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Thursday, July 30, 2009

About Poverty and Hunger of primitive tribes of Jharkhand

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Poverty and hunger have never been so acute for the majority of the tribal minority in Jharkhand as today -the reports say.Bad reproductive health, a child on the back -bound by a broad belt of torn cloth, and a torn sari - insufficient to cover even half of the body may be the image of a poor tribal lady dwelling somewhere in some remotest part of the state. Malnutrition, poverty and diseases are persistent companions of the tribal people living in their ill built but clean houses in villages without a link road, electricity supply, safe drinking water, school and health facilities.

The central and the state governments have launched various schemes for the tribal people but the surveys narrate the same tragic stories of poverty, hunger, malnutrition and bad reproductive health even after the implementation of these schemes.The hunger deaths of 35 tribals from different districts of the state is a clear evidence. Who is responsible for these conditions?

A human being comes on the earth with two hands and two feet- hands to work and feet to go whereever the work is to be done.But what about the hands and the feet that have deformities by birth.Since nature has produced independent beings and has created all the resources to help these beings, why do these die of hunger? Is it because of their deformed and powerless hands and legs? Some learned people including sociologists say that resources that have been created by nature for all beings have been caught by some strong hands and weak hands are too weak to snatch their share out from the strong hands. Is it the survival of the fittest, and hence okay in the human society too that keeps the democracy at the highest place?

How long are the poor and inefficient to remain the poor and inefficient, and how far can a government adopt and feed such people? is a basic question.The government sends its officers far below upto block headquarters. Block officers move up to village panchayats that in turn have to contact villagers. Thus run a number of welfare projects of the government.There are a number of projects run by national and international agencies to help the marginalised and to empower the poor women. The poor of some areas have recovered and women of such areas have also been empowered.But neither the poorest tribals living in remote villages of Jharkhand could recover nor could their ladies be empowered so far, as per the reports.

The monitoring committees report that enforcement agencies dare not go to remote villages due to the fact that they fear from the naxal activities. A number of journalists have already walked through those areas and have closely observed the conditions of the people especially the ladies living there.Their reports reveal true stories of the tragic conditions of primitive tribes of those areas.

Some of the non-government bodies too have worked or they are still working for those people and are doing jobs under some or the other national or international agencies.A number of researchers and writers have sharpened their pens by researching and writing on issues related to the tragedies faced by those people who are still the same, though their population is decreasing.

"The Primitive Tribes are in great need of the goverment support" - reported Mr. U.K.Sangama the chairman of the investigation committee and the secretary of the Welfare Department of the Government of Jharkhand. Accordingly, the government tried to support those 'Primitive Tribes' and in the process of support sent its men to do the needful.The report that these men could not help those distressed people due to the fear of naxalites, does not enter into the mind of a common man. It has been reported by the local media that more than a dozen projects pertaining to the construction of roads, bridges and embankments in some remote areas of Jharkhand are pending due to the terror of naxalites(Hindustan, 17 July 2009) is unfortunate. If naxalites are well wishers of the marginalised people including the Primitive Tribes, they should not interrupt or stop a person sent by the government for conducting developmental activities.The matters of naxalites- let naxalites know, but in my opinion if a person goes to the poor with a fair and strong will to help, he should neither be stopped nor harassed by anyone. Moral values are to be protected and conserved at any cost as no society can exist on immoral foundation.It is history, and it will be in the infinite future too.

More than 20 government sponsored schemes are under implementation for the welfare of the primitive tribes who constitute 70 per cent of the whole tribal population under the line of poverty in the state. During the financial year 2008-09 Rs. 19.28 crore was sanctioned under Antyodaya scheme for those below the poverty line. But instead of the report of welfare, reports of hunger and deaths are being read from different sources.It is also being commented by some politicians that hunger is not the reason behind the deaths, and tribals in different districts have died either their natural deaths or due to some dangerous disease. From where do these reports come? From places where deaths occur- may be the natural answer. But who does bring these reports? One who goes there - may be the natural answer again. If naxalites kill everyone who passes through those particular areas, how do reporters come back safe after meeting the people in distress, after talking to them, after taking their photographs and after playing with their children?

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