local sarpanch Punem Kavitha and MPTC Punem Surender tried to convince the community elders to let Gopal’s funeral be conducted peacefully by his family, but in vain. The other communities in the village also objected the dalit elder’s approach towards the bereaved family.
On Thursday, a local scribe and the sarpanch came to the rescue of the victims of boycott and arranged drinking water, tea, snacks and a water tanker to take bath before and after the last rites of the deceased.
A relative of Gopal, Shanam Jyothi urged the officials to take action against the dalit community elders. The sarpanch Kavitha also expressed grief at the callous attitude of the community elders.
Meanwhile, as news of the family’s boycott was telecast by television news channels, the community members attended the funeral but did not allow the family to enter the village.
Courtesy : Telangana Today