Ankul Baronia
IJDTSW Vol.5, Issue 1, No.5, pp. 72 to 84, July 2018

Caste Impediments in Livelihood Options for Scheduled Caste

Published On: Saturday, August 4, 2018

Abstract

The results of the Ambedkarite and other progressive movements have provided opportunities to the people from scheduled caste for new livelihood options and framework to live their life with dignity. However in the informal sector and rural regions, when compared to cities and the formal sector, the presence of caste and caste-based atrocities are quite rampant and there are no practical mechanism to avoid these in the informal sector. As most of the people from scheduled castes are dependent on upper castes/classes for their livelihoods, this makes them increasingly vulnerable to multiple forms of atrocities. Their dependency is even a cause for their fear to take legal measures, scared that they might lose their livelihood. This paper is a outcome of a research study on “Caste Impediments in Livelihood options – Study of scheduled caste in Mehrauni town of Lalitpur District of Uttar Pradesh”. The objectives of this study is to examine the role of caste in their livelihood options and in what socio-economic domain caste acts as a fundamental impediment. Findings from the study reveals how caste continues to be a hindrance in the day to day lives of people from scheduled castes, and how caste persist as the fundamental driving force that obstructs their socio-economic mobility in every sphere of their lived realities.

A long tradition of ideological subjection has made (the lower castes) stagnate. Centuries have instilled into them a meek acceptance of the existing (order). This can change. In fact, this must change. The revolt against caste is the resurrection Of India or, shall we say, the bringing into being of a uniquely and hitherto unrealized occasion, when India shall be truly and fully alive. Is such a revolt possible?” Ram Manohar Lohia, the Caste System

Introduction

Scheduled caste is a designation given by government of India to historically socially dominated peoples. From centuries, the person from scheduled castes who are also known as ‘DALIT’ produced by the radical movement of the Dalit Panthers in Maharashtra meaning people’s against untouchability or ‘HARIJAN’ as proposed by M.K.Gandhi, have suffered from historical discrimination. From time to time they are being deprived of their rights. They have been often referred to as untouchables or ‘achhoot’ which means that if anyone from upper caste come in physical contact with them, then he or she will become impure. This resulted in less socio, political and economic spaces accessible to them. They were oppressed in the past and are still being oppressed and are deprived of many of their rights. They generally live in small hamlets which are situated on the outer skirts of the town or village. Government have made many laws for the benefit of people of scheduled castes but yet the practice of untouchability remains even though it has been banned decades ago. The practice of untouchability in most parts of the country remains a norm.

The people from scheduled castes have always been used as vote bank by different parties from time to time after independence, where majority of top posts in parties were always ‘reserve’ for upper castes people and the lower caste people were tokenistic representation, that to as an exception. Due to multiple forms of discrimination their opportunities are severely restricted. Further, as they generally don’t have their own land, they are forced into dependency on the people who have lands, generally belonging to upper caste for their livelihoods. This makes it near impossible for them to raise their voice against the people who commit rampant atrocities on them as their livelihood is dependent on them. Other than this they are assigned works which are generally seen as ‘bad’ or ‘filthy’. Such discriminatory practices results in less livelihood opportunities.

The state of Uttar Pradesh where 1/6 of the India’s population resides, has been one of the states where caste based discriminations is still very much a daily practice. From region to region the scheduled castes comprises about 10 to 25 % of total population in this state. Even though in big numbers in states, they still struggle for better livelihood options and a better quality of life.

Context of Study

I conducted this study in Bundelkhand. The region of Bundelkhand is one of the most backward regions of Uttar Pradesh. Caste based practices are so prevalent in this region. Due to caste based practices the people from Scheduled Caste have to face many problems. Even they have stopped thinking beyond a paradigm. They have moved to the core. They don’t even ask for what they deserve. If they even get water for their fields one week later than others they feel thankful to the upper caste for granting them water.

Their children are being discriminated in school as well, as most of the teachers in schools (govt. & private) are from upper castes and those are from backward categories they don’t have any authority to intervene. The upper caste teachers give preference to the upper caste student or OBC students but they neglect Schedule Caste. This discrimination results in high number of school drop outs. The scheduled caste people are also deprived of job opportunities. Their job limit is fixed either they have to be domestic help, sweeper, labor etc. If they either have government job or their own land than only they can earn some good money.

The women working as domestic help (which have been traditionally caste based jobs) are paid as less 1/3rd of the minimum income, neither they are been given proper leaves or other benefits nor they are been treated properly, they have to remove their footwear before entering into a house. They are always seemed as thieves. Police also exploit them. The moneylenders charge too much interest from them if they gave them loan. Those who have good economic condition they are only being treated nicely, even though they face discrimination many of the times. These all things results in injustice and refrain a bigger section of society to live their life with dignity and help in Nation building. The reasons for this injustice and the hindrance which are been caused at different level after so many measures taken by state are need to be known. So as the people from most marginalized sections can live a better life with proper opportunities and help in Nation building.

History of the term ‘Scheduled Caste’

The term scheduled caste first came in use in 1930s as a blanket term including thousands of castes with having hierarchy among each other. The history of caste dates to Vedic-period where Varna Ashram Dharm and acted as a base for caste. The writings of Manu have been the most influential factor in Indian caste system. After Manu the birth became decisive criteria for caste, which attributes work and status in the society. The birth of a person decides what would be one’s life. The one who took birth in an upper caste house will enjoy special position throughout their life.

There have been historically records how pathetic the life of scheduled caste people in India have been, whether it would be the Bhangi Darwaja in Mandu (MP), which was made before Mughal period after a Bhangi was sacrificed after the completion of a fort or the stories of Peshwa Kingdom in Pune or Ezhava from Kerala; where people from scheduled caste have to carry pot around their neck so that they don’t spit on the ground, also to tie a broom around their waist so that it removes their footprints, whereas Ezhava women in Kerala were not allowed to cover their breasts. To cover their breast they had to pay tax as per their size.

There have also been range of reform movements regarding caste such as Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, Brahmo Samaj, Arya Samaj and Veera-saivism in South, as most of the founders of these movements came from upper caste the result of these anti-caste movements couldn’t really succeed. The only sections which got bit of help were middle range caste groups.

Castes have been chief characteristics of Indian culture from 2500 years. The main four characteristics on which caste runs are:

  1. On the basis of birth, caste is hereditary and patriarchal in nature, a person being born in a particular community is already member of that caste.

  2. Endogamy, the members of a caste marry within its own circle.

  3. A particular caste is designated a particular work and all the members of the castes have to pursue the same.

  4. The member of a caste generally doesn’t eats with the other castes or caste inferior to them.

  5. The ones who fail to follow these rules results in serious punishments. Historically the people from scheduled caste have been tortured, such as the case of Shambuk in Ramayana and or Eklavya in Mahabharat.

Also there is description of formation of castes in the law books, the majority of caste came into existence after intermarriages of different castes. Such as Brahmin man with Vaishya woman giving birth to mixed caste Ambasthas or physicians where Brahmin man and shudra woman gives birth to Nisadas the fisherman, when women from Brahmin community give birth to a child of shudra father it is considered as chandals, who are considered as lowest.

Social Exclusion in India by Caste: My Personal Subjective Experience

I was raised in Mehrauni town of Lalitpur district lying in one of the most backward region of the country Bundelkhand part of Uttar Pradesh. As I grew up I realized that especially in rural and semi-urban region caste plays a crucial role in daily functioning of a person. I belong to ‘KALAAR’ caste whose traditional work was distilling liquor which comes under other backward classes as per government norms. When my ancestors came to Mahrauni village, we were given land on outskirts of the village and in the core of the village majorly the upper caste people Brahmins, Thakurs and Jain lived. In my native place I have seen many of the privileged people from other backward classes responsible for the atrocities done on people in lowest strata of society.

As per our constitution every citizen of the country is equal and deserves to get equal opportunities to access resources but from centuries the people from backward castes are deprived of many resources especially people from scheduled caste are badly affected by it. The people from scheduled caste generally belong to Hindu religion, many of them have opted for another religions such as Buddhism and Islam, as they were not given equal rights in Hinduism. Even after changing their religion nothing much has changed for them.

The people from lower castes are also accused and seen as criminals, for example there are word used as CHORI-CHAMARI, where chori means theft and chamari is related to the chamaar caste, which comes under scheduled caste. These are basically whose traditional livelihood was to work with leather. It is portrayed as that theft is something which is daily business of people from Chamaar caste. Even I have heard people using word leather class to describe people from scheduled caste in a derogatory sense. Even the use of word BHANGI is to show that someone who is filthy, even many of the times I have seen people calling each other bhangi as the other is not so hygienic. Bhangi/Valmiki caste people are the ones who are generally sweepers. So because of profession the whole caste is seen as filthy.

Many times it is also seen that economic advancement does not result high social status. How much rich a Dalit can get it would be nearly impossible for him to become the priest of a local temple. Caste plays important role in village politics. The person from number dominated caste wins. If there is no clear dominance of one caste in village then all other upper caste will make alliance against the person of lower caste. As politics can be a tool to gain high social status. So, political power is one of the medium to elevate social status.

Generally lower castes are in majority but still they can’t win election because there are so many sub castes in themselves and also they don’t have mediums to give a proper fight due to less opportunity.

Caste and Livelihood Opportunities

Due to of their caste these people can’t have better jobs with better pay and better social status such as of cook. Even if they try to start a small chai shop no one would buy from them and they don’t have economic resources to start their own shop or businesses. As, most of the shops are owned by privileged castes people, they gave job of helpers in shop to people from their caste or from comparatively privileged castes. The only narrow window they have is through education in government sector, where also they face discrimination.

Most of the people doing their caste based jobs are being discriminated and have very low socio economic status. They are being highly underpaid for their jobs which make them more vulnerable. They have to work in filthy conditions and on the terms of their masters where they don’t get any other benefits also.

Caste Based Inequalities

The scheduled caste people are seen as untouchables because it is said that any person who does too many crimes in his past birth take birth in the low caste families. Basically caste alone is not a problem but the hierarchy in the caste system is a big problem. The lower caste people have tried to eradicate caste system by choosing option such as changing religion but this option fails to provide the desired results. Also the socio-economic condition and demand of reservations by converted Muslims and Christian shows that changing religion does not remove caste. High caste people are generally wealthy people so their wealth assures them from any legal action against them so they keep on exploiting the lower caste people. In villages already there is lot of humanpower but as compared to manpower jobs are so less. So the cost is already decided for a particular type of work. As dominance mostly come by economic power the upper caste always have the upper hand over lower caste. The value of labor depends on the demand of the particular type of labor. It is seen that villages with backward caste dominance provide better income options for the people from lower caste as compared to upper caste dominant villages.

Status of Scheduled Castes in Mahrauni and their Traditional Livelihood

The scheduled caste population of Mehrauni town compromised mainly of 4 castes i.e. Chamaar, Valmik, Banskaar and Dhobi where Dhobi are less in numbers and Chamaar are in majority. People of Chamaar community are the only people who own ancestral land and most of them have small fields varies from 1 acre to 4 acre. Other than Chamaar community people no one have land, the few of those who have land have earned themselves that too small plots of land. The social status of Dhobi caste is on the top among these four castes and of Valmiki community is at the lowest. All of these castes also have been working as laborer to survive other than their traditional livelihood.

Chamaar community’s traditional livelihood is working with leather; most of the people in the community have left that livelihood two generation ago, to end the discrimination against them. Most of them have land so they do farming and work as daily wage laborer and migrate to Delhi for work. As, the wages given and amount of employment options are in scarcity for them, Valmiki community is the most vulnerable community among these four, they don’t have land and neither most of them have pakka houses, their traditional livelihood have been manual scavenging and still most of them indulge in the same occupation. Banskaar community also doesn’t possess land their traditional livelihood has been making objects from bamboo and drums from leather. Still many of them indulge in the same work.

Dhobi community’s traditional livelihood has been cleaning cloths. As their livelihood made them close to upper caste people they are at the top in caste based hierarchy among these four. Among all of the four Dhobi community is the most well of community in the town, as because of their livelihood they have access to many spaces which weren’t accessible to other schedule caste, comparatively they have higher socio-economic indicators among other scheduled caste. Many of them still sticks to their traditional livelihood whereas many of them are educated and having livelihood security. Among others Chamaar are better as compared to other two, many of the people in Chamaar community have changed their traditional livelihood and some of them have started their own small business or provide services. Whereas Valmiki and Banshkaar are the most vulnerable they don’t have any other better option then their traditional livelihood.

In case of cities it is bit different, there also the people belonging to schedule caste are being discriminated but they have more job opportunities as compared to rural areas. In cities as there is no land and negligible dependence on farming so people in cities are not much dependent on farming for their livelihood they have many more options so the traces of feudalism which are found in villages are not found in cities. Especially in rural India caste plays a crucial role in livelihood opportunities but in case of cities if a person is doing better job in less salary than she or he is being preferred. The jobs in cities are salary based but the jobs in rural areas are caste based.

Even they are never being treated as Hindu they have always been treated as slaves. When the whole community is celebrating festivals they are supposed to do their respective work. After so many schemes and laws made for their safety and sustaining their lives they still live in pity condition especially in rural areas.

Informal Sector and Plight of Scheduled Caste

Most of the jobs in rural setting are still caste based jobs. As most of the people from scheduled caste didn’t get opportunities to have quality education nor they have assets and lands to help in their livelihood. So most of them have to depend on the people from privileged sections for their livelihood. Still most of the jobs in informal sector are caste based jobs, most of the people working as domestic help comes from depressed classes and mostly all of them are women. While working as domestic help these people are been given as less as 250 rupees per month for cleaning cloths and utensils each. Which is less than 1/3rd of the minimum wage. As people don’t have any legal measures to safeguards their rights, they are been exploited and harassed because of their dependency on the livelihood.

Also the livelihood schemes of the state are not accessible to them because of corruption. People working as daily wage laborer gets around 160-180 for male and 130-150 for female. 200 is the minimum daily wage set by government. The worker working as driver gets as less 4000 rupees per month for their 10 hours daily services. Dependency on privileged classes for livelihood and no constitutional safeguards or laws which covers exploitation in informal sector makes the life of people from scheduled caste so vulnerable.

Reason for Leaving Traditional Occupation

As times are changing the people from scheduled castes are looking for better livelihood options. In Mahrauni town most of the people from Chamaar caste has left their traditional livelihood, as most of them have land so it was easy for them to leave their traditional livelihood. The Dhobi’s are generally well off comparing to other castes in scheduled caste, still many of them are engaged in traditional livelihood options. On asking about reason for leaving the traditional livelihood, people replied that their previous generations did it so because of the discrimination and the prejudices their work contained. Also the livelihood security, income and social status assigned to the traditional livelihoods results in low standard of living. Mostly people from Valmiki are still engaged in their traditional livelihood.

Incidents of Caste based atrocities

There is a case told by one of the respondent, where a money lender took 10% as interest per month when the person was not able to pay his debt he was kidnapped and for 3 days he was continuously beaten up. Even when he went to file a complaint in police station the complaint was not taken as the money-lender paid bribe to the inspector. In one of the incident told by one of the respondent in the community, he narrated one story of his school, about how caste is imbibed in daily lives- “there was a boy who came and asked a teacher for ball to play, when his parents asked him why he didn’t get the ball to play he replied that the other teacher is from Yadav caste so he gave ball to Yadav caste students”. Similar types of discrimination are prevalent in the school, also in some of the school the students from scheduled caste have to bring their own utensils to have mid-day meal.

One of the other incident which I noticed myself – there was conflict between Chamar and Thakur community of adjacent village so both the parties came to one of the influential person in the town for some solution, as I was sitting in the hall I asked the people from scheduled caste to sit on the bench before he could say anything the people from Thakur community sitting there said “wo nahi baithega” means ‘he will not sit’ and later on after I insisted him to sit, he denied to do so.

Once, one of the mason who works under my father who is from Chamaar caste came to my house and I gave him chair and even I touched his feet as a gesture to pay respect as a guest, there he became so emotional and there were even tears in his eyes. This incident shows that how much they were overwhelmed by seeing this gesture. They never expect someone who belongs to upper strata than them can touch there feet or respect them. I have even seen many of people from scheduled castes who are older than my father shows gestures of respect such as Bhai Saab as I belong to a caste strata above than them. People use terms like choti jaat instead of backward or pichdi jaat to denote them.

There have been very horrific experiences of people regarding caste based atrocities. In one of the interview a Bank manager from the Valmiki community narrated his experience where he was beaten by his teacher in 5th class just for sitting in front row. People have narrated stories of how they were discriminated during their childhood days which later made most of them to drop out.

About the Area of Study

The area of the study was a town called Mahrauni in Lalitpur district of Uttar Pradesh. The researcher selected this town because it is the hometown of the researcher and he have been knowing the people from scheduled caste community. As the prejudices and issues are attached with the question of caste it is difficult to go to a new place and make the people feel comfortable to discuss their problems with you. In choosing an unfamiliar location would have affected the data collection for the research. One of the reason for choosing the town is to see the effect of caste in semi urban setting, in villages the caste structures are quite evident and dominating and in cities the caste structure are not evident enough but still the people from marginalized section live in quite pathetic conditions in cities. Semi-rural setting provide them better mobility across livelihood options compared to villages and better living conditions as comparing to cities. Also the mahrauni vidhan sabha is a reserved seat which tells us the about population wise dominance of scheduled castes. Mahrauni town have representation of Chamaar, Valmiki, Banshkar and Dhobi castes from scheduled castes.

The inter-caste relations are largely their social, economic and political relations with each other and other sections of society. The town Mahrauni is situated at the border of UP and MP in Lalitpur district of UP. The town is 36 kilometer away from district headquarters in Lalitpur and 5 kilometers from the state border. The district of headquarter of Tikamgarh district (MP), which is adjacent to Lalitpur is at 1 distance of 21 kilometer from Mahrauni.

The total population of the town is 9415, out of which 4865 are male and 4550 female. The scheduled caste constitutes 14.25 % of the town population which is around 1341 and although majority of the scheduled caste lives in hamlets at the periphery of the town which doesn’t comes under the town council jurisdiction. The main scheduled castes which live in village are Chamaar, Valmiki, Banshkar and Dhobi. This study is limited to the geography of the town and its adjacent outskirts.

Subjective Experience while in the Field

As, I hail from the town and coming from a comparatively privileged community it wasn’t so difficult for me to conduct research and find interviewee. Coming from a privileged community there were different power dynamics between me and the interviewees. One of the first question which was asked by most of the respondents was regarding the motive behind my study, so I had to tell them about my course of study, dissertation and the importance of data. After few days when it was getting too tiring to tell each and every person about the whole rationale behind the research I started to do a small public meeting regarding the research in the starting whenever I goes to new community about the research then later everyone got to know about the research and its objective. People were quite overwhelmed by seeing how a person from above strata is acknowledging the caste based issue they faces in their daily lives.

One of the most troublesome question they asked was what would be the benefit of this research to them? To which I replied that this data will help in identifying the key problems and I will try to help them solve those problems by linking with law and policies of the land. There were horrific account of caste based atrocities done on people from Dalit community. The firsthand accounts of the people stories regarding caste based atrocities were quite depressing and sad. The socio-economic status of these communities is very poor.

Key Findings

  • Out of 56 respondents there were only 10 female respondents. As the women have so less spaces accessible to them so they don’t have much livelihood related experiences most of them work as homemaker only. Also, seeing the patriarchal nature of the society it was bit difficult for me to go and talk to them.

  • All the respondents were from Hindu community. The effect of Neo-buddhist movement of Doctor B.R.Ambedkar or any other sort of religious conversion among Dalits of Mahrauni is not visible.

  • Out of 56 interviewee, 36 belonged to Chamaar caste, 9 belonged to Valimik caste, 8 belong to Banshkar community and three from Dhobi community.

  • Out of 56 interviewee 14 i.e. 1/4th of the total interviewee never went to school, only 33 respondents out of 56 reached till class 5, only 24 reached till 8th, 11 till 10th, 5 students reached 12th and only 3 out of the total respondents completed their bachelors.

  • 39 (69%) interviewee reported that they have APL card, 13 had BPL card and only 4 had Antyodaya card.

  • 20 people reported farming as their occupation where only 6 are dependent mainly on farming, other have other sources of Livelihood option too, 29 reported daily wage labor as their mode of livelihood only 12 were dependent only on daily wage labor others have other means of livelihood too. Total 38 people were dependent on farming or labour or both for their livelihood.

  • Also 38 interviewee’s father were engaged in Farming/Daily wage labor for their livelihood.

  • 39 of the respondents told their mothers have been engaged in farming and daily wage labourer.

  • 45 respondents told their grandparents were also involved in daily wage labor and farming for livelihood.

  • 48% of respondents told that their days of work depends on the availability of work, they want to work but there is no availability of work.

  • 42% of the worker reported to work for more than 8 hours at work.

  • None of the people from scheduled caste have information regarding any livelihood scheme applicable in the area.

  • Only 16% of the respondents work in public sector.

  • 44% of the respondents started working as early at 15 years of age.

  • 62% of respondents tell the reason for engagement is lack of education.

  • 64 % send their income was not sufficient to meet the need of their family expenses

  • 43% of the people agreed to take loan for their family needs.

  • 46% said there is a concern for livelihood security when one is engaged in traditional livelihood option. 32% said low income is also a problem.

  • 90% said they don’t want to see their family engaged in their present livelihood.

  • 53.6% said that the reason they don’t want their family to indulge in present occupation is because of low income.

  • 90 % don’t want to see their children in same occupation.

  • 34% said the low living standard of living is the reason why they don’t want their children to be engaged in this same occupation.

  • 91% of the respondents said they have faced direct discrimination.

  • 54% of the person respondent none of their family member have never been to private tuitions as they can’t afford, out of 26 who have seen private tutorial 14 i.e 53% said that they or their family members have faced discrimination.

  • 50% of the respondent said they faced problems in getting scholarships.

  • 85% said that they don’t have idea about any scheme which is beneficial for them. 80% said they didn’t have free access to PDS.

  • 62% of the people said they or their family or community members were made to sweep and clean the premises among other works.

  • Every individual said that even after having necessary skills for a particular jobs the upper caste people are been selected in informal sector.

  • 84% said that don’t get any job from government schemes.

  • 97% of people have reported migration in their family and community.

  • 88% said unemployment less employment opportunities as reason for migration. 75% people migrates to Delhi

  • 53% of the people start migrating for better livelihood as early as 15 years of age. More than 90% of migrants have problem of shelter.

  • 95% of them want their children to work in formal sector jobs.

  • 71% said they don’t get livelihood opportunities other than traditional livelihood sector.

  • The given skills they have, 59% of the people want to work as watchman or peon but due to the stigma attached with their castes they are not getting options.

  • 30% of people have income less than 2000 rupees per month.

  • 80% of the respondents don’t possess any savings.

  • 35% of them don’t possess any assets.

  • 55% of the people stated Home as their one of the assets.

  • 60% of the respondents don’t possess any land.

  • The average land size in the community is 2 acres.

  • 25% of the respondents reported of going more than 2 kilometer to find work. 71% reported livelihood related health issues.

  • 73% said they need to take loan for their unexpected expenditure.

  • 84% of the respondents have taken loan at least once in their life period. 75% of them have taken loan from private money lenders.

  • 57% of the respondents have faced injustice while paying the loan. 41% said that they were charged higher rate of interest.

  • Children of 70% respondents goes to public school for education.

  • For 68% the reason for choosing the school was poor financial conditions.

Conclusion

Caste is an everyday reality in India. Most of the people having respected or high earning jobs are from privileged castes, where majority of market is under control of upper caste community and the people from scheduled castes are supposed to live at the outskirts. There are many places which are not accessible to people from scheduled caste community. People are being discriminated, tortured or even killed due to their caste. Caste act as a serious hindrance in choosing livelihood options for scheduled caste. The privileged castes hegemony have made very difficult for the marginalised to survive. The three domains and scopes which people from scheduled caste community have is Politics, Education and Jobs in formal sector. Otherwise it is very difficult for them to compete in other fields due to lack of resources.

The scheduled caste population of Mehrauni town compromised mainly of 4 castes i.e. Chamaar, Valmik, Banskaar and Dhobi. Where Dhobi are minimum in numbers and Chamaar are in majority. People of Chamaar community are the only people who own ancestral land most of them have small fields varies from 1 acre to 4 acre. Other than Chamaar community people no one have land, the few of those who have land have earned themselves that too small plots of land. The social status of Dhobi caste is on the top among these four caste and of Valmiki community is at the lowest. All of these castes also have been working as laborer to survive other than their traditional livelihood.

Chamaar community traditional livelihood is working with leather, most of the people in the community have left that livelihood two generation ago, to end the discrimination against them. Most of them have land so they does farming and work as laborer and migrate to Delhi for work. As, the wages given and amount of employment options are in scarcity for them.

Valmik community is the most vulnerable community among these four, They don’t have land and neither most of them pakka houses, their traditional livelihood have been manual scavenging and still most of them indulge in the same occupation. Banskaar community also don’t poses land their traditional livelihood have been making objects from bamboo and drums from leather. Still many of them indulge in the same work. Dhobi community’s traditional livelihood have been cleaning cloths. As their livelihood made them close to upper caste people they are at the top in caste based hierarchy among these four.

There have been very horrific experiences of people regarding caste based atrocities. In one of the interview a Bank manager from the Valmiki community narrated his experience where he was beaten by his teacher in 5th class just for sitting in front row. People have narrated stories of how they were discriminated during their childhood days which later made most of them to drop out. Only 1 person out of 56 interviewers told that he and his family members were not discriminated. The reason was he was an elected ward member in the municipality and also a contractor so he had comparatively more assets.

Due to of their caste these people can’t have better jobs with better pay and better social status such as of cook. Even if they try to start a small chai shop no one would buy from them and they don’t have economic resources to start their own shop or businesses. As, most of the shops are owned by privileged castes people, they gave job of helpers in shop to people from their caste or from comparatively privileged castes. The only narrow window they have is through education in government sector. Where also they face discrimination.

Most of the people doing their caste based jobs are being discriminated and have very low socio-economic status. They are highly underpaid for their jobs which makes them more vulnerable. They have to work in filthy conditions and on the terms of their masters, where they don’t get any other benefits.

“Caste restricts opportunity. Restricted opportunity constricts ability. Constricted ability further restricts opportunity. Where caste prevails, opportunity and ability are restricted to ever-narrowing circles of the people” – Ram Manohar Lohia

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