A dalit woman has thanked a Catholic nun for helping her to overcome the prejudice and corruption that could have cost her livelihood.Upper caste parents voiced opposition to Teju Bai’s job as a school cook in Madhya Pradesh, asserting that her former “untouchable” caste status would render the food impure and inedible.“But I did not back down, because I was aware that prejudice due to someone’s ‘untouchable’ status is no longer legal,” said the 40-year-old mother of four.
She went on to claim that school officials were embezzling money intended for the midday meals scheme, which affected the quality and quantity of the food offered.
“I complained to the police and local government people and it produced amazing results,” she said. “Now with police backing, I can carry on cooking for the children.”
“For centuries, the lower caste never questioned the upper castes,” she continued. “I must credit Sister Beck for my newfound courage.”
Sister Dorothy Beck of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Chambery has been working to create social awareness among poor women in the Sehore district for the past 10 years.
She forms self-help groups of women and encourages them to stand up against corruption, discrimination and subjugation. Her campaigning has reached around 50,000 people in 91 villages.
COURTESY: CATHNEWS ,AUG 11/10