Mangaluru

‘Siddi children will be affected if others are given admissions in their schools, hostels’

Diego Siddi, convenor of All Karnataka Siddi Vikasa Sangha, speaking to The Hindu on the sidelines of a State-level environment conference in Mangaluru.

Diego Siddi, convenor of All Karnataka Siddi Vikasa Sangha, speaking to The Hindu on the sidelines of a State-level environment conference in Mangaluru.  

Interests of children from the Siddi community will be compromised if children from other Scheduled Castes and other Scheduled Tribes communities are admitted in schools and hostels meant exclusively for children from the Siddi community in Uttara Kannada, according to Diego Bastav Siddi, convenor of All Karnataka Siddi Vikasa Sangha.

Talking to The Hindu on the sidelines of a State-level environment conference at the Tree Park in Tannirbhavi here on Sunday, Mr. Siddi said that the then Social Welfare Minister H. Anjaneya, after staying in a Siddi colony, announced in January 2016 the setting up of five hostels for Siddi community students in Haliyal in Uttara Kannada. A grant of ₹ 20 crore was released.

“These buildings are now getting ready. Now, there is a move to admit other students in these hostels. This is unfair and we are opposed to this,” Mr. Siddi said and added that this will defeat the purpose of opening exclusive hostels as Siddi community students are being denied admission in other hostels. “We are not given the respect that we deserve,” he said.

Similarly, Morarji Desai Residential School in Banagiri in Haliyal, which was declared as an exclusive school for Siddis, was now admitting students from other Scheduled Tribes communities. “Out of a total 50 students in this hostel, only six are from our community,” he said and explained the difficulty being faced by Siddi community members living in remote areas in filing applications online for admission to these hostels and the residential school.

Mr. Siddi, who has been in the forefront in the fight for Siddi rights, welcomed the recent move of the Union government to include their community members from Dharwad and Belagavi districts in the Scheduled Tribes list. Siddis in Uttara Kannada were included in the Scheduled Tribes list in 2003. “We are eagerly waiting for Presidential assent,” he said.

There are 47,000 Siddis in Uttara Kannada, while 15,000 Siddis live in Khanapur of Belagavi district and in Kalghatgi of Dharwad district. “A good number of our children are now going to schools. We are now more aware about the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act where remedy is available against harassment of community members,” he said.

Why you should pay for quality journalism - Click to know more

Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Apr 2, 2020 7:04:33 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Mangalore/siddi-children-will-be-affected-if-others-are-given-admissions-in-their-schools-hostels/article30966492.ece

Next Story