For the first time after the district was formed in mid-80s, Collector T. G. Vinay has reached out to the Paliyar tribes living in Moongilpallam by trekking for almost 14 km two days ago.
Though the government has a number of schemes for backward classes and downtrodden, the villagers living in deep forests know very little about the welfare schemes.
Two days ago, accompanied by District Forest Officer Tejaswi, a few young IAS officers Sheik Abdul Rahman, Sinduja and Padmavathi from the district and revenue department and forest officials, the Collector went to Moongilpallam. The team drove to Udumalpet in Tirupur district and after crossing Chinnur and Manjampatti villages in the plains, they trekked into the deep forests for three hours and reached the hamlet.
Happy to see them for the first time, the Paliyar tribes interacted freely and shared their woes. About 30 families are living in the habitation and were unaware about the government schemes available for them. Not many had Aadhar card. Some of them admitted that they received the Old Age Pension once in three or four months as they had to spend around ₹300 to come to the plains.
After hearing them, the Collector suggested them to identify a location in the plains so that they can get land pattas. The government would build a dwelling for the beneficiaries and the children can pursue education.
It was pointed out that pregnant women were unable to trek to a PHC in Mannavanur panchayat in Kodaikanal so they delivered babies at their homes. The Collector said that soon, permission would be sought from the Forest department to lay roads in Asankodai, Kalakinaru, Vellakavi in Malayanoor block. In Ulavakadu, the villagers have been issued pattas for building dwellings, he informed.