Barbers demand Schedule Caste status in Jharkhand

February 20th, 2009 - 4:02 pm ICT by IANS  

Ranchi, Feb 20 (IANS) Barbers in Jharkhand are demanding Schedule Caste status, which will help them get reseved jobs and educational opportunities. They are presently classified among Other Backward Communities in the state.
“We are one of most backward communities of society. Our social status and educational levels are very low. To improve our situation we demand inclusion of our community in the Schedule Castes (SC),” said Gopal, president of Ranchi Barbers Association.

Echoing his view, Ganesh Thakur, a barber, said: “No one can live without our services. Despite serving each and everyone in the country, from urban to rural areas, we are still leading a wretched life. The state government should issue cards to barbers and extend facilities provided to SCs of the state.”

The barbers’ demands include free education to their children in schools, inclusion of their community in SC category, subsidy in train and bus fares and soft government loans to open saloons.

There are over 1,000 barbers in state capital Ranchi.

The barbers’ association is planning to demonstrate in front of the governor’s house to press the demands.

“We will soon convene a meeting of barbers and decide our course of action,” Gopal said.

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