What is Vinaya Samarasya Yojana

Vinaya Samarasya Yojana, which will be launched on 14 April, Ambedkar Jayanti, is named after a three-year-old Dalit boy Vinay. Last September, his family was fined Rs 25,000 because he entered a temple in Karnataka’s Koppal district

What is the initiative?

The state government said it will launch the “Vinaya Samarasya Yojana”, an awareness programme that aims to eradicate untouchability still prevalent in rural areas.

Karnataka social welfare minister Kota Shrinivasa Poojary told the state Assembly on Monday that Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai will launch Vinaya Samarasya Yojana on 14 April on the occasion of Ambedkar Jayanti. The state Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is also checking the availability of Prime Minister Narendra Modi for a virtual inauguration.

The campaign will be implemented across all gram panchayats in Karnataka. Those panchayats where untouchability is eradicated will get additional funds as a token of encouragement from the government.

The scheme was announced in the Karnataka budget for 2022-23 to raise awareness about untouchability in the state.

The Dalit boy after whom the scheme is named

The scheme is named after a three-year-old Dalit boy Vinay, whose family was penalised after he tried to enter a temple in Karnataka’s Koppal district. Days after villagers asked the family to pay a fine of Rs 25000, five people were arrested including the temple priest.

The temple was located right behind the house and Vinay walked toward it because it was raining.

The incident took place in September 2021 at Miyapur village in Kushtagi taluk, where Dalits are not allowed to enter temples even now.

The boy belonged to the Dalit Channdasar community, while the five arrested people are from the upper Ganiga caste.

Now almost six months after the incident, the government is introducing the scheme to educate villagers. That’s not all. It also plans to bear all costs of Vinay’s education. “Whether he wants to be an engineer or doctor, the government will support him and bear the cost of his education,” the social welfare minister said on Monday.

The fate of the family

However, not much has changed for the child’s family. After the news grabbed the attention of the national media, upper-caste village leaders decided to socially boycott Vinay’s family. After being further marginalised, they had no choice but to leave the village. In November last year, they abandoned their house and land and moved, reports The Indian Express.

Those who were arrested for targeting the Dalit family reportedly received bail.

“After the incident made headlines, we were facing a social boycott and I withstood it for many days so that things may change. But every bad thing in the village was attributed to our family and we were abandoned. Even if some emergency help was required, we would not get it. I then made the decision to shift to Yelburga (in the Koppal district), which is my wife’s hometown,”

He said that naming the scheme after his son would not bring about any change and the practice of untouchability had to be eradicated.

Shivappadasara told the newspaper that the village continues to discriminate against Dalits; even annual festivals are reportedly cancelled fearing Dalits would enter temples.

Crimes against the Scheduled Castes (SCs) and the Scheduled Tribes (STs) are common in the state. According to data, the conviction rate in cases of atrocities against the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes was seven per cent in Karnataka. Poojary said that of the 23,095 such cases registered in the state since 2019, 19,057 cases have been pending before various courts.

Crimes against the Scheduled Castes (SCs) and the Scheduled Tribes (STs) are common in the state. According to data, the conviction rate in cases of atrocities against the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes was seven per cent in Karnataka. Poojary said that of the 23,095 such cases registered in the state since 2019, 19,057 cases have been pending before various courts.

Between 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021, there have been 2,327 cases of murder, exploitation and other cases on members of the SC/ST community in Karnataka, according to data from the state government.

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