ANDHRA PRADESH

Gouda, Settibalija conference

VISAKHAPATNAM, FEB. 26. A north Andhra conference of Gouda, Settibalija, Srisaina, Ediga and Yatha communities will be held here on Saturday to demand their due share in politics.

Announcing this at a press conference here on Thursday, the Toddy Tappers Association leader, Mamidisetty Chittayya, said that all the five communities were same, though called by different names in the State and belonged to Backward Classes. They were categorised under BC `B' among some 90 communities. But the five communities lived in abject poverty.

"We come next only to the fishermen community in the matter of high-risk living. Our toddy tappers climb a tree thrice in a day and prone to accidents. We have no insurance cover nor pension. There is also no proper political representation to us although there are 1.6 lakh voters in the city,'' he lamented.