Fearing that the young may go astray under the influence of mobile phones, apex body of 'Paikali Khandhayat' caste in Orissa's Ganjam district has banned its use among unmarried girls.
Over 10,000 families of Paikali Khandayats are residing in Ganjam district.
The decision was taken after a prolonged discussion among leaders of the caste in its three-day annual general body meeting held at Dangibandh village near Jagannath Prasad over the week-end.
The Samaj, however, did not decide what type of action would be initiated if one defies the decision. "While the use of cell phones has been prohibited in most of the campuses of educational institutes, the Samaj feels there is no urgency for unmarried girls to use it. So we have advised the parents not to encourage their unmarried girls to use mobile phones," said president of Paikali Khandayat Samaj's Ganjam unit, Somanath Nayak.
"Since it was started on an experimental basis, we have not decided on imposition of fine on those defying the order," he said.
"We, however, advised the members of the organization to strictly follow the decision," Nayak added. At the same time, the Samaj also directed the members to education compulsory education for their children irrespective of sex up to Class X. The government is providing free and mandatory education only up to primary level from Class 1 to VIII under the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act 2009.
"We have adopted a resolution for compulsory education up to Class X of students of our caste and advised the parents to ensure continuity in their study," the president of the Samaj said.
Among other resolutions, the Samaj demanded that the Paikali Khandayat community be declared Other Backward Caste (OBC), he added.