New Delhi: Terming the prevailing caste
system as "a badge of shame", the Social Justice Ministry has recommended human rights education at various levels including
civil services and other central service training institutions
to get rid of caste-based discrimination.
The report of the `12th Five Year Plan Working Group` of
the Ministry has observed that the caste system narrows mind
and hearts and human rights education with emphasis on its
ill-effects should be introduced in educational institutions
at all levels.
"Children must be helped to see that caste is not a badge
of honour, but caste is a badge of shame," the report on
`Empowerment of Scheduled Caste` prepared by the Working Group
"They (children) should be helped to see that a big
country like India with great ambition and expectations
requires large minds and hearts while the caste system narrows
the mind and the heart," it said.
The group recommended that human rights education with
emphasis on anti-human, anti-national and anti-constitutional nature of caste system, caste loyalties, caste biases and caste antagonisms should be introduced in every educational institution at all levels.
"Such human rights education also needs to be introduced in teacher-training institutions, IAS, IPS and other central
as well as state service training institutions," the report
It said the Union and State Ministers in charge of
pre-schooling and higher education should take proactive
initiative in making such human rights education a reality and
convey the seriousness of central and state government about
this task to entire educational machinery.
To ensure action against untouchability, the report has
recommends a comprehensive campaign to sensitise community of
teachers to make them a bulwark against this in educational
It has also recommended recognition and reward for panchayats which take initiative to end discrimination against
SCs in their areas.
To provide financial support for this purpose, the
Working Group in its report has recommended full budgetary
support and active socio-political participation in this
regard all over the country.