The president of the All-India Tribal Platform (Adivasi Adhikar Rashtriya Manch) and MP from Tripura, Bajuban Riyan, on Monday, alleged that both the Union Government as well as the State Governments had failed to fulfil the aspirations of the Adivasi (tribal) people in the country.

Mr. Riyan was addressing the first State-level convention of Adivasis at the Kala Mandira here.

The Union Government as well as the State Governments did not take steps to fill 7.5 per cent quota for Scheduled Tribes people concerning appointments, he alleged. The All-India Tribal Platform had formed a Central Committee at a convention held in New Delhi sometime ago. The committee would be strengthened with the inclusion of Adivasi members from Karnataka, Mr. Riyan said.

Adivasi people recognised as Scheduled Tribes in a particular State were not considered the same in other parts of the country and the platform would not agree with this, he said.

It was a pity that none of the 700 Adivasi community languages spoken in the country was considered a national language. Except the State Governments of Tripura, West Bengal and Assam, no other State Governments had recognised any Adivasi language as a State language, he noted.

The United Progressive Alliance Government, supported by the Left parties from outside, had come out with the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Rights) Act in 2006 based on the common minimum programme. However, the Act was yet to be implemented in full in many States. Tripura was the first State where it had been implemented successfully, Mr. Riyan said.

Applications filed

As many as 27,457 tribal people had filed applications for land regularisation before the Forest Rights Committee (at the gram sabha level) in Karnataka under the Act, apart from 1.30 lakh “other traditional forest dwellers”.

Of this, only 6,522 tribal applications were considered for a grant of 8,500 acres of lands and 11,262 rejected.

The rest of the applications were under consideration. In the other traditional dwellers category, only 75 applications were approved for a grant of just 19.16 acres of land. This spoke of the poor status of the implementation of the Act in Karnataka.

‘Lack of basic facilities'

The general secretary of the Karnataka Pranta Raitha Sangha, G.C. Bayyareddy, said that nearly 40 lakh Adivasis lived in Karnataka, most of them in forests without any basic facilities. It was unfortunate that despite the great advancements made by the country in many fields, the lot of tribal people had been ignored. Mr. Bayyareddy alleged that tribal people in the districts of Chamarajanagar, Mysore and Kodagu still worked as bonded labourers and the issue needed to be tackled in all earnestness.

The national secretary of the CITU, S. Varalakshmi, urged the Union Government to drop the move to relocate the tribal people in Chamarajanagar district to pave way for tiger conservation project. She called upon the Adivasis in Karnataka to fight for their emancipation.

The co-secretary of the All India Kisan Sabha, Viju Krishnan, spoke. C. Basavalingaiah, welcomed the gathering.

Members of the presidium, P.R. Bharath, Krishnappa Konchadi, Ganesh, Mani, Nityanandaswamy, S.Y. Gurushant, and president of the Karnataka Prantha Raith Sangha Maruti Manpade were present.

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