//Barbers demand Scheduled Caste status

Barbers demand Scheduled Caste status

Patna, June 16 (UNI) Demanding scheduled caste status for the Nai (barber) community, the National Nai Mahasabha today threatened to launch a countrywide agitation if the government and political parties failed to provide them their 'due' share.

Chief patron of the organisation and Bihar Revenue and Land Reforms Minister Ramnath Thakur said 'Nai' should be included in the list of the scheduled caste, claiming that members of the caste were subjected to humiliation by the upper strata of the society.

The condtion of the community was even worse than scheduled castes, as the atrocities against the latter attracted punishment under a special act while the 'Nai' had no protection of any such law, he added.

Mr Thakur said a national awareness campaign would be launched to apprise the members of the community for their rights and also to prepare them for sustained struggle for their due place in the society. He said other castes were now stepping into the profession of 'hair cutting,' which had denied them the natural way of earning the livelihood.

''The Railways should construct hair cutting saloons in important railway stations of the country and certain numbers of it should be reserved for the Nai caste,'' he demanded.

He said that the government should extend loan facilities on low interest to the barbers for the business establishments.