News Items


Admn gears up for tribal development
Tribals migrate, families left in the lurch
Tribal religion: MLAs divided


Admn gears up for tribal development
Express News Serice

Dhenkanal, April 8: The district administration has launched a drive to provide better living standards to tribals of the district.

The decision of the administration has come in the wake of reports published in a section of media including his paper on the sorry plight of tribals of the district. Collector Usha Padhee told media persons that steps for development of tribal areas in the district have already been initiated under the National Food for Work Programme (NFFW). Efforts are also on to include inaccessible tribal-dominated villages under the programme. All tribal related problems are now being monitored at different levels wilt the help of management information system (MIS). The administration has decided to give priority to irrigation and rural connectivity by launching several micro projects, the Collector said. Besides, it has decided to open handicrafts. Showroom for tribals in a bid to promote their talents.

Meanwhile, a citizen information kiosk and a help line were inaugurated in the district on Friday. The touch screen kiosk will run without the assistance otanoperator.

Koraput, April 9: Even as the State Government claims to have introduced several poverty alleviation programmes for tribals in the district, the migration of laborers continues unabated. Poverty and desire to earn more have forced many tribals to leave their villages in search of greener pasture. While they often end up getting exploited, their family members whom they leave behind are left in the lurch.

In fact, hundreds of parents and other family members are still waiting for the safe return of the migrated laborers, in Lamtaput block, it has been a long wait of 25 years for five old parents. Still, they hope that their sons, who had left for Assam to work in tea gardens, would return some day. With nobody to support them, they have now taken shelter in an old age home, being run by a local NGO.

Residents of Bondalitiguda village under Korapul block are in worse situation. Ten villagers went outside the State along with a middleman Manoj Rout of Tikra street four months back. But, there is no news regarding their whereabouts till now.

The ten persons include Mania Disari, Jeeru Muduli, Dhanarjay Disari, Mono Navak, Milku Disari, Meeno Disari, Jayram Muduli, Raghu Muduli, Balram Bhoi and Krushna Mudiili. Hasmati Disari, wife of Milku Disari is in a distressed slate. Her four-year-old son has been unwell for a long time. "He keeps asking about his father but I have no answer," explains Hasmati. While handling her son has been a difficult task, she is expecting her second baby in a week's time.

She had been to Sadar police station along with other villagers to report about her missing husband. Besides, she had submitted a memorandum to the SP but the police department said the Labour department would handle the case. Meanwhile, the villagers have sought the District Collector's intervention.

Bhubaneswar, April 5: The reported statement of former judge of the Orissa High Court Justice M Papanna describing the tribals as non-Hindus sparked off a fur ore in the Assembly on Tuesday.

The issue created a division among the tribal MLAs. while some criticized Justice Papanna for making such a statement, others including senior BJD MlA Chaitanya Prasad Majhi and former minister Draupadi Murmu (BJP) said a controversy should not be created over the issue. The topic was debated in the House for over an hour.

BJP MLA Mahesh Sahu demanded that the former judge should be arrested for his anti-national statement , which may create discord in the society. Congress member Lalatendu Bidyadhar Mahapatra, however, requested Speaker Maheswar Mohanty not to waste precious time of the House by allowing a debate on the issue.

Several tribal MLAs cutting across party lines, Bharat Paik, Dharmu Gond, Karendra Majhi (all BJP), Ulaka Ramchandra and Dambarudhar Ulaka (both Congress) took strong exception to the statement of the former judge. Other MLAs including Pratap Chandra Sarangi (BJP) and Debi Mishra (BJD) were of the opinion that tribals are Hindus.

Chaitanya Majhi, Draupadi Murmu and Prahallad Purty (JMM) said tribals are a separate entity. Requesting other members to avoid controversy, Majhi said tribals should not be categorized into any religion. Supporting Majhi, Murmu said tribals have their own priests and do not belong to any religion. The Speaker did not approve the statement of the members who said the tribal are non-Hindus•

Source: News Items Collected by Elsoma Devi

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