Dalit parents use kids’ stipend to buy liquor

Himalayan News Service

Ilam, May 6:

As soon as the recipients of the Dalit scholarships bring home the money provided to them as stipend, their parents grab it and use it to buy alcohol, it is reported.

And now the concerned authority is planning to hand over educational materials to the Dalit students of the Devi Primary School instead of giving them cash. They hope this would help reduce misuse of the scholarship fund.

The local teachers say that the parents of the students receiving scholarships are found hanging around local liquor shops after the school provides stipend. Headmaster of the Surodaya primary school Hari Sanjel said, "We have found that the parents of the Dalit children receiving scholarship are misusing the fund by spending it in activities other that educational and even buying liquor. So we have decided to provide the students with educational materials than giving them cash."

So much so, some of the Dalit parents have admitted their children to the local schools to receive the stipend provided to their children through the Dalit scholarship, a resource person Damodar Bhattarai said.

Narendra Chahar, the president of the Dalit Service Society, Ilam unit said most of the scholarship amount given to the students are being misused despite repeated efforts to convince the parents not to do so.

The DEO Ilam informed that some 1,209 Dalit students were provided with the stipend of Rs 250 per month in 2002/03, whereas this year some 3,000 are to be provided with the stipend of which some 2,800 have already been awarded the amount.