Two decades later, Jenu Kuruba families still await complete rehabilitation

A file photograph of Jenu Kuruba community members.  

Nearly two decades after the first few Jenu Kuruba families shifted from Nagarahole National Park to Nagapura resettlement block, their rehabilitation continues to be a ‘work in progress’ with problems galore plaguing the tribal community.

Be it the allotment of land as promised under the rehabilitation package or basic facilities in Ashrama schools established for tribal children, or from delay in crop compensation to private financiers spreading their net to trap them in a web of debt through deceit, the tribal communities grapple with issues alien to them even as efforts to bring them into mainstream continues.

The district administration, to get a first hand appraisal of the issues confronting the tribes, has decided to conduct a series of ‘Girijana Adalat’ to reach out to the community. The first of such hearings took place at Nagapura resettlement block in Hunsur on Thursday.

The authorities have planned atleast 10 such hearings each in different tribal hamlets across H.D. Kote, Hunsur and other taluks with a large chunk of tribal population. The adalat was inaugurated by D. Randeep, Deputy Commissioner. Tribal community members speak about their woes without hesitation. M.B. Prabhu, a tribal activist placed three salient demands pertaining to land allocation. He asked that 731 hectares of reserve forest be transferred to the Revenue Department to pave the way for the allotment of 5 acres of land for displaced communities.

Many discrepancies

Mr. Prabhu said 4,001 hectares of reserve forest were in Veeranhosahalli and 300 in Sollepura and though the legal exercise for the transfer was completed a while ago, the actual handing over was pending. He also wanted the discrepancies in the allotment of land and cash components to be resolved as many families had received only 3 acres of land and ₹1 lakh as cash component instead of ₹10 lakh. He asked that Nagapura be declared as a revenue village so that development works are not neglected.

The issue of tribals being at the receiving end of non-tribals came to the fore when it was pointed out that non- tribals let loose their cattle on the land cultivated by the tribal community, who do not get any compensation for crop loss. That private money lenders were making forays into tribal hamlets was brought to light by activist Mahadevi of Bilikere.

“There is no dearth of funds from the government. It should ensure credit flow to the community members lest they fall prey to the machination of money lenders,” she said.

Members from the Hebbala resettlement unit said nearly 130 families were yet to get basic amenities though promised by the authorities and wanted the process to be expedited.

C. Manikandan, Conservator of Forests, and senior officials from the district administration were present.

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Printable version | Apr 14, 2021 4:49:10 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/two-decades-later-jenu-kuruba-families-still-await-complete-rehabilitation/article19090384.ece

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