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Determined to work their way up, these young boys — 10 to 15 of them — from the 40-odd families in the colony, had no idea how to take it forward till they found willing supporters among the firemen at the local fire station.A few of the boys who dropped out of high school or failed their tenth grade are now registering themselves with the Kerala Public Service Commission (KPSC) and are preparing to write various examinations that would help them secure a government job at various levels.Regunathan Thettayil, the school's headmaster explains why: “Just because all the Dalit children of the colony are studying here, nobody outside of the colony wants to send their wards here. The complaint let to the Commission issuing notices to almost everyone involved — right from the government secretaries to the panchayat representatives — but nothing much came out of it.We have been going from house to house every year for the last ten years. that youngsters like him in the colony had realised that shedding tears wouldn't change the way the world looked at them, instead they decided to bring change from within.Most of them return after finishing Class X or Class XII with a will to make a difference to their social status through education.Government efforts in vain The state government maintains that it has been trying its best to sort out the issue.
This worries me a lot because whatever we do unless these kids get to sit with non-Dalit children, how will they assimilate into the society?
Twenty four-year-old Lijesh Prakash is on a mission that may seem improbable to many.
A mission to eradicate a social stigma that he and many others are still living with — untouchability.
Nobody understands the psychological imprint this segregation leaves on the young minds here,’’ said Thettayil.
Rather than sending them to a local school nearby, where again they stand the chance of being discriminated at a young age, they send them to far-flung schools and also help them get accommodated at hostels run by the Ministry of Schedule Caste and Tribal Affairs close to those schools.