Kept hungry at tourism meet; to boycott workshop

The two dozen families of the poor tribal Ojha artisans in this village in Kerameri mandal have decided not to be part of the workshop planned by the State Tourism department at Jannaram.

The craftsmen families are quite upset over the way they were treated by the organisers of their exhibition-cum-sale stall during the visit of Special Chief Secretary, Tourism, Chandana Khan, on September 29.

“We were forced to go hungry for the entire day though the officials promised food and other things. We were literally dragged out of beds at 3 a.m. to keep everything ready for the visit of the madam,” an angry Uika Kamalabai complained to The Hindu on Monday.

Madavi Keshav Rao, an elderly artisan, said, the officials of Tourism and Forest departments who accompanied the 45 artisan families hailing from Keslaguda, Ushegaon and Jamgaon in Jainoor mandal and Chittalbori in Adilabad mandal, did not offer even tea. “I felt humiliated as I was literally dragged away by officials from the spot where tiffin was being served,” said the veteran.

“Our people have decided not to work in the workshop planned by the Tourism department. We cannot take our families to that place only to be kept hungry,” asserted Kova Gnaneshwar, another artisan elder.