Ensure higher education for tribal children: Kerala women’s panel 

Updated - January 11, 2024 11:26 am IST

Published - January 11, 2024 10:57 am IST - KOLLAM

Steps should be taken to ensure higher education for tribal children and schemes of various departments, including that of the Police and Excise, and voluntary organisations should be utilised for this, said Kerala State Women’s Commission (KSWC) chairperson P. Sathidevi here on Wednesday.

Speaking at a coordination meeting held in connection with the Scheduled Tribe regional camp in Kollam, she said the highest dropout rate was reported among tribal children.

“Even if girls wanted to study after high school, their parents try to marry them off as soon as they turn 18. Meanwhile, boys also drop out of school,” she said.

The commission would recommend organising study tours under the auspices of the Scheduled Tribes Development department and starting a de-addiction centre at the panchayat to save the tribespeople from alcohol addiction.

After visiting Vanchiyod Ooru (tribal settlement) in Chithara grama panchayat, the commission observed that the residents had better standards of living compared to other parts of the State.

Each family in the colony had been given 50 cents of land. While pepper was the main crop, the residents said cultivating other crops such as tapioca was impossible due to wild animal attacks.

The commission said Scheduled Tribe Development, Health, Social Justice, and Women and Child Development departments were constantly in touch with the residents to spread awareness about the welfare schemes and provide necessary services.

While the services of the panchayat primary health centre and mobile health unit were available to the residents, the kindergarten in the colony too had good facilities.

The commission instructed the officials concerned to provide anganwadi services once a month at the kindergarten. Ensuring potable water, appointing a community woman facilitator, implementation of Janamaitri Excise scheme, and setting up a day home in the panchayat for the elderly residents of the settlement were among the other recommendations.

Commission members Indira Raveendran, V.R. Mahilamani and director Shaji Sugunan were present during the visit.

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