Karnataka government to launch anti-untouchability campaign
Mangaluru: In what looks like an attempt to reach out to Dalits, the state government said Monday that it will soon launch the ‘Vinaya Samarasya’ campaign aimed at creating awareness against the practice of untouchability.
Social Welfare Minister Kota Sreenivasa Poojary said this in the Assembly.
The campaign is named after a two-year-old Dalit boy Vinay from Koppal, whose parents were penalised after the toddler entered a local temple.
Poojary was responding to the debate on the demand for grants pertaining to his department for 2022-23 fiscal.
Poojary said untouchability prevailed in the state even though there was much talk about equality in society. “The parents were fined because the child entered the temple. It is not just shocking, but sad that this happened in this day and age,” he said, adding that Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai would launch the ‘Vinaya Samarasya’ campaign soon.
In September 2021, the child’s family was fined Rs 25,000 in Miyapur in Koppal district after he entered the local temple.
The ‘Vinaya Samarasya’ campaign will be implemented across all gram panchayats in the state. Those panchayats where untouchability is eradicated will get additional funds as a way of encouragement from the government, Poojary said.
The campaign apart, the department has decided to bear the cost of the child’s education. “Whether he wants to be an engineer or doctor, the government will support him and bear the cost of his education,” the social welfare minister said.
Meanwhile, responding to demands from legislators on making Pourakarmikas permanent employees and increasing their salaries, Poojary said the government would call for a special meeting in this regard. There are about 2 lakh Pourakarmikas in the state and the government is committed to their welfare, he added.