Puri: It was a shameful tradition. In the name of 'Bartan', 5 lakh barber families of Odisha were forced to wash the feet of the upper caste members during marriages. But Baghambar Patnaik, a retired school teacher, spoke out against this evil practice.
Homecoming is the only thing that the barber families from a village in Puri, Odisha, wanted. However, the courts had to intervene to ensure their safe return under police protection. They were beaten and driven away from their village by the upper caste families four years ago.
Benguli Barik, a barber, said, "They threatened to kill my husband and son if they came back to the village. I am so scared. We just want to live in peace."
Banik's s eyes fill up as she remembers the humiliation her family was forced to go through just because they refused to blindly follow the archaic tradition of 'Bartan'....more
10:56 AM, Mar 02, 2012