Staff Reporter

KODAIKANAL: The fourth conference of Kodaikanal Tribal People, Dalit and Women organisations demanded that the Government must provide basic amenities at villages, particularly on upper hills and develop basic infrastructure in schools to enable tribal children to complete school education.

Speakers at the conference held here on Sunday stated that the residential school at Korankombu village has been functioning in two small houses. A new building should be constructed for this residential school.

Shortage of teachers in several schools is affecting the functioning of them. To ensure basic education to all children on the hill, sons of the soil must be given top priority while appointing teachers for schools on the hill station.

The condition of several residential schools and hostels for tribal people and Dalits was very pathetic. Such situation must be changed to prevent school drop outs.

Students in Adi Dravida hostel on Kodaikanal Hill have been living in unhygienic condition. The hostel has no protected drinking water facility. Basic amenities must be provided to them.

They stated that State and Central governments have been neglecting tribal people continuously. Neither the Rs.60,000 crore sop announced in the Central budget nor the two acre land scheme by State Government would be of any use to the tribal people. Even basic rights were denied to them.

Dalits were prevented from cutting hair at saloons in Vilpatti, Poomparai, Kookal, Mannavanur, Kavunji, Polur and Klavarai villages on upper Kodaikanal Hill. Men had to trek 20 km to reach Kodaikanal for hair cutting, they alleged.