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Nawada:  An inter-caste couple’s hunt 21 year long quest for claiming the state government’s much publicized “inter-caste marriage” incentive amount going on for hat last 21 years. Braving the conservative society’s opposition in 1995, Randhir Kunwar, a Rajput from Dharbhanga ‘s Kusheshwarsthan, and Sita Kumari, a Ravidas from Barh, tied the knot at Pataleshwar temple, Hajipur, in Vaishali distict. The couple, which now has three bright children (two daughters – 18 and 12, and a ten year old son), continue to exist rather live in “vanvas” (exile) carrying the stigma of the society’s most unwanted. The incentive amount, which was earlier Rs 5,000, has now increased to Rs 1 lakh.

Narrating their story at their Nawada residence, Randhir, 44, a history honour graduate from Patna’s College of Commerce, and Sita Kumari, 42, a Sanskrit graduate from Shobhit University, Meerut, UP, as well as a qualified typist and stenographer, Sita said that they had, in 2005, approached the then Barh civil SDO, Vandana Preyasi, the then Patna DM Ravi Kumar, as well as CM Nitish Kumar at his Janata Durbar for availing the incentive dole but to no avail. Only Dharbhanga SP K S Anupam, in 2007, had shown some sympathy when she had after receiving Sita’s complaint, directed the Kusheshwarsthan SHO to lodge an FIR against Randhir’s parents for harassment and not giving them their rightful share of Randhir’s ancestral property of 36 acres of agrarian land. But the matter continues to crawl at a snail’s pace in a Dharbhanga court where Sita and Randhir had deposed five times since June 2015. While Radhir’s two brothers have inherited their share of ancestral property, Randhir continues to remain ostracized.

Sita,  daughter of Rambriksh Das (now dead) of village Bajidpur under Barh police station in Patna district),  was a school teacher in 1995 at Maiden Mascot School now known as Suryadeo Memorial High School,Hajipur, when she came across Randhir, of village Mahari, PS Kusheshwarsthan, Dharbhhanga, who was the school’s coordinator. Both tied the knot at Hajipur’s famous Pataleshwar temple the same year.

Both Randhr and Sita purchased temporary truce from Randhir’s hostile  father Baidyanath Kunwar and mother Suryakala Devi after paying Rs 3,2 lakh as per the FIR of 2007 with Kusheshwarsthan PS. Baidyanath  Kunwar and Suryakalla Devi belonged to a politically powerful family as they shared the Bhadar panchayat mukhia’s post between the family from 1995 to 2015. Between 2010-2015 Baidhyanath ‘s second daughter-in-law Sharda Devi was the mukhia. Using his clout, Baidyanath repaid the debt by getting Sita appointed as a primary school teacher in the government Chotki Primary School at Bhadahar under Kusheshwarsthan from June 2006 to December 2009. But Sita was ousted from service by the Block education officer (BEO)), Krishnakant Sharma, following her two year absence after getting afflicted with Hepatitis E even as she was advised complete bed rest by the Warisaliganj MO Indrajit Prasad. Her efforts to get reinstated went in vain. Her reply to the BEO’s show cause did not cut ice with either the BEO, the DEO as well as the Dharbhanga DM.

Now Sita Kummari and her 18 year old eldest daughter are both school teachers at Nawada based Jeevan Jyoti Public School while Randhir is a school teacher at Patna Public School, Wlarisaliganj. Their other two children, 12 year old daughter Jagriti and 10 year old son, Sarthak, also are enrolled as students at Jeevan Jyoti School. Leaving in a Rs ,3000 rented house in Nawada, the couple stare at a bleak future.


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