The aspiring dream of pursuing IAS (Indian Administrative Service) for 24-year-old Raghu is becoming fragile as boy is grossly being victimised by the system.
Right from the birth, Raghu, hailing from Mandya district of Karnataka, has been tied up in the cob web of criminal system. He was born on February 21, 1991 to an orphan, who is also dumb and a mentally-ill woman. Raghu says, his exhaustive investigation revealed saddening state of affair of his mother who was allegedly gang raped and after which she conceived to give birth to Raghu.
Raghu has no caste, as he has no clue of his lineage and even worse is his mentally-ill mother, who cannot pass through any information of her descendants. He has now kicked off a fight to gain caste certificate. "I want to become an IAS officer," says Raghu.
Painful past of Raghu's mother
His mother, who is dumb and mentally-ill, arrived to Mandya district of Karnataka in 1989. She took shelter in a slum and used to yearn for food through begging. As the lady could not speak, the denizens named the lady as Moogi (one who can't speak).
It was probably a dim day, and an ill-fated day when the helpless lady was allegedly gang raped and Raghu was born in 1991. The then police officials noticed the plight of the pregnant woman and got her admitted to a government hospital.
Thanks to the police department. The birth of Raghu was recorded in the documents of the government hospital. From there, both were handed over to child and women welfare department. The mother was sheltered at women care center, while Raghu was sent to child care center at Dawanagere.
After few years, both were relocated to Bellary women care center and child care center. Raghu pursued his education from class 1st to 4th in Government Lower Primary School, Parvati Nagara, Bellary. He further continued his education in a child care center for senior children aged above 12 to 16. He completed 9th standard in Radio Park High School, Bellary in 2006.
A flaw that is stopping him to achieve his dream
The concerned authority in a child care center committed a mistake by issuing Transfer Certificate (TC) with flaws in address and names. Raghu's mother's name was mentioned as Mamata as against Moogi, while Raghu was clipped with Hindu religion but with out affiliating to any caste.
Raghu claims that he wants caste as, "I was forced to discontinue after 9th standard as there were factual errors in the TC and had no caste."
He however managed to meet a few influential people and took board exam in National Institute of Open Schooling, an autonomous institution coming under MHRD in Bengaluru.
Raghu completed his SSLC in 2015. For Raghu, it took 9 years of long agonised struggle just to complete SSLC.
"My applications for D group jobs was rejected at corporation bank (sweeper), law department (sweeper) and navy (assistant cook) as I did not have the privilege of caste, though I am a Hindu", says Raghu.
However, after exhausting fight, he has finally managed to correct factual discrepancies in the TC with the help of Women and Child Development Director. He has acquired all required citizenship documents too. Hats off to his hot pursuit!
Raghu laments "I am running from pillar to post to get caste certificate done. As my mother was living in a slum, where people hail from SC (Scheduled Caste), I am demanding the government to credit the same." He says he has approached Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, Law Minister T B Jayachandra, Women and Child Development Minister Umashree.
Determined Raghu runs from pillar to post
While Siddaramaiah did not heed to his request, other ministers have tipped off the condition of the boy to concerned authority but to no use as caste cannot be conferred upon a person without learning his/her lineage.
Raghu alleged that despite caste review committee conducted a survey of the place where his mother lived and agreed to the fact that all slum belonging are SC category people, the Deputy Commissioner of Mandya is unwilling to grant SC caste, as demanded.
The Deputy Commissioner (DC) Dr Ajay Nagabhushan M N while speaking to OneIndia expressed concern for the boy and said legally no system can confer caste on a man. "Caste is related to clan or lineage and it simply cannot be bestowed on anyone." He added that he has advised the boy to get admitted to a college and DC assured he will ensure Raghu's admission.
While, Women and Child Development Minister, Umashree said she has spoken to the Principal Secretary of her department and his concern will be looked after.
"My mother sometimes recognises me, sometime touches my face with love and sometimes asks me to dance with her and sometimes she gets angry." Raghu recalls.
"If in the TC I was clipped with the Islam or Christianity, I would not have encountered with this problem." He further confidently says "I will not discontinue my studies, I will work hard, I will become an IAS officer."