Katik community demands SC status, stages protest

Bengaluru City Governance Karnataka Karnataka politics Rural Karnataka

Members say they get no government support

Members of Karnataka’s Katikcommunity on Tuesday staged a protest demanding their inclusion in the list of Scheduled Castes.

R.K. Siddaramanna, former MLC and chief convener of Sanchalana Samaj, an organizationthat helps the Katiks,said: “Our demand is that they give us SC status and all the benefits that come with it. In northern states like UP, we are already given the status of an SC, then why not here?”

The Karnataka government is not sending a proper report on the community to the Centre, he said. “The state government is just like a postman; they have to give a report.”

“We are backward —educationally, socially and politically. There is no recognition for us in any government sector. Not even one person from our community is in the government. Give us reservation. our children have talent, but they don’t have opportunities,” the former legislator said.

More than 1,000 people from the lakh-strong community were present at the protest, held at Freedom Park, Bengaluru.

Women from the community have been facing several issues.

Shakuntala S. Kalan, President of the Katik Mahila Committee informed The Observer:“Our children, especially our girls, do not have any education facilities. The women of our community only have one job, to help their husbands out and sell liquor. That’s it. All we want…is SC status and benefits like reservation in the education sector.”

Girls from the community find it difficult to get matches and youths feel marginalized.

Sudha Bujurukar, vice-president of the Katik Mahila Committee, said: “If the government doesn’t fulfill our demands, we will go to Delhi and protest. We will not stop. We are doing all this so that our childrenlive a better life.”

Somashekhar, a man from the community, informed The Observer: “We do not have any facilities or help from the government. We do not have any recognition in any sector of society,”

The Katik community works mainly as butchers and liquor sellers. They are mostly found in New Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh.

The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment was not available for a comment on the Katik community’s demands.

tina.f@iijnm.org

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