A simple act by a young IAS officer in Bihar’s Gopalganj district has set an example of how a big social change is possible even in the remotest part of rural India.
Last week, the district administration in Gopalganj was shocked to discover that a group of local residents in Kalyanpur area had banned a widow from cooking mid-day meal in the village’s middle school.
This, according to some villagers, was because of their perceived superstition that allowing a widow to cook meal for children would be a bad omen.
The Gopalganj District Magistrate, Rahul Kumar, ordered the villagers to immediately stop this practice and allow the widow to resume cooking the mid-day meal.
Kumar tweeted, “Some misled villagers opposed a widow cook and threatened to withdraw their Children from school after she was rightfully reinstated.”
The young bureaucrat then decided to visit the village and asked the widow in question to cook meal for himself. Kumar then tweeted the photo of him eating the meal cooked by the widow, who was being ostracised by a group of ‘misled’ people.
Kumar tweeted, “Sometimes u do symbolic things to overcome people’s beliefs. Asked the same widow cook to serve me the meal. (sic)”
Sometimes u do symbolic things to overcome people's beliefs. Asked the same widow cook to serve me the meal. pic.twitter.com/SoHXueqqRv
— Rahul Kumar (@rahulias6) December 18, 2015
His tweet has gone viral and has already been shared close to 800 times. Kumar’s incredibly praiseworthy act is bound to have profound impact in removing superstitions, still rampant in some parts of rural India.