Old traditions die hard and this was evident from a recent development in India where Parsanta Pawar, a woman from Mangrul Chavala village, was shunned by her own community, including her husband. The reason for this harsh treatment was because Pawar had been touched by a member of another community during a heated argument.

Since this area suffered from water shortages, access to water was a touchy topic for a lot of people. In addition to this, even though the borewell was accessible to a few communities in the area, it was actually established on school grounds on the zilla parishad (district).

According to reports, Pawar had been gathering water along with several others at the local borewell when they were confronted by Ram Halde, a visiting educational officer.

Halde was unhappy that members of the Pardhi community were taking water from the school well.

What followed was an intense argument of which Pawar and the officer were central figures. It is believed that Halde might have pushed her in during this exchange. At the end of the day, Pawar complained about the officer at the local police station.

However, by this time, her community was more worried about caste rules than water access. Since she had made physical contact with someone from another group, she was declared untouchable by her community.

In India, untouchables refer to a group of caste members who are ostracized from various spheres of life because of their low social status.

In keeping with this strange idea, everyone from Pawar’s own group have started breaking contact with her.

(news source http://www.weirdasianews.com/2010/02/18/indian-community-shuts-woman-intercaste-mixing/)

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