Plea to notify STs in Pondy
PONDICHERRY: The Pondicherry Government should recommend the list of seven Scheduled Tribes, identified in the Union Territory through a study conducted by the Pondicherry University, for notification as scheduled tribes under Article 342 of the Constitution, said David Annoussamy, retired judge of the High Court.
He was speaking at a function here on Wednesday after releasing a report on Scheduled Tribes in Pondicherry, prepared by the Anthropology Department and Centre for Future Study of Pondicherry University and funded by the Adi Dravidar Welfare Department, Government of Pondicherry.
Annoussamy stressed that since the community was a vulnerable group living on the borderline of poverty and facing extinction as they formed only one per cent of the population and were not confined to any particular area, the notification would be a first step for their development.
As the process of notification is a time consuming process, he suggested that the identified tribes should be included in the list of Most Backward Communities for extending concessions.
However, he said, the tribes' list should be cross-checked with the earlier one brought out through a survey conducted for all castes at the behest of Pondicherry Government by Prof M Ramadass, the then Director of Community College of Pondicherry University.
T Subramanyam Naidu, Head and Project Director, Department of Anthropology, Centre for Future Studies, Pondicherry University, gave a visual and statistical presentation of the identified scheduled castes in the Union Territory. He said a study was done professionally based on 18 parameters. The teams visited 150 villages in the four regions of the UT and collected ethnographic data which helped in identifying the tribes. He said while Pondicherry, Karaikal and Yanam had tribal population, Mahe had none.
Since the tribals were living without any facilities, it was necessary to bring them under the category of Scheduled castes. Such a step would make them eligible for benefits under IRDP and ITDPschemes, Subramanyam Naidu said.
N Sumathi, Director, Department of Adi Dravidar Welfare, said the report has fulfilled the long-pending demand of the community and the government would consider the report.
IDENTIFIED TRIBES: The report, released after the completion of the project, `Identification of Scheduled Tribes in Pondicherry' on Wednesday, has recommended to the government to give scheduled tribe status to the seven categories of tribes. They are:
ORIGINAL TRIBES :Irula, Malaikuravan, Kattunayakan, Yerukula, Kuruman.
MIGRANTS: Malayali, Konda Reddi