CHENNAI: Chief Minister M K Stalin on Wednesday said that the Union government providing Scheduled Tribe (ST) status for Narikuravar community is an achievement of the ruling DMK government.
"DMK in its election manifesto assured that the Union government will be urged to accord ST status for Narikuravar community. As assured, I (Stalin) wrote a letter to Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, to place Narikuravars in ST category. Following the letter DMK MPs in the Parliament too raised the issue and a Bill was also tabled in the Parliament. Due to the continuous efforts of DMK the announcement has come at a time when DMK is celebrating "mupperum vizha," said Stalin, in a statement.
He also said that the announcement will provide social justice for youth of the Narikuravar community in education and employment.
Meanwhile, activists and members of Narikuravar community and welfare associations that worked for the Narikuravar community welcomed the announcement of the Union government.
S Thanaraj, the State coordinator of Ekta Parishad (a non-violent people’s movement for land rights) welcoming the move by the government said, “This is the result of collective effort taken by the people of the community and outside of it. Throughout many decades, several community members and activists, including policy makers have constantly raised their voice and demanded for rightful recognition by the government.”
“This is a long pending demand by the people that the cabinet has been agreed on. We are thankful to the Chief Minister MK Stalin, as he too in multiple instances, insisted on this move. However, along with the Narikuravar community, I urge the government to consider many other communities living in the dense forest still deprived of Scheduled Tribes (ST) recognition,” added Thanaraj.
Meanwhile E Kumar, general secretary of Tribal Welfare Association, Chennai pointed out that the cabinet has accepted the proposal thrice till now, but it was dropped later on. “The recent acceptance of the cabinet is not new. This is the third time the cabinet has agreed to the demand. However, we have to wait until it is passed as a bill.”
“Additionally, the community members, although welcoming the move, demand for the right title under the ST list. Hence the government should ensure the title is not repeated under the ST list,” insisted Kumar.