Such discrimination is being witnessed more in agricultural belts of north Telangana, where landlords were more prevalent, for example along Nirmal to Mancherial route. Representational image/DC
ADILABAD: Demand is rising within marginalised communities in erstwhile Adilabad district to abolish the system of village development committees (VDCs) in villages. It is alleged these bodies have become feudal in nature and are discriminating against marginalised sections, particularly Dalits, barbers and people washing clothes.
Such discrimination is being witnessed more in agricultural belts of north Telangana, where landlords were more prevalent, for example along Nirmal to Mancherial route. It is alleged people of upper castes have gradually gained upper hand in village development communities. They are thus able to control social, economic and political activities within their area of operation.
VDCs collect money from contractors before allowing them to set up liquor shops and sell liquor in their villages at even higher prices. The committees get money through auction of sand mining rights in rivulets of their villages. They further mobilise money by getting ward members and sarpanch elected unanimously using their diktats. Most of such money is being spent on constructing temples, arches and organising festivals.
Of late, however, the trend of socially boycotting marginalised communities and imposing huge fines on them has increased at the behest of those controlling the village development committees. A few days ago, the VDC of new Sanghvi village in Mamada mandal socially boycotted the Vaddera community. The boycott started after the community opposed belt shops in the village as liquor sold by them was ruining families of the community.
The Sanghvi VDC prohibited members of Vaddera community from crossing the main road and entering the village. It threatened to impose a fine of 50,000 on those who violate this diktat and reward 1,000 to anyone who passes on information about the violation.
There is also an instance of a VDC announcing boycott of people belonging to washing community after its members hiked the price of washing and ironing clothes in a village of Nirmal district.
A person from Kadthal village committed suicide when the VDC imposed a fine of
6 lakh on him over a social issue.
Local police and revenue officials know about such happenings. But they remain silent, as members of these VDCs enjoy political patronage.
Vaddera Welfare Society district president K. Sampangi Prabhakar, who visited Sanghvi village on learning about social boycott of Vaddera people by VDC, has demanded that state government ban village development committees, as they are working not only against people of marginalised selections, but also spreading hatred against them.