Hyderabad: The practice of untouchability in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh is low compared with other states in India. The percentage of untouchability in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh is 10-20 per cent, according to a Indian Human Development survey.
Untouchability is the least in the urban areas in the two states. A large percentage people in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh are progressive. Education has helped them, said experts.
West Bengal, Kerala and Maharashtra are seen as progressive states with lowest untouchability. In West Bengal, 1 per cent of respondents said that they practised untouchability, Kerala 2 per cent, followed by Maharashtra (4 per cent), the North-East (7 per cent), and Andhra Pradesh & Telangana (10-20 per cent).
Untouchability is still practised in rural areas of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. Mr. Angi, a social worker from Alair village of Warangal district, said, “Till date people from a low caste are supposed to remove their footwear when they come across a person from the higher caste. Also, certain professions are still meant for lower caste like manual scavenging, toilet cleaning, etc. Tea is served in separate vessels and the meals are kept aside.”
Sociologist Anu Som said that there is a gradual change. “Only interior pockets and the old generation continue the practice. Due to education there is also a sense of equality.”
Ms. S. Vani, a Supreme Court advocated, added, “The upper caste domination is gradually dwindling even in political parties. People should remember that untouchability was abolished by the Constitution”....