Two-day seminar on ‘Status of Tribal Women in India’ begins

Even as the government has introduced several welfare schemes, laws and acts for uplift of Scheduled Tribes (STs), the status of tribal women continues to remain pathetic in remote villages.

Womenfolk and girls of primitive tribal groups are suffering with malnutrition, low literacy, poverty and lack of information on government activities and welfare schemes, said experts at the two-day seminar on ‘Status of Tribal Women in India – Issues, Challenges and Strategies for Empowerment’.

Faculty and students of Department of Sociology and Social Work of Acharya Nagarjuna University (ANU) in association with UGC is organising the seminar on the university campus on February 7 and 8.

Tradition hit

Addressing the researchers, faculty and students after inaugurating the seminar on Friday, ANU Vice-Chancellor K. Viyyanna Rao said modern culture has driven tribes from their traditions and some dominated groups grabbed their lands violating laws. The tribes, particularly womenfolk, are suffering due to non-availability of transportation, medical, education, electricity and infrastructure in inaccessible villages, said Mr. Rao and opined that only political willpower can change the status of tribal women in India.

Deprived group

Sociology and Social Work department founder professor of ANU M. Lakshmipathi Raju, who was the key note speaker of the programme, said that STs are the most exploited and excluded group in the society.

Tribals are the worst sufferers in the ongoing industrialisation and urbanisation and some lakhs of tribes are displaced due to degradation of forests across the country.

Mr. Raju appealed to the NGOs and research scholars to take up studies on empowerment of tribal women in different aspects and submit a report to the Government of India.

Failure of machinery

Tribal Welfare Department General Manager (Hyderabad) Devara Vasu who attended the seminar said that many welfare schemes introduced by the government are not reaching the beneficiaries due to failure of official machinery. About 62 per cent of the infant mortality was recorded in tribal people due to superstitions and poor medical practices being followed in rural areas, he said. Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences, B. Sambasiva Rao presided over the programme. Seminar coordinator M. Trimurthi Rao, ANU Rector Y.P. Rama Subbaiah, Registrar P. Raja Sekhar, OSD A.V. Dattatreya Rao, Sri Krishnadevaraya University sociology department professor Amarnath Das, Women Studies Director Ch. Swaroopa Rani, and M.S. Padmaja spoke.

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