Ahead of Karnataka Budget, tribals submit wish list

Special allocations for the development of tribal hamlets have been sought in the forthcoming State Budget.

Special allocations for the development of tribal hamlets have been sought in the forthcoming State Budget.   | Photo Credit: M.A. SRIRAM

Taking a cue from business and industrial leaders, who prepare wish lists and lobby with the government for incentives, the tribals of Hunsur have demanded budgetary allocations for their welfare.

This comes ahead of the tabling of the State Budget scheduled next month. Based on a back-of-the-envelope calculation, the tribals have arrived at ₹4,923 crore as the allocation required to meet their demands in the coming financial year.

Development Through Education (DEED), an organisation working for tribal welfare in Hunsur, said the amount would be enough to meet the minimum requirements of nearly 70,000 tribal families spread across nine districts in the State and living in around 1,500 hamlets or hadis.

Despite 70 years of independence, tribals continue to be marginalised as successive governments have turned a blind eye to their welfare, said S. Sreekanth of DEED. “It was imperative to make sufficient budgetary grants and allocations to bring them into the mainstream.”

Reviving the demand for creating Hunsur taluk from Mysuru and creating a new district by incorporating other taluks, Mr. Sreekanth said it would help in the focussed development of nearly 200 gram panchayats that could be brought under the proposed district. The issue was raised by former Minister A.H. Vishwanath, who had made it his poll plank, but has received a burial following his defeat in the December 2019 byelection. Demanding a budgetary allocation of ₹1,000 crore for creating a new district, Mr. Sreekanth said it would be required to upgrade the infrastructure in the town.

A memorandum to the Chief Minister, containing the wish list, underlines the imperatives of cleaning the highly polluted Lakshmanthirtha river which flows through the town. Calling for measures to divert the polluted water and treat it instead of allowing it to drain into the river, the tribal organisations have urged the government to allocate adequate funds for this in the budget.

A sum of ₹500 crore has been sought for the comprehensive rehabilitation of primitive tribals or adivasis. The memorandum has highlighted the Karnataka High Court directives of 2009 in this connection. In all, 3,418 adivasis have to be rehabilitated as per the recommendations of the Muzaffar Assadi Committee report.

In addition to this, the tribals have sought the implementation of the Forest Rights Act and demanded ₹1,000 crore to construct residential dwellings for at least 20,000 tribal families in phase one. Some of the demands have been pending for years, including creating necessary infrastructure for the study of tribal culture and folklore, including a tribal university, the constitution of a tribal development and welfare board for the comprehensive development of adivasis, and grant of seed money to establish tribal self-help groups.

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Printable version | Mar 29, 2020 9:46:28 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/ahead-of-karnataka-budget-tribals-submit-wish-list/article30883550.ece

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