“If officials fail to take any action this time, then we will move court”

Around 100 members of the ‘Sholiga’ community staged a demonstration outside the Collectorate here on Tuesday seeking community certificate.

This Telugu-speaking nomadic group of self-harming whip dancers from LKB Nagar in Sakkimangalam, conducted road shows to highlight their woes to the public and the local administration.

Not even a single parent in the colony wants their children to continue the profession, they said.

Unfortunately, the children are unable to pursue higher education for want of Scheduled Tribe community certificates, said R. Ellappan, leader of the community.

“Nearly 100 children belonging to the community are studying in government schools in the district. Two had even enrolled in colleges”, he added.

These nomads ramble about public places seeking alms by whipping themselves and arousing the sympathy of the people. They are accompanied by women and children, who play the ‘urumi’ drums.

After years of struggle, the district administration allotted housing plots and constructed houses for the community in Sakkimangalam around two decades ago.

They now want the government to declare them as a Scheduled Tribe and provide community certificates for their children to pursue higher education.

“We have submitted a petition to the Collector, who has promised to send a team of revenue officials to the village for a review,” said M. Jeeva, Director, Society for Integrated Rural Development.

If the officials fail to take any action this time, then we will move the court, he added.

More In: Madurai