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Friday, May 20, 2022

Church blocks public path and denies education to Hindu SC children for refusing to convert

A Catholic Church in Tamil Nadu has built a wall blocking the public pathway in a village as the Hindu residents refused to convert. Hindus have alleged that their children studying in the church-run school are denied education for the same reason.

Hindu Adi Dravida(a Scheduled Caste), residents of Maruthuvampadi village in Tiruvannamalai have submitted a petition to the district collector seeking action against the Roman Catholic church in their village. Dinamalar, a local Tamil daily, reported that more than 3000 Hindu residents of the village are denied access to the public road because they refused to convert to Christianity.

In their petition to the collector Hindus have accused Fr.Yesupadam, the administrative officer of the school run by the Catholic church of forcing them to accept Christianity. The school appears to be a government aided one. Villagers say that the Christian priest built a compound wall around the church blocking the public road.

When the public and Panchayat Chairman asked him about it, the priest claimed that the land is a property of the church. The road has been in use for more than 100 years as a public path. But as it has been blocked now people have to travel a long distance to get access to public transportation facilities. 

Mothers allege that children studying in the church-run school have been asked not to come as they refused to convert. Other children also find it difficult to go to schools as the public road is blocked. Parents lament that children going to school after a 2 year gap due to Covid-19 are being denied education at the time of annual exams.

They said, “Hindu students don’t get any concessions. We pay the full tuition fee and other fees the school demands. Yet our children were asked to not come in exam time. Only Christian children are allowed inside the school now. Even my parents and myself went to the same school without facing any problem. The new priest has stirred up this issue”.

They have requested the district collector to take action on the church and school administrations for blocking the road and denying education to children.

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