Nomadic tribal group gets Aadhaar

A boy from the Kattupaniya tribal group posing before a camera as part of Aadhaar seeding.  

Members of Kattupaniya, a nomadic tribal group that was rehabilitated from caves near the South Wayanad-Nilambur Forest Division a few years ago, have enrolled for Aadhaar cards on the intervention of the District Legal Services Authority (DLSA).

As many as 33 members of the vulnerable tribal group had been rehabilitated from the Nilambur forest at Erattakkundu Colony near Attamala seven years ago. However, details of 20 members have not been entered in Government records. District Sub Judge K. Rajesh, who is also the secretary of DLSA, Wayanad, visited the tribal hamlet a few weeks ago as part of the Pan India Legal Awareness and Outreach Campaign of the National Legal Services Authority. During the visit, Mr. Rajesh was told that the tribal group had been deprived of Government incentives, including free ration during the pandemic.

As many as 18 children, who were born in the hamlet, do not have birth certificates, as their mothers were not admitted to hospitals for delivery.

In the absence of birth certificates, Aadhaar cards could not be issued to them, Mr. Rajesh told The Hindu. Since members of the Kattupaniya tribe usually do not mingle with the public, they rush back to the nearby forest if an outsider turns up in the hamlet. Hence, Aadhaar seeding could not be done for a majority of them.

“Later, we decided to organise a camp in the hamlet to issue Aadhaar cards and other documents like ration cards and bank accounts with the support of the district administration, Tribal Development Department, Akshaya centre at Thinapuram, and officials of the Vellarimala branch of the Kerala Grameen Bank,” he said.

Though Aadhaar seeding was done for 14 persons, six left for the nearby forest owing to the presence of outsiders. Bank accounts were opened for 14 persons.

Though the Tribal Development Department had constructed three concrete houses for members of the group, they still live in make-shift huts attached to the houses, Integrated Tribal Development Project (ITDP) officer K.C. Cheriyan said.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2022 6:50:08 AM |

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