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Tamil Nadu Min Sekar Babu Dines With Narikurava Woman Who Was Denied Food At Temple

Tamil Nadu HR & CE Minister Sekar Babu on Friday, ate temple lunch with a Narikurava woman who was discriminated against and denied 'Annadhanam'.

Tamil Nadu

IMAGE: @PKShekarBabu/Twitter

Tamil Nadu Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR & CE) Minister Sekar Babu on Friday, ate temple lunch with a Narikurava (tribal) woman who was discriminated against and denied 'Annadhanam' (temple's free meal) earlier this week, the News Minute reported. Ashwini is the same woman, whose video went viral on social media after she questioned why people from her community were denied 'Annadhanam' at Sthalasayana Perumal temple. The HR Minister's move was said to be a 'strong statement' against discriminatory behaviour of the temples under the government schemes.

On Friday, Minister Shekar Babu shared the table with Ashwini and her child on her lap as they ate the free meal in the same temple that earlier refused to serve her for her social status. Several other people from the Narikurava (social tribe) community also had lunch with the official on Friday. Alongside Babu, HR and CE commissioner of the state, and Thiruporur MLA SS Balaji also ate 'Annadhanam' with the group.

After the meal, Minister Sekar Babu directed the temple management and officials to refrain from discriminatory behaviour and 'treat everyone with respect,' The News Minute reported.

Narikurava woman denied food at Tamil Nadu temple

Ashwini, who hails from Pooncheri village in Mamallapuram, belongs to the nomad community of Narikurava. Earlier this week, she went to the Sthalasayana Perumal temple with her family where she was insulted, allegedly beaten and asked to leave based on racial discrimination. Following the treatment, Ashwini made a video describing the situation and released it on social media. In the video, she comprehensively narrated the harrowing instance that she and her family underwent at the temple.

"It was noon and we were waiting in line for food. The first round of leaves was laid but we did not get a spot. Then when the second round was laid, we sat down. But, a man from the temple came and asked us to leave. He said that if there is any leftover food he will give it to us outside the temple. He told us to stand outside,” she said n the video, as per The News Minute. She also mentioned that she was denied food for being uneducated even though the free meal at the temple was under a government scheme launched by the DMK government’s HR & CE department.

As per reports, Tamil Nadu CM M.K Stalin came across the video and his office asked Kancheepuram HR and CE joint commission P Jayaraman to trace her. Later Shekar Babu also spoke to the Hindu and expressed his disbelief in the situation. He also thanked CM Stalin on Ashwini's behalf. The HR and CE department also distributed clothes among the devotees who ate 'Annadhanam' on Friday.

Image: @PKShekarBabu/Twitter

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