Rajasthan, On A Path To Social Change
- 28th July: Following a discussion at ‘Dalit Rights Campaign’ amongst our organisation head, mentor, fellow and others present, in Jodhpur, it was decided that a memo will be sent to the concerned authorities, to investigate the matter. The collector issued an order to the Senior Inspectors of the villages and he further sent the copy to 10 police stations involved.
- 5th August: A.S.I Mr. Omprakash spoke to the organisation head in Chamu village –Sitaram, Mentor – Jogaram and Fellow – Champalal and asked them to lodge a complaint.
- 6th August: Jogaram lodged a complaint in the morning. Later that day, he along with A.S.I Omprakash visited all barber shops in Chamu village and warned them saying ‘since your shops are situated in public space, you are obliged to serve (giving a haircut) people belonging to every class and caste’.
- 7th August: In a meeting where barbers and people from other castes (including OBC) were present, it was decided that no matter what happens, the barbers would not oblige to the demands by team CORO or police officials; they were determined to not cut hair of the people from SC/ST communities and shut their shops for a month from the same day. One who dares to go against this decision will pay a penalty of Rs. 1100/-. In this way, from 7th august, all the barbers shut their respective shops.
- 22nd August: CORO office members Mahendra, Nagesh, Deependra, Seema, Harlala and Lalita, organised a meeting. Sitaram, Jogaram and Champalal went to the police station where they elaborately discussed the constitutional values.
-12th September: Kripal and Vinod Singh (sons of previous Sarpanch Kripal Singh) and Sarpanch Mulram met the barber community. In this meeting, the Thakurs of the village ordered them to not push this matter any further and to resume work as soon as possible. They asked the barbers to run their shops as usual and instructed them to not deprive SC/ST communities of their service, as this issue had legally escalated.
-12th September: The entire barber community came to a consensus to open their respective shops from 12 pm onward and serve everyone, regardless of their caste and class.
In this manner, the barber shops in Chamu village opened after 36 days of constant struggle by our Jodhpur team and other officials. Jogaram faced enormous persuasion from upper castes and police officials. Not just that, but few people from SC/ST communities tried to pressurise him as well. But this pressure did not stop him from bringing about a social reform, which will have a greater impact in near future.