Empowering tribal youth through education: Seminar on “Nomadic Tribes and their Developmental Scenario” – Tamil Nadu

Amutha Kannan,  The Hindu, COIMBATORE, December 24, 2013

Chakravarthy Karthikeyan, a student of Social Work of PSG College of Arts and Science, has been able to motivate a few Domura youth from a settlement near Gobichettipalayam to take up higher education. This, he believes, is the first of his baby steps in empowering youth belonging to certain backward communities of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.

He, along with the youth he had motivated to study, were at Shri Nehru Maha Vidyalaya College of Arts and Science, to attend a seminar on “Nomadic Tribes and their Developmental Scenario in Tamil Nadu” here on Monday and Tuesday.

Organised by the Department of Social Work of the college, the seminar had students, people working for nomadic tribes, tribal welfare, and representatives from some tribal communities sharing their thoughts.

While much was said and done for the welfare of the tribal people, there were too many anomalies with regard to who really belonged to Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, a tribe and a nomadic tribe.

Talking about the various anomalies, C.R. Sathyanarayanan, former Deputy Director of National Commission for Denotified, Nomadic and Semi-nomadic Tribes, Head of Office, Anthropological Survey of India, southern Regional Centre, Mysore, points out that even the term ‘tribe’ is a derogatory word. “People do not, in most cases, like to be identified by their own community name. For convenience sake, they try to register themselves under other names that are already in the ST / SC list. They do not realise that the disadvantaged communities based on class / caste have been classified as SC, while the ST have been classified based on their typical and varying sets of cultural characteristics. The ‘Narikuravas’ are an exception who have fought for ST status in their own name. There are more than 70 castes enumerated in the SC list and 36 in the ST list. With the addition of Narikuravas, the ST list will increase to 37,” he said.

Giving examples of nomadic communities in Tamil Nadu, such as ‘Narikoravar’, ‘Chaataiyadikarar’, ‘Paambaatti’, ‘Maadari’, ‘Boom Boom Maatukarar’, and ‘Kazhaikooththadi’’, Mr. Sathyanarayanan said that these communities were pan-Indian in nature and hence differed in classification from State to State.

“Such anomalies and discrepancies continue to exist in the listing of communities, denying opportunities to the most vulnerable and poor nomadic and semi-nomadic communities to enjoy any benefit of reservation,” he added.

Ashok Lunia, secretary of the college, said that the college was offering 25 free seats this academic year to deserving students to mark its silver jubilee. He promised the community representatives that deserving students from the nomadic tribal communities would be extended this concession. […]

Source: ‘Sort out anomalies in status of nomadic tribes’ – The Hindu
Address : http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-tamilnadu/sort-out-anomalies-in-status-of-nomadic-tribes/article5495932.ece
Date Visited: Mon Mar 17 2014 18:22:07 GMT+0100 (CET)

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