Saturday, March 26, 2011

[ZESTCaste] Press Release-National consultation of Tribal Peoples Movements and Organisations, 26th Mar,2011




National consultation of Tribal Peoples Movements and Organisations, 26th Mar,2011


"Effective implementation of the SC/ST (PoA) Act, 1989 should be our primary task", was the agenda set by Shri Mukul Wasnik, Hon'ble Cabinet Minister, Ministry of Social Justice & the Empowerment at the gathering of around 100 Tribal Leaders and Representatives from all over India on 26th March at the Constitution Club, New Delhi. The occasion was the National Consultation of Tribal Peoples' Movements and Organizations jointly organised by the National Coalition for Strengthening the SC & ST (PoA) Act (NCSPA), the Indian Confederation of Indigenous and Tribal People (ICITP) and National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights (DAAA).


Lamenting that atrocities are increasing even after the 20 years of the passing of the PoA Act, and that the conviction rate is very low as compared to IPC and the pendency rate is very high, he urged the gathering to bring the necessary amendments to the Act to make it more effective. Informing the delegates that a communication has been sent from his Ministry to all the States asking for the required amendments to the Act, he promised that the matter will be discussed with the National commission for Scheduled Castes and the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes. While highlighting the introduction of Pre-Matric scholarship for SC/ST people, he admitted that SCP and TSP funds are not being allocated properly and that allocations already made are not being used for the intended purposes. "Focus on such matters, discuss and make proposals on how to effectively monitor the implementation of SCP and TSP", was the call he made at the gathering of Tribal delegates.


Sharing her experiences as member of the Jharkand State Commission for Women, Ms.Vasavi Kiro pointed out how the PoA Act and TSP are not being implemented properly, and informed how her Commission is trying its best to reach out to the tribal people.


Stating how interventions are being made at the UN level only in recent years, Shri Jebra Ram Muharay, Chief Advisor of Indian Confederation of Indigenous and Tribal people, highlighted the pathetic situation of indigenous people and mentioned that not much improvement has taken place in their lives in spite of the many efforts being made by the Govt. While pointing out certain obstacles in the governance system militating against the progress of the tribal communities, he emphasized on two tasks for the Govt. to act upon that is, open-ended inclusive consultations with the indigenous people and develop consensus among all the Commissions both at the national and state levels.


Prof. VImal Thorat, National Convener of All-India Dalit Mahila Adhikar Manch pointed out the problems of domestic workers who mostly belong to the Dalit and tribal communities and appealed that the monitoring of the implementation of PoA Act needs to be re-looked.


Highlighting the improper allocations made in the SCP and TSP, Mr Paul Divakar, General Secretary of NCDHR-Dalit Arthik Adhikar Andolan, traced the denial of rights to the Tribals and Dalits to the caste system which he declared to be a sin and punishable crime.  He further stated that no debate has been held and no clear efforts have been taken by the Govt. and that laws, though existent, are not being implemented properly. While appreciating the Hon'ble Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment for introducing some changes in the current budget, he was critical that more money has been allocated to the service sector of SCs/STs and therefore made a strong appeal that more allocation in the budget should be for the knowledge and entrepreneurship development of SCs/STs. "Only then will our people be at the higher positions of the scientific and technological communities and the governance system. If we have Dalits and adivasis in such growth sectors," he added, "this country will become truly powerful and will be seen as a model modern nation".

Associate Coordinator- Research and Advocacy
National Dalit Movement for Justice(NDMJ)
National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights (NCDHR)
8/1, 3rd Floor, South Patel Nagar, New Delhi- 110008,
Tel: +91 11 45009309   Fax: +91 11 25842251

"It is not what we take up, but what we give up, that makes us rich."

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