Sheikh Community: The Ugly Reality of Caste Discrimination in Kashmir

Video By: Abid Salaam | Article By: Nusrat Ali

The Sheikh colony located in Baramulla is an apt example of discrimination and official apathy. Ishtiyaq Ahmad Sheikh is a local boy of this colony who makes brooms and sells them door to door. Ishtiyaq left his studies after lacking support at school level. He stopped going school after completing his 7th class. Ishtiyaq says that the kids of his sweeper community (Sheikh) were asked to clean bathrooms and school premises and he also was made to do so.
Sheikh Colony known as Shah Faisal colony has a population of 245 people, most of the community members work as sweepers in Municipal committee Baramulla. According to locals not a single person has completed 10th standard except for a girl who is pursuing PG in Jammu. Govt has completely forgotten this community and society has always been discriminating towards this community. Sheikhs usually find no job and if they find one they are usually seen working as sweepers in municipal committees.

“I had the desire to study and become an engineer but I have been pushed to make brooms. Now I am master in making brooms and people call me engineer of brooms”, says Ishtiyaq Ahmad Sheikh.

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