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Tuesday, August 23, 2005
By Yokota Fritz

If you think you have it bad, check out what the Dalits have to go through in some towns in India.
newKerala.com. 23 August 2005.

Dalits do not ride bicycles

  Dalits are prohibited from riding bicycles within the boundary of these villages in Orissa.

  They have to walk till they cross the village limits. Only then can they ride the cycle or bike. Even the bride and the groom along with the marriage party are not allowed to come or leave the village in any vehicle. They park their vehicle outside the village and walk to the venue.

  Mamata Naik, the first woman of the community to go to a college for higher education, is also a victim of the social stigma. She is facing a huge problem in pursuing her studies as the upper class people would not allow her to ride the cycle to college which is seven kms away.

  The upper caste people in the village proudly say 'As per traditions, the street belonged to us and the dalits have been debarred from riding cycle or bike and moving on any vehicle as it would be considered an insult to us.'

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