Essay on Untouchability in English for Students & Children of All Classes (1-8)

Untouchability is a very old and bad custom that has made people suffer for a long time. This custom treats certain people as lower and keeps them away from others, just because of the family they are born into. Many cultures have this problem, and it’s unfair. 

This essay discusses where this problem came from, how it affects society and people, and what people do to stop it. We want to show how important treating everyone nicely and equally is. People should understand that everyone is valuable, regardless of origin.

Untouchability and its History in India

6.1 Untouchability and its History in India

Untouchability has a long history in India. This practice treats certain people as inferior due to their caste at birth. This comes from the caste system, which sorts people into groups based on jobs and ancestry. The lowest group, ‘ Dalits’ or ‘Untouchables,’ faced terrible jobs and unfair treatment. They couldn’t go to school and were made to live away from others.

This began thousands of years ago, with old religious texts like the Manusmriti supporting this discrimination. Even after India became independent in 1947, it took time to change this. Laws now forbid untouchability and discrimination. But change is slow because this practice is deep-rooted. Education and laws have helped, but untouchability still exists. More work is needed to make sure everyone is treated equally and fairly.

Different Forms of Untouchability

Untouchability takes on different forms, aiming to marginalize and discriminate against certain groups of people based on their caste. These practices are deeply unfair and hurtful. Here are some common forms of untouchability:

  • Social Segregation: People from certain castes are made to live separately from others, often in isolated areas or slums. This separation denies them the chance to interact and build relationships with people from other communities.
  • Restricted Access: Certain places like temples, wells, and public spaces were off-limits to those considered ‘untouchable’. This restricted their freedom to use common facilities.
  • Occupational Limitations: People from marginalized castes were forced into low-status jobs, like cleaning sewers or handling dead animals. They were denied opportunities for better employment or education.
  • Physical Discrimination: Some groups were not allowed to touch or come in contact with people from ‘higher’ castes. This degrading treatment reinforced their social inferiority.
  • Denial of Education: Those from lower castes were denied educational opportunities, trapping them in a cycle of ignorance and poverty.

Efforts have been made to combat these practices through legal measures and social awareness campaigns. However, traces of untouchability persist, highlighting the need for continued efforts to ensure equality and dignity for all members of society.

Article 17 of the Constitution of India: Abolition of Untouchability

6.2 Article 17 of the Constitution of India Abolition of Untouchability

Article 17 of the Constitution of India is a very important rule about stopping untouchability. Untouchability means treating some people as not good just because of their caste. This rule clarifies that untouchability is against the law and should not be done.

The Constitution is like a big book of rules that tells how India should work. Article 17 was added to ensure that nobody treats others unfairly because of their caste. It says that untouchability is wrong and everyone should be treated equally.

This rule is important because it helps protect people’s rights. It tells us that nobody can stop others from doing things just because of their caste. Article 17 reminds us that in India, everyone should be treated kindly and fairly, regardless of their origin.

Reasons Behind the Practice of Untouchability in India

Untouchability, a deeply troubling practice, has persisted in India due to a complex interplay of historical, cultural, social, and economic factors. 

  • Caste System: The caste system, deeply ingrained in Indian society, assigns individuals to specific social groups from birth. This hierarchy places some castes in positions of power and privilege while relegating others to marginalized and low-status positions, fostering discrimination and inequality.
  • Historical Origins: Untouchability’s roots can be traced back to ancient religious texts like the Manusmriti, which categorized people based on their castes and assigned different social roles. Over time, these ideas became deeply entrenched in societal norms.
  • Economic Exploitation: Those relegated to the ‘untouchable’ castes were assigned menial and undesirable occupations, leaving them economically vulnerable. This economic exploitation further reinforced their social status and limited their opportunities.
  • Cultural Beliefs: Certain cultural beliefs have perpetuated untouchability. The notion of ‘purity’ and ‘pollution’ based on caste has led to practices like physical segregation and restricting interactions to maintain the perceived purity of certain groups.
  • Lack of Education: Illiteracy and lack of education have contributed to the perpetuation of untouchability. Limited access to education has made it challenging for individuals to challenge existing norms and advocate for change.

Social Conditioning: Generations of social conditioning have normalized the practice of To address untouchability, a multi-faceted approach involving education, legal reforms, social awareness campaigns, and efforts to challenge cultural beliefs is crucial.

Ways People Stop Untouchability

6.3 Ways People Stop Untouchability

People are working together to stop untouchability and ensure everyone is treated fairly. Let’s look at the ways they’re doing it:

  • Make Laws: Just like there are rules at home and school, there are rules for the whole country. These rules say that nobody should treat others badly because of their caste. They also ensure everyone gets a chance to learn and work, no matter where they come from.
  • Talk and March: Imagine if you and your friends talked about something important, like how to share toys. Some grown-ups talk about untouchability and why it’s not right. They also walk together in big groups, carrying signs and banners. This makes people notice and think about changing their minds.
  • Mix with Everyone: Think about how you have friends from different classes in school. Some people have friends from different castes. They also marry someone they love, regardless of their caste. This shows that everyone can be friends and equal.
  • Teach and Learn: Just like you learn new things at school, some grown-ups teach others who are treated unfairly. They teach them how to read, write, and do different jobs. This helps them get better jobs and earn more money, so they no longer feel poor.
  • Movies and Stories: Just like you watch cartoons and read stories, some people make movies and stories about untouchability. These movies and stories show how bad it is to treat others unfairly. When people watch or read them, they understand better and change their minds.

All these things help stop untouchability and ensure everyone is treated nicely and equally, just like we want to be treated.

Dr. B. R. Ambedkar’s Role in Reducing Untouchability

6.4 Dr B. R. Ambedkars Role in Reducing Untouchability

Dr. B. R. Ambedkar was a very important person who helped to stop untouchability in India. He did many things to improve things: He talked to people and told them it was wrong to treat others badly because of their caste. His words made many people think differently.

He made special rules that said untouchability is wrong. These rules helped protect people from being treated unfairly. Dr. Ambedkar taught everyone that going to school and learning is important. He believed education could help everyone become strong and equal.

He led movements to make things fairer. Once, he worked to let everyone use the same water, no matter where they came from. He also helped make the rules for India’s big book called the Constitution. This book has strict rules that say no one should be treated badly because of their caste.

Dr. Ambedkar showed that everyone should be treated the same, no matter who they are. His actions and words helped change things and make people understand that untouchability is wrong.

The Role of the Government in Stopping Untouchability

6.5 The Role of the Government in Stopping Untouchability

Like a big team that cares for the country, the government plays an important role in stopping untouchability. Here’s how they help:

  • Making Laws: The government creates rules called laws that say everyone should be treated nicely and fairly, no matter their caste. These laws make untouchability against the rules, and people who do it can get in trouble.
  • Protecting Rights: Like you have the right to play and learn, everyone has rights. The government ensures that the rights of people treated unfairly are protected. They ensure everyone can attend school, get good jobs, and live a good life.
  • Education and Awareness: The government teaches people that untouchability is wrong. They make books and lessons that help people learn about equality and kindness. This way, people can change their minds and treat everyone equally.
  • Enforcing Laws: When people break the rules and treat others badly because of their caste, the government takes action. They punish those who discriminate and ensure everyone follows fair rules.
  • Helping Marginalized Communities: The government helps people from marginalized castes by giving them opportunities. They offer special support like scholarships and job opportunities so everyone has a chance to succeed.

The government has a big role in making sure that untouchability stops. They make rules, teach people, and help those treated unfairly. With the government’s help, everyone can be treated kindly and equally.


Ultimately, we learned that untouchability is bad, and some people are treated unfairly because of their caste. This needs to be corrected. Many people, like Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, worked hard to stop untouchability. They made rules, talked to others, and taught everyone to be treated equally. We should remember that all people are important and should be treated kindly. Let’s be friends with everyone and ensure everyone feels happy and equal.


What is untouchability?

Untouchability is treating some people unfairly because of their caste, not letting them mix with others.

Who are called untouchables?

People from certain castes facing unfair treatment due to their birth are called untouchables.

What is untouchability in a few points?

Untouchability is unfair caste-based treatment, stopped by laws and awareness, affecting marginalized groups.

What is untouchability, according to Ambedkar?

Dr Ambedkar saw untouchability as unjust caste-based discrimination, advocating for its end.

Who first used the term untouchability?

British writer Charles Grant first used the term.

What is the concept of untouchability in India?

Untouchability is a social division, where some face discrimination due to their caste.

Who said untouchability is a crime?

Gandhiji stated untouchability is a crime against humanity.

How did Ambedkar oppose untouchability?

Ambedkar fought untouchability with laws, education, and raising awareness.

Who abolished untouchability?

India abolished untouchability through laws and constitutional measures.

What was the role of Gandhiji in removing untouchability?

Gandhiji worked to remove untouchability, raising awareness and promoting equality.

What are the important features of untouchables?

Untouchables face caste-based discrimination and limited opportunities.

Vikas Baniwal
Updated: August 23, 2023 — 2:03 pm

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