Posted On Thursday, June 21, 2012 at 09:05:50 AM
It took a suicide threat at the caste validation committee’s office in Yerwada for authorities to issue the document that holds the future of many students in balance.
Fed up with repeated promises, Ankush Mane a farmer from Akluj, who has been struggling to get a caste certificate for his nephew Sagar, managed to secure it on Wednesday evening.
|Pics: Mahendra Kolhe
• The crowd outside the committee office, (R) a triumphant Sagar with his caste certificate on Wednesday
Mane and his nephew had been staying at Pune Station for the last three days and were forced to eat only one meal a day — a vada pav in the morning. This was because authorities had not been able clear the status of his application and kept asking him to come the next day.
On Wednesday, Mane finally announced that he would hang himself outside the comittee’s office if he did not receive his nephew’s caste certificate. Sagar is studying in a college in Baramati and wanted to pursue further studies after Class XII, for which he had submitted an application in 2010. Mane said, “It was the fourth consecutive day I requested a certificate.
However, they kept ridiculing me. They could not even trace my nephew’s application. Later, they asked me to submit fresh photocopies of documents and a fresh application. Even then, they were reluctant to issue a caste certificate.”
Shilpa Kamble, who was waiting outside the caste validation committee’s office for the last four days as well, managed to get the certificate. Kamble said, “They issued our certificates because we created a scene.
If we had not protested, we don’t know how long we would have had to wait. Women who come to this office suffer a lot as there are no toilets here. They have to wait in the sun and there is no provision even for a glass of water.”
She added, “It is dangerous for women who have to leave this area at night as it is in an isolated place. We warned a clerk that if something went wrong the committee would be solely responsible.”
After the suicide threat, a clerk allowed Kamble and Mane to locate their applications. Madhukar Patole, member secretary of the caste validation committee signed and issued the certificates to Kamble and Mane on Wednesday.
Chairman Sharad Ahire and deputy commissioner Dipak Wadkute of the committee stayed away from work saying they were unwell. A huge crowd of students and parents remained waiting outside the office.