Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Kolam tribals in Vidarbha denied food security-PTI

Kolam tribals in Vidarbha denied food security, alleges VJAS

PTI | 11:04 AM,Apr 05,2011

Nagpur, Apr 5 (PTI) Thousands of Kolam tribals in Vidarbha region of Maharashtra who are allegedly facing starvation are on a war path demanding food security and shelter which the state government has failed to provide them despite assurances in the High Court, a local NGO has said. To highlight their grievances, nearly eight lakh Kolam tribals spread over Vidarbha mostly in Yavatmal, Chandrapur and Wardha districts will be holding a non-political rally in Yavatmal on April 6 organised by Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti (VJAS), an NGO working in the interest of farmers and tribals in the region.

In June 2009, while hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Samiti President Kishore Tiwari, the Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court had directed the state government to ensure adequate supply of food grains to these tribals and also told the State Chief Secretary to personally look into it and comply with the orders.

A division bench of Justice Dileep Sinha and Justice A P Bhangale had in their order noted failure of official machinery in providing food grains to Kolam tribals. The government had informed HC that it included Kolam tribals in the list of people below poverty line (BPL).Samiti president Kishore Tiwari told PTI today that the Maharashtra Government had even filed affidavits before the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) twice in 2007 and 2010 that they are providing food, shelter and potable water to the tribals. But nothing of it has concretised, he alleged.

When contacted Maharashtra Minister for Social Justice, Shivajirao Moghe said the state government has already launched 'Gharkul Yojna' (housing schemes) and was serious about the Kolam tribals. The state government can not neglect its own people be it backward class or tribals, he added. The Samiti, however said that these tribals are still facing starvation and has moved an application before the HC over non-compliance of Court orders by the state authorities, Tiwari said.


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