Karnataka

Adivasis of Mysuru submit a wish list ahead of State Budget

In the run-up to the State Budget, slated to be presented sometime in February, the tribal leaders of Mysuru district have spelt out a wish list for the comprehensive development of the community.

This is a regular exercise that has been undertaken for the last few years to make their voice heard. The tribals have also urged Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa to present a ‘mini-tribal budget’ exclusively for the welfare of Adivasis in the State.

Drawing attention to the agricultural budget passed by him a few years ago, S. Sreekanth of Development through Education (DEED), a Hunsur-based NGO fighting for the cause of the marginalised forest-dwelling communities, said the comprehensive development of Adivasis required a separate budget. “This is not so much about the size of the budget outlay, but it is more of an effort to bring in an element of focus and seriousness on improving the living conditions of the Adivasis,” he said.

The tribal leaders who met recently in Hunsur, in what was billed as a ‘tribal parliament’, have come out with a 17-point agenda for their welfare and the same has been recast as a demand for inclusion in the forthcoming State Budget.

Mr. Sreekanth said the government has to take up the rehabilitation of 3,418 tribal families in Hunsur and H.D. Kote, as per the recommendations of the Muzsaffar H. Assadi committee report. The committee was constituted on the directions of the High Court of Karnataka and the State government would stand guilty of contempt of court in case it failed to implement it, he said. The report was submitted six years ago and there has been no progress on its implementation, Mr. Sreekanth added.

Funds sought

Similarly, the tribal leaders have sought allocation of funds for the implementation of the Forest Rights Act and have pointed out that the applications of more than 5,000 tribal families under the Act have been rejected.

In a bid to seek focussed development of Adivasis, the tribal leaders have sought the clubbing together of Sargur, Periyapatna, H.D. Kote, Hunsur, K.R. Nagar, and Saligrama into a separate tribal district. This is because of the concentration of Adivasis in these areas, according to Mr. Sreekanth.

The tribals have also sought a rollback on the minimum qualifying age for old-age pension under the government’s Sandhya Suraksha from 65 years to 60 or lower.

Underlining the imperatives of strengthening tribal religion and their traditions, DEED has sought the recognition of Adivasi heads who officiate in various rites as priests and the sanctioning of a monthly allowance for them from the Muzrai Department.

Mr. Sreekanth said traditional tribal practices and culture were weakening in the absence of support, and thus institutional backing was required. Other demands include shoring up the standards of Ashrama schools meant for tribal children, the establishment of a tribal university, and documenting and creating a database of tribal folk, culture, practices, and their traditional knowledge.

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Printable version | Feb 26, 2021 4:32:30 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/adivasis-of-mysuru-submit-a-wish-list-ahead-of-state-budget/article33645866.ece

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