OBJECTING to the naming of a government school as “Harijanvas Prathmik Shala” in Dhima village under Vav taluka in Gujarat’s Banaskantha district, a city-based NGO sent a written complaint to the minister of social justice and empowerment Ramanlal Vora Tuesday.
Seeking action against the officials for naming the school against the state government’s notification of January 12,1999 — which does not permit reference to persons of scheduled caste as “harijan” and scheduled tribe as “girijan” — the NGO, Navsarjan, has complained to the minister as well as concerned officials of the social justice and empowerment department and asked for immediate withdrawal of the school’s name.
“This speaks volumes about the state government’s double standards. On one hand while the state government is celebrating 125th birth anniversary of Babasaheb Ambedkar, on the other they have acted against his ideology by identifying and segregating a community by naming a school as Harijanvas. We have complained against this action and sought action,” said the the NGO’s Kireet Rathod.
This was brought to the notice of the NGO during a recent visit to the village for a project. As per the records available, the school building has been operational with this name for the last two years. When contacted, the officials of social justice and empowerment department claimed they didn’t know the issue. “I am not aware of this neither has this been brought to my notice. This might have gone to the other officials,” said H G Bhabhor, deputy director.