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Quake Can't Shake Caste System, Claim Catholics

on 2001/2/11 8:46:02 ( 1280 reads )


LAKHOND, INDIA, February 8, 2001: Even though streets are strewn with rubble and houses are useless heaps of stone, one structure that can't be shaken in India, even by a killer earthquake is the caste system, according to this report in the Indian Express. The town has six distinct tent camps for the earthquake homeless - four different Hindu castes, the untouchables and Muslims. All the camps are separate. Relief groups find themselves wrestling with the country's ingrained social hierarchy to get help to everybody. "The whole issue of making sure all the castes are included has been a challenge,'' Graham Saunders of Catholic Relief Services said. "Whatever the distribution of aid, it first goes to the upper castes,'' claimed Mayuri Mistry, a Catholic Relief Services worker in Gujarat. Other reports, however, indicate that villages are working in excellent cooperation across both caste and religious lines.

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