Malekudiyas living in utter poverty

Several families belonging to Scheduled Tribe communities residing in Naxal-infested areas are living in despair with the families lacking basic facilities.

These families, residing in thatched huts, are not only leading their lives fearing Maoists, but also are worried over eviction in the wake of government proposing several projects.

As many as 34 families residing in Balugodu, Uppukala, Manadka, Mundokaje and other forest areas in the Naxal-infested Subramanya, since several generations, have been waiting to reap the benefits of government schemes.

Of the 34 families, nine families including that of Kothnadka Balanna, Bojappa, Chennaiah Malekudiya reside in the houses with thatched roofs. Despite living in the same place for several decades, the government has not yet distributed them the title deeds. All their attempts to get title deeds have gone in vain.

The families though have applied for title deeds under the Forest Rights Act, they were not issued title deeds as the forest is notified as reserve forest.

In the absence of title deeds, they are deprived from obtaining several government benefits. The Maoists visiting  their place has only added problems.

The land in which the tribals are living are also marked for Pushpagiri, elephant corridor and other government projects. With it, the tribal families are now apprehensive over the obstacle that is most likely to come and curb their rights to water, forest and land.

Sharing their grievance with Deccan Herald, the tribals said that the Superintendant of Police along with Anti-Naxal Force who had visited the tribal huts during the combing operations a few days ago, had collectedinformation on the problems the tribals face and has instilled courage in them. However, the Malekudiyas say that they have never received firm assurances of solving their problems from the authorities so far.

The government has been announcing special packages for the development of Malekudiyas. Out of Rs five crore package announced by the government, it is said that Rs 2.5 crore has been already released.

The district administration should announce a special package to the tribal families in Subramanya and take up development work to improve the basic facilities. The families should be provided with title deeds. The government should withdraw the elephant corridor, Pushpagiri and other projects which harm the forest dwellers.

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