BENGALURU: The Hadapa (barber) community has lashed out against the government for not providing them with social security, at a press conference held in Bengaluru on January 4, 2017. The president of Akhila Karnataka Hadapa Samaja Yuvaka Sangha, Nagaraj Sarjapura, put forth his demands, along with Annarav Narabole, the president of the Hadapa Samaja Seva Sangha, Bengaluru.
The Sangha expressed their concerns over long-standing superstitions about their community due to which they are discriminated on a daily basis. These include assumptions that seeing their face early in the morning brings bad luck, among others. Individuals below the poverty line, the unemployed and those belonging to rural Karnataka are most susceptible to such discrimination.
“We have no social security in the state. We are often addressed by names that are politically incorrect,” said Mr Sarjapura. “ We have been demanding for equality and social security for the past twelve years. We hold conventions every year in Bengaluru, but we see no change. We are treated worse than dogs,” he added.
The Sangha addressed misdeeds upon the individuals belonging to their community and said that they would go on a protest in Bengaluru, and disrupt peace if their requirements are not met. Their demands include the pension for all the employed barbers in the Hadapa community, free medical insurance, the ban on the word ‘hajama’ used to refer to them, employment in different fields of work and construction of a development corporation for their community, both in cities and towns.