Every few days, there are news and reports that come out telling us that SC/ST/OBC students committed suicide or dropped-out from College/ University due to Caste discrimination. Many of the students may not have a complete knowledge or awareness of issues like Caste/Reservation. Many students hear of taunts of Reservation right from Day one, when they enter college. Jokes float around. Heated debates go on. The SC/ST/OBC students find it difficult to react to these. Either, they go silent and completely hide their identity, or they get aggressive while responding to it. Both these reactions have many emotions and this leads to energy being spent on this rather than on academics.
Keeping this in mind, Bahujan Career Professionals (BCP), a small organization aimed at guiding young Bahujans in their careers, tried to discuss with young people of the Institute of Chemical Engineering (ICT), Mumbai, India on the 19th of August,2017. Overall about 13 students all from SC/ST/OBC backgrounds attended it.
Vinay Shende, from BCP, conducted a 3-hour session. This was more of a discussion, rather than a lecture. Some of the areas that were discussed:
Current Understanding of Reservations.
Reservations vs Representation as used in the Constitution of India.
Understanding of Caste and how Caste discrimination appears as minor to major manifestations.
Legal ways to fight Caste based discrimination/atrocities.
Importance of staying connected and building Bahujan Networks within and outside the campus.
Dr Bhaskar Thorat, Head of the Department of Chemical Engineering was a great source of support to organize this. He whole heartedly participated in the discussions, apart from sharing his Insights.
Going forward, Bahujan Career Professionals aims to have more sessions like these in various places. Students who are keen to have such sessions in their places can contact by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. They can also check out the Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/Bahujan-Career-Professionals-351884225176630/
This short note was written on behalf of Bahujan Career Professionals (BCP) by Vinay Shende, who is an Ambedkarite working in the Corporate Sector. You can reach out to BCP by sending an email to email@example.com