For instance, several tribal families in Tiruvannamalai communities are finding it difficult to obtain caste certificates due to covid lockdown.
“With transport cut off in rural areas and not having internet access the admission process of tribal students has hit during this pandemic period,” said E Kumar, general secretary, Adi Tribal Welfare Association who is running from pillar to post seeking official intervention.
“After several petitions and intervention of top IAS and tribal welfare officers, we got the GO issued in the favour of our community and we were promised action, but it is the field level revenue officials who are not helping us,” fumed Kumar.
“Two members of our community had approached the court now seeking a judicial remedy. We belong to the economically weakest section. The schools are asking for community certificates and some parents are giving up their children education,” said a 45-year-old tribe of Tandrampettai taluk in Tiruvannamalai district. The revenue officials do not spare time to hear our grievances and if there is an issue, they should sort it out. Mostly our applications are kept in abeyance without a result, he said.
When contacted a senior government official said that there are no issues with the western districts where tribes are sizable in the number but there are issues in some taluks. The state had already passed necessary orders to help the genuine tribes after verifications. We will again look into the issue, the official said.
“There are cases of revenue officials sitting on the files of the tribal community. While other backward and scheduled communities frequent the tahsildar and revenue department to get their jobs done, tribal community people are shy and wither away with their claims succumbing to bureaucracy,” an informed forest department official who had served in the tribal welfare department told DT Next.