Meeting resolves relocation of Kallar Kadars evicted from ATR

One of the abandoned huts of Kallar Kadar tribal community inside the Anamalai Tiger Reserve.

One of the abandoned huts of Kallar Kadar tribal community inside the Anamalai Tiger Reserve.  

District Collector promises to process patta for 18 tribal settlements

A special meeting chaired by the District Collector has resolved to pursue the relocation of 23 families of Kallar Kadar tribal community who were evicted from their traditional settlement inside Anamalai Tiger Reserve (ATR) in August this year and made to stay in an abandoned quarters of a tea estate near Valparai.

Six members of the tribal community also took part in the meeting held at the Collectorate on December 13 and shared their difficulties in staying away from their traditional settlement for over 110 days.

The special meeting was convened after the Chief Minister’s office directed the Adi Dravidar and Tribal Welfare Department to speed up relocation of the ethnic tribe after media reports including that of The Hindu exposed how the community was denied of their right to live in traditional dwellings in the forest as ensured under the Forest Rights Act, 2006.

District Collector K. Rajamani, District Revenue Officer D. Ramaduraimurugan, Pollachi sub-collector R. Vaithinathan, director of the Nilgiris-based Tribal Resource Centre P. Subramanian, Deputy Field Director of ATR A.S. Marimuthu, Valparai Tahsildar, a supervisor of the Adi Dravidar and Tribal Welfare Department, members of Kadar community and tribal rights activist S. Thanraj took part in the meeting. Mr. Subramanian had visited the settlement on December 10 ahead of the meeting.

Around 90 members of Kallar Kadar settlement were shifted to old quarters of a tea estate at Thaimudi near Valparai on August 20. The families were evicted from temporary shelters that they had erected in a new location inside ATR after their traditional settlement was badly hit by landslip and heavy rains.

The tribesmen who represented the settlement in the meeting wanted authorities to permit them to stay at the new location inside ATR from where they were evicted and do small scale agriculture in the nearby traditional settlement that was damaged in monsoon fury. They were also willing to choose Theppakulathumedu inside ATR that the Forest Department had proposed as an alternative location.

A tribeswoman who attended the meeting said that it was a customary practice among women in the community to stay in separate hut, away from the vicinity of men, at the time of menstruation. However, they could not follow it at the estate quarters.

Sources who took part in the meeting said that the Collector promised to process patta for 18 tribal settlements of ATR coming in the limits of Coimbatore district under provisions of the Scheduled Tribes and other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act when the model code of conduct for the local body election ends.

Apart from Kadar, five other tribal communities namely Malasar, Malaimalasar, Muduvar, Pulayar and Eravalar have settlements in ATR.

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Printable version | Feb 25, 2020 5:29:14 AM |

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