Sewan Munda of Badanuangaon village in Sundargarh District of Odisha belongs to the Munda(Tribal) community. In 1962, during land settlement, the caste mentioned on his land document was recorded as Munda Christian and not Munda, because of which he is unable to get a valid caste certificate made.
A Caste Certificate is the proof of one's belonging to a particular caste, especially in case one belongs to any of the 'Scheduled Castes', as specified in the Indian Constitution. There exist certain special privileges granted to this category of citizens, such as reservation of seats in the Legislatures and in the Government Service, waiving off a part or the whole of the fees for admission to schools and colleges, quotas in educational institutions, relaxation of upper age limits for applying to certain jobs, etc. To be able to avail these privileges, a citizen belonging to a Scheduled Caste must be in possession of a valid Caste Certificate.
Munda is in the list of the scheduled tribe of government but not Munda-Christian. Due to this, Sewan is not getting benefits of the schemes that exist for Scheduled tribes.This is not an isolated issue as invalid / illegal caste certificates have time and again raised questions about the inefficiency of the concerned authorities.
Physical violence and harrassment has forced Musahars towards desperation.
In India, we continue to practice manual scavenging, a derogatory practice, confined to people belonging to lower castes and resulting in their deaths.