Writer and former Vice-Chancellor of Hampi Kannada University Chandrashekhar Kambar said on Saturday that the Government should take help from sympathetic scholars belonging to tribal communities in understanding the needs and problems of tribal people.

He was presiding over the inauguration of the two-day second tribal sammelan, organised by the Hampi Kannada University, District Administration and Federation of Koraga Development Associations at the Sri Bhuvanendra College here.

Dr. Kambar, who is also the sammelan president, said that officers should be given proper orientation in dealing with the tribal people. Officials should stop harassing tribal people. They should step in to helping the tribal people only after consulting tribal scholars. It was essential to take the tribal people into confidence in this regard, he said.

The Government should change its rigid attitude towards the tribal community. Tribal communities had their own unique culture and a different legal system. They did not know the concept of ownership.

When officials of Forest Department asked them for title deeds, they were puzzled. They find it difficult to live outside the forests. The decision to move them out of forests should be re-considered.

Tribals had a deep attachment for trees and animals. But politicians and officials were ruthlessly felling trees in forests for monetary considerations.Tribals had a rich oral tradition, which was one of the pillars of Indian culture. The death of oral tradition could lead to lack of creativity. By saving the tribals, the oral tradition would be saved. It was necessary to document the epic poetry of the tribal community, Dr. Kambar said.

Inaugurating the sammelan, president of Alva's Education Foundation Mohan Alava said the Koraga population in Udupi and Dakshina Kannada districts had come down to 16,925. No Koraga person had done MBBS. The community had only two engineers, three nurses, one advocate and four teachers. Education, health insurance coverage and basic amenities should be provided to this community, he said.

Administrative Officer of the Academy of General Education H. Shantharam, coordinator of Integrated Tribal Development Project Urmila and president of the federation Balraj were present.

Keywords: tribal welfare

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