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`Caste system greatest tragedy to befall human race`

Last Updated: Monday, August 10, 2009 - 16:17

New Delhi: Describing caste system as the
"greatest tragedy to befall human race", Lok Sabha Speaker
Meira Kumar on Monday said even the poor have a right to live with
self respect.

Addressing a gathering of around 200 liberated women
scavengers, who have now become independent enough to earn
their own livelihood, she said, "Caste system is the greatest
tragedy to befall human race, especially in a country like
India, which has a rich cultural heritage."

She said the poorest of the poor has felt the impact of
the caste system over centuries.

"I would like to say here, that nobody, including those
belonging to the lowest rung of the social strata, should feel
small, as your ancestors have made sacrifices for this
country, and therefore you too have a right to live with self
respect," Kumar said.

Appreciating the efforts of the founder of Sulabh
International Social Service Organisation, Bindeshwar Pathak,
for bringing about a change in the lives of so many women
scavengers, hailing mainly from Alwar in Rajasthan, she said
through such efforts, her faith in humanity is reaffirmed.

"When I see that even the socially well off among the
lower castes, have not been able to come out of the caste
bias, I am forced to think that caste system is the greatest
tragedy of our country. But when I see the kind of work done
by Sulabh International, my faith in humanity is reaffirmed,"
the Speaker said.

Bureau Report

First Published: Monday, August 10, 2009 - 16:17
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