Madurai

‘Obtaining community certificates a hurdle for nomadic tribes’

Members of nomadic communities performing their traditional art forms during the inauguration of South Zone Annual Meet in Madurai on Tuesday.

Members of nomadic communities performing their traditional art forms during the inauguration of South Zone Annual Meet in Madurai on Tuesday.   | Photo Credit: G_Moorthy

MADURAI: Asserting that socio-economic status of majority of the nomadic communities was even worse than Dalits, Balagurumurthy, Secretary of National Nomadic Tribes Association, said that challenges in obtaining community certificates were a major hurdle for their social mobility.

Speaking at the inauguration of two-day South Zone Annual Meet organised by TENT Society and Pastoral Care of Nomads in India here on Tuesday, Mr. Balagurumurthy said that since the community certificate was fundamental for obtaining reservation or other benefits from the government, failure to get that hinders possibility of growth.

“In a way, they are asking the government to certify their identities through community certificates. However, it remains a major challenge because of non-availability of permanent address and complex government procedures,” he said.

He said that of about 850 nomadic communities in the country, nearly 150 are neither included in Scheduled Caste / Scheduled Tribe list or Other Backward Classes list. “It is a nightmare for these communities to get community certificates,” he said.

He said that some of the States like Karnataka, where he is the nodal officer of a recently formed cell for welfare of SC ST nomadic and semi-nomadic communities, the procedures had been eased by forming district-level committees headed by Collector.

“If a person applies for a community certificate as SC or ST, this committee will scrutinise and take a decision quickly. Similar, model can be replicated in other States,” he said.

Mr. Balagurumurthy also highlighted the lack of leadership and political organising among the nomadic communities to fight for their rights. “With some mobility among the nomadic groups in Karnataka, we were able to demand and get benefits from the government. Similar mobilisations should take place elsewhere,” he told the participants.

Echoing his views, Antony Pappusamy, Archbishop of Madurai Archdiocese, who was also present during the inauguration, said that the nomadic communities should not be content with help received from NGOs or other institutions but they should organise themselves to demand their rights.

Members belonging to different nomadic communities from Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka and Puducherry participated in the conference.

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Printable version | Apr 8, 2020 12:05:25 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/%E2%80%98Obtaining-community-certificates-a-hurdle-for-nomadic-tribes%E2%80%99/article16726373.ece

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