From Outcast to “Doctor:” the Story of Lalanbai
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Lalanbai Kadam was born in Pimpalgaon, India 75 years ago. Of her nine siblings, five died before entering adulthood; the remaining four shared her family’s one-room house. As “Untouchables,” Lalanbai’s family was extremely poor (1) and forced to live on the outskirts of Pimpalgaon, as high-caste villagers do not traditionally permit Untouchables to reside in the same area of town.
Lalanbai describes her childhood as miserable. Her parents earned a difficult and meager living providing manual labor to higher-caste villagers. As early as she can remember, Lalanbai worked on a farm, never attending school. Although excluding Untouchables from school is illegal, Lalanbai was physically prohibited from entering the schoolhouse. On days that she did attend class, Lalanbai, along with the other Untouchable students, were forced to sit…
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