Tamil Nadu

Unusual visitor gives hope to Paliyar Tribals near Periyakulam

About five families live in one dwelling; the Collector has proposed to get them free house site pattas and build dwellings for them   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

For Paliyar tribals of Sellayi Colony in Keezha Vadagarai, Theni district, it was a pleasant surprise when District Collector K. V. Muralidharan visited them on Saturday.

During the conversation, which went on for about 45 minutes, the Collector was briefed about their economic activities and their academic levels.

Tribals like Karuppiah, whose hut the Collector visited, had migrated from the interior forests to the plains about a decade ago after the officials asked them to. They live in poverty.

“In one dwelling, about five families live. With just a bamboo as a wall in between two families, the womenfolk cook food with firewood and sleep there. They have no toilet facility. The women use a sanitary complex,” an official said.

The community had Aadhaar cards, ration cards and Scheduled Tribe certificates.

In the entire colony, one girl has just passed class 11 and is going to school at a government school. A few other children are going to the nearby Anganwadi centre, Karuppiah said.

Along with the men, some of the women go to the foothills and collect honey, pick gooseberries and herbal plants. The produce, which includes broomsticks, is sold to vendors and middlemen, who gave them paltry sums.

Speaking to The Hindu, District Executive Officer (Tamil Nadu Rural Transformation Project) S. Rajathi said that the Collector has proposed to get them free house site pattas and build dwellings for them. The petitioners had requested for skill-based training which would help them get higher incomes.

Under the convergence activity, the Collector said that in about 100 days, the dwellings should be in place and the proposal to give them cattle and milch animals would be explored. Currently, only five people in the families are earning daily wages through goat rearing. Some of the tribals are also earning a little money from working as night watchmen in some of the coconut and mangroves in the nearby villages owned by private people.

The visit of the Collector to their colony with senior officials has brought in hope for Karuppiah and other tribal families.


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Printable version | Sep 26, 2021 8:49:27 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/unusual-visitor-gives-hope-to-paliyar-tribals-near-periyakulam/article35521956.ece

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