Dalits dread winter nights


People from the Dalit community in Bara have started worrying about the cold as the winter sets in.

Parbati Majhi, a Dalit woman, has been mending old clothes for winter at Lamidanda-based Mushahar settlement in Jitpursimara sub-metropolis. She said the old saris and bedsheets, among other clothes donated by villagers, were collected to make a thick quilt for this winter.

She recounted how her five-member family had spent the cold nights wrapped in cement sacks last year.

Majhi said old clothes donated by people could save children from the cold. She added her ancestral profession had become extinct.

They used to work on the banks of the rivers and fish there as well as at other water resources.

Majhi said people these days did not buy the gravel prepared by them due to availability of modern machinery.

Many people in her community share the same plight. She said they did not have land to grow food or money to start other businesses.

“We are compelled to spend the bone-biting cold nights inside cement sacks.”