11th February, 2016 (MAINS)


Q1. You are the Sarpanch of a Panchayat. There is a primary school run by the government in your area. Midday meals are provided to children attending the school. The headmaster has now appointed a new cook in the school to prepare the meals. However, when it is found that cook is from Dalit community, almost half of the children belonging to higher castes are not allowed to take meals by their parents. Consequently the attendance in the schools falls sharply. This could result in the possibility of discontinuation of midday meal scheme, thereafter of teaching staff and subsequent closing down the school.

(a) Discuss some feasible strategies to overcome the conflict and to create right ambiance.

(b) What should be the responsibilities of different social segments and agencies to create positive social ambiance for accepting such changes?

[20marks/2015/GS-4] 250 words.

Please write answer in the comments section.

  • Umesh Sachin

    (a) At the root of the problem lies the caste discrimination prevalent in the village. So for overcoming the conflict and creating the right ambience following strategies can be implemented :

    (i) Changing attitude of people: The caste discrimination prevalent in the village can be eliminated through changing attitude of people. I will use social influence and persuasion techniques for achieving this. For example, social proof, reciprocity, liking, dissemination of information, breaking stereotypes etc can be used.
    (ii) Inter- community cultural festivals: The barriers dividing society into various segments can be overcome only when there is more interaction among people. Festivals provide an opportunity to bring people closer.
    (iii) Defining shared goals: Village should work together for achieving certain shared goals. Defining such goals like in education and health sector can help in ensuring collective effort of people.
    (iv) Leading by Example: As Sarpanch of the village, I will lead by example. It will help in influencing people, and bringing change.

    (b) The various social segments and agencies like family, school and Gram Sabha have certain responsibilities for creating right ambience.

    (i) Responsibility of Social segments:-
    People must promote shared values like equality, fraternity, justice etc. It is our responsibility to respect every individual in the manner we expect respect from others. We need to persuade people for attitude change if they discriminate against anyone.
    (ii) Responsibility of Social Agencies:-
    Law enforcement agencies must ensure proper enforcement of laws which prohibit discrimination. Also Civil servants need to remain pro- active in order to detect early warning signs of such discrimination and take corrective steps. They should also launch various awareness campaigns in this regard. They should lead by example, which will help in influencing people.

    So, for bringing social change and creating right kind of ambience, above steps can be taken.

  • Ashi Agarwal

    (a) Discuss some feasible strategies to overcome the conflict and to create right ambiance.
    Ans. The Article 14 of the Indian constitution prohibits discrimination among its citizens on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of
    birth. But caste based social discrimination is still prevalent in Indian society and Panchayats still do not play their expected role in its
    In this case being a sarpanch and leader of the village it’s my duty to protect the right of every person in each and every possible manner. I
    will take following steps to resolve the problem:
    1. I will launch a campaign in village against this social discrimination.
    2. I will call a public meeting with each student parents of the school and try to convince them by informing and educating them about caste
    discrimination, its evil practice.
    3. In order to break this ideology I will have a mid day meal cooked by the Dalit cook and will eat and try to persuade others to have so too.
    4. I will provide the details of legal activity and conviction if such activity is not being stopped in near future.
    5. I will persuade the teachers to make the children be educated regarding this sort of social evil and to make them feel free to discuss regarding such inhuman changes and to not indulge themselves in such acts.

    (b) What should be the responsibilities of different social segments and agencies to create positive social ambience for accepting such
    Ans: I will try to inform several social activist groups regarding it and ensure their encouragement and steps to be taken against such evil
    practices. Intellectual peoples from the upper caste should come forward in eradicating out such inhuman practices occurring in our civilized society since centuries. They can break such jeopardy and set an example before other people so that they can realize about such practices
    and avoid it.