Context: Social inequality is a vital challenge for society wherein issues like un-touchability affects human psychology and manifests at various levels in different forms. Dealing with such an issue, Social Justice Committee of Ner Amarsar Gram Panchayat set a unique example of social equality through their work.
Description: Gram Panchayat elections were held in December 2006 followed by the new body taking charge on 18th January, 2007. Damajibhai and Chondabhai were elected as Sarpanch and Deputy sarpanch respectively of the Gram Panchayat. After the election of the deputy sarpanch, Social Justice Committee was created by Talati wherein a person belonging to non schedule caste was appointed as chairperson of the committee.
During the same period, Kutch Mahila Vikas Sangathan as part of their capacity building programme of PRs organized a lecture series on Social Justice Committee, formation, its roles and responsibilities, etc. Bhurabhai Vaghela, Gram Panchayat representative belonging to scheduled caste attended the lecture series. He discussed this issue with Talati and TDO, both showed preparedness to recreate the committee. Later, Bhurabhai became the chairman of Social Justice Committee and was also allocated a separate place of sit in the Gram Panchayat and administrative tools. The committee has functioning with regular meetings and working hours on Mondays and Thursdays.
In 2010, Ner Amarsar village organized grand worship event of Shiv temple. For this event, the schedule caste community were boycott, not allowing them to enter and worship the god; financial contribution from them was denied and were not allowed for Prasad (lunch). This incidence broke the patience of the schedule caste community. SJC took this discrimination incident very seriously, all the schedule caste community got together and approached Bhachau Police station and started agitation for getting justice. Political leaders were also approached through various channels. The community got police protection and intervention of the Police and Political leader could avail the SC community justice. Schedule caste community could enter and worship the god, their financial contribution was accepted and were also offered Prasad. As an immediate response of this action, villagers stopped giving labour work to the Schedule caste community, however, as time proceeded, things were diluted and presently everything is running smoothly in the village. The outcome of the whole incident was that the SC community could create an equal place in the village temple for themselves which boosted their self confidence.