Rajasthan village can shed its `derogatory` name

There is something to cheer about for the residents of a non-descript village of Rajasthan who have been struggling for the last 23 years to get its "derogatory" name changed.

Updated: May 31, 2010, 22:09 PM IST

New Delhi: There is something to cheer about
for the residents of a non-descript village of Rajasthan who
have been struggling for the last 23 years to get its
"derogatory" name changed.

Replying to a notice issued by the National Human Rights
Commission in this regard, the Ministry of Home Affairs has
recently said that it has no objection if the name of the
village `Chamaron Ka Vas` (home of cobblers) is changed to its
original name `Kuwan Ka Vas` (home of wells).

It also informed the Commission that it has requested the
Rajasthan government to "issue a notification changing the
name of the village".
Considering the reply of the Home Ministry on May 26, the
NHRC directed the Rajasthan Chief Secretary to issue a
notification regarding changing of the village`s name, located
in Hingota Panchayat of Dausa district, and submit an action
taken report before it "within four weeks".

The Commission also directed him to hold an inquiry to
ascertain how the name of the village `Kuwan Ka Vas` was
changed to `Chamaron Ka Vas`.

The Commission took up the case on the basis of a
complaint filed by one Khem Chand and other residents of the
village in 2006 alleging that one Lekhpal (official) of the
area gave the "derogatory name" to their village in land
records 23 years ago due to "ill-will". The village is largely
inhabited by a scheduled caste community.

"Commission has also asked the Rajasthan Chief Secretary
to find out the errant Lekhpal and submit the report along
with the notification changing the name of the village within
four weeks," it said.

The NHRC noted that the case was in direct conflict with
the "Constitutional mandate" and the village was given such a
derogatory name despite the Constitution prohibiting any
discrimination on the basis of caste, religion or language.
The Commission noted that the struggle to get the name
changed has "not been an easy ride for Khem Chand and other
residents of the concerned village since 1987."

In 2002, the then district collector of Dausa did
forward their application to the state government recommending
a new name `Govindpura` for the village, but nothing happened
on the ground, NHRC observed.

"In 2006, they took up the matter again with the then
District Collector, Dausa, but were not responded well by the
officer concerned," it added.

PTI