Despite cracking what is deemed one of the toughest exams in the world, or perhaps because of it, two brothers from Uttar Pradesh are battling caste-based stigma in their village. Though the whole of India is supporting their hard work and many have pledged to help them financially, Raju and Brijesh Saroj, sons of a daily wage worker Dharamraj, returned to their village in Pratapgarh (Uttar Pradesh) only to have stones pelted at them, reports Huffington Post.
Raju said that there were five or six stones thrown at their home. They informed the police. But this isn’t the first time the brothers (and their family) have been mistreated by the villagers.
From their drainage supply being cut off to reducing their access to the public bathroom, the family has faced stigma many a times due to India’s rigid caste system.
Munna Saroj, the boys’ uncle, said:
“We’ve been tormented for years as all of us have struggled against poverty and stigma to achieve what we are today.”
The two brothers — aged 18 and 19 years — have studied hard and performed well right from childhood. Their commitment to studies has even got them into trouble in the past. In 2005, Brijesh, then 10 years old, got a sound beating from his teacher for questioning the teacher’s Sanskrit translation.
Now, the elder brother, Brijesh, wants to study electrical engineering and go on to join the civil services while Raju wants to do an MBA and earn moneyfor his family.