Owing to shoddy implementation of government schemes, Shekhar believed that exploitation of lower caste communities flourished in these villages. “A few miles away, we have a pump house that was built by the government. Water is supplied from the pump house to the tank. There’s a main pipe installed in between the pump house and tank. Three years ago, an upper caste man made a hole in the pipe and stole water from us. One of our children told him not to take water from our line since it affected the thanda. He asked him to take it from the main supply instead. So, he beat him up,” said Shekhar. He let out a long sigh, and asked a young boy to fetch him some water. “He was a child…” A large group gathered at the police station. They begged them to forgive the man. For hours, they spoke until the men decided to resolve the matter amicably. A year later, the boy crossed paths with the man. Away from the village, they stood facing each other again. There was no one around. “Mere upar tune case lagaya na, main dekh loonga tujhe..” “He threatened the boy. We live in constant fear. Why? Because we were born as Lambani. This is the story of every downtrodden community. We don’t enter their village to buy supplies. We go to Kembhavi,” he said.
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