46,000 tribals still live in forests: Minister

The Scheduled Tribes population in Mysore is 2,71,000, with 46,000 of them still dwelling in reserve forests, said Union minister of state for tribal affairs Ranee Narah here on Sunday.

She was speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony of Ekalavya Model Residential School (EMRS) at Sollepur, near which a huge number of tribals, belonging to Jenu Kuruba, Betta Kuruba and Yerava tribes have been rehabilitated.

The school is coming up at an estimated cost of Rs 16 crore and will be built on the lines of Jawahar Navodaya Schools. “The government is working towards the development of Scheduled Tribes. The projects aid the growth of STs on par with other societies,” she said.

EMRS schools would provide access to quality education for the tribes rehabilitated in the region, she said.

The schools will conduct classes from sixth standard to second PUC. Responding to the memoranda of the rehabilitated tribals about the lack of infrastructure, she said she would convey their grievances to the Central government and ‘solve your problems’.

Chamarajanagar MP R Dhruvanarayan lamented that the condition of the rehabilitated tribals was ‘pitiable’. He said the Central government has sanctioned Rs 42 crore and the state government Rs 10 crore from 2009-2012 for housing, drainage and to provide loans for the primitive tribes in the region.

“Right to Education Act has been implemented by the Central government and it is now compulsory for children between six to 14 years to attend schools,” he reminded and promised that the school would open in a year.

The family of Mahadevamma, who died of tiger attack a few months ago, was compensated with Rs five lakh at the ceremony. State minister for social welfare and prisons A Narayanaswamy, MLA Chikkanna, president of Dr B R Ambedkar Development Corporation A R Krishnamurthy and others were present.

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