The need for exposing children of Adivasis to natural environs and providing them with adequate education was underscored by the speakers at a workshop in H.D. Kote recently.

As many as 120 children participated in the workshop organised by the H.D. Kote Taluk Adivasi Gram Sabha Vedike and Nisarga Foundation.

S. Sreekanth, director, DEED, a tribal welfare organisation from Hunsur, regretted that the children of Adivasis were deprived of their rights, because of rehabilitation of their families outside the forests.

They were made victims in the name of development, he said.

These children have lost touch of their language, culture, traditional lifestyle and values. If the situation continued, they could be completely kept out of the bounds of environment, he said.

Implementation of the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Rights) Act (Forest Rights Act) was the only panacea to restore their rights, Mr. Sreekanth added.

Stanley, director, Odanadi Seva Samste, said the tribal community was an innocent yet untainted community.

M.V. Jayaram, Child Protection Officer, Mysore district, inaugurated the workshop.

He called upon the Adivasis to make use of government schemes.

He also cautioned parents against violating the rights of their children, prevent their migration and wean them away from using narcotics. Anyone noticing violation of child rights could bring it to the notice of the government through his department, Mr. Jayaram said.

Nanjundaiah, director, Nisarga Foundation, who explained the objectives of the workshop, said the children of Adivasis had lost their rights to live in forests, because of projects and research works that required their relocation.

Block Education Officer M. Udaya Kumar said schools should be opened wherever the Adivasis lived and compulsory education must be provided to their children.

Cooperation of various organisations was vital in this regard.

The Adivasis could make use of the 25 per cent reservation quota under the RTE Act to get admission in private schools, Mr. Kumar said.

The children of Adivasis were supplied with learning materials such as schoolbags, notebooks, pen, Kannada and English dictionaries and other items at the workshop.

‘Implement Act’

President of the vedike Devamma laid emphasis on the implementation of the Forest Rights Act. She argued against liquor shops in areas where the Adivasis lived and appealed to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to take action in this regard.

Dhanraj of Odanadi gave an introduction to the child helpline - 1098.

‘Make use of the 25 per cent reservation quota under RTE Act to get admission in private schools’