- Introduction – mention the main theme/values of the case study
- Evaluate the various options available to you with respective merits & demerits.
- Finally mention your course of action.
The above case pertains to the attitude of parents and that of other stakeholders towards social prejudices present in the society related to Dalit community. But according to the Constitution, all the people are equal before law and should be treated with respect and dignity.
Seeking report from the head master:
- Merit : This will help me to take a stock of the situation and convey a message to the parents and students that the matter has been taken very seriously by the higher authority. It helps build confidence with the people who have been wronged by the society in this case i.e. dalit community.
- Demerit : There is no apparent demerit in this approach. But the process should be very transparent so that no section feels that there is opacity in the way case is being addressed. Possibly, slow pace of this official inquiry can infuriate people and hence this needs to be taken care of.
Calling a parents-teacher meeting:
- Merit : The parents can be made to understand that the food is hygienic and of good quality hence would be beneficial for the children. Further the absence of children will hamper their education and future opportunities. They should be persuaded about the importance of education.
- Demerit : Upper caste parents may boycott the meeting due to long-nurtured prejudices. This step can also give a sense of reconciliation in place of actual justice to dalit community.
Threaten legal action under relevant sections:
- Merit : It may serve as a deterrent for the wrong-doers. Untouchability is a heinous crime and cannot be taken lightly. This threatening will send a strong message to the community that administration is very strict about such issues.
- Demerit : Legal highhandedness can backfire in a situation where prejudices are deep rooted and age long. This was also underlined by Gandhi during his fight against caste system. A moderate approach would be better.
Course of action:
- To create a right ambience, it is necessary to display a right message in the school premises. This can be done by setting example by higher authorities. Higher authorities and teachers should, for example, take their meal with the children so that the parents feel confident about sending their children to school.
- The teachers should give a message that all people are equal and discrimination should be ended. The discrimination on the name of castes is highly prevalent in the Indian society. This is dividing society on the basis of caste, creed and religion. Though, it is not possible to bring a quick change in the attitude of the people as social change is a slow process. The different social segments like the local panchayat and civil authorities can play a significant role in changing the mind-set of the people. Local meeting in the village can be organized where people can be made aware about the importance of education and especially the importance of value education. This will help in creating an ethical society.
- Children usually imitate the elders hence it is responsibility of the elders to teach them good human values of harmony, affection, etc. Although such changes in the society are likely to come in the longer run, efforts should continue with optimism, patience and perseverance to instil attitudinal changes through education and awareness to create positive environment. Overnight changes through law cannot be realized.