An Experience Being In a Locality Of Untouchables

        Vasant Moon’s autobiography Growing Up Untouchable in India is about the lives of untouchables in the 1940s where they were not tortured and humiliated as they are in today’s world. Vasant Moon has clearly expressed his experience enabling a reader to know a life of an untouchable.  I enjoyed reading about the warmth during summer, the rain and the places he has described explicitly. He described a neighborhood which was inhabited by untouchables only. I have experienced walking in the lanes of an untouchable locality. I went there as a health facilitator in order to share some of my knowledge regarding personal hygiene and diseases.

Those lanes of untouchable’s locality which I walked through were different from as well as similar to the neighborhood explained by Moon. Moon described the trees from which he used to eat fruits and enjoy spending time with his friends under its shade. Conversely, there weren’t any trees in that locality and every inch of land was occupied by small huts made of plastics. In addition, Moon’s neighborhood was close to other neighborhoods, whereas the untouchable locality was far away from people’s settlement near the bank of the Bagmati River. Furthermore, in Moon’s neighborhood, his grandfather Sadashiv was highly respected by all the people. Likewise, there was a man, Manoj Musahar, in the locality who was treated as an important person among untouchables. He was a learned young man working as a teacher in a local school of untouchables. In order to make our health campaign successful, he played an important role. The untouchables of that locality do not let people of other castes enter the locality, and even if they did, they would be chased away. It would have been impossible to make them aware about health issues if Manoj Musahar hadn’t co-operated with us, due to the fact that his words were prioritized in the locality. On the other hand, people of any caste were allowed to enter the neighborhood of Moon. When Moon was sick all his friends including Brahmans came to visit him despite the fact that the place was occupied by untouchables. The untouchables of Moon’s neighborhood ate snakes, and the untouchables of the locality I visited ate rats. This is some information I gathered about untouchables. It is interesting to compare an untouchable neighborhood of the 1960s of India and an untouchable locality of the present time of Nepal.

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One Response to An Experience Being In a Locality Of Untouchables

  1. kalpana23 says:

    Hi Rasani!
    First of all, I would like to thank you very much indeed for sharing your great experience with the untouchables in Nepal. I did not hav any idea about such localities. However, I felt very sad for those people; in fact, it is a matter of pity for the entire Nepalese that our present cirsumstances are similar to those of India in 1940’s. Nevertheless, you did a very great job by going there for the welfare activities despite their wildness.

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