Dalits pour out woes before Deputy Commissioner

Dalits pour out woes before Deputy Commissioner

Complaints and grievances poured in at the district administration’s meeting with the Dalit leaders that is held after five months, at the deputy commissioner’s office on Thursday.

Dalit leaders raised a whole lot of issues ranging from title deed problems, to eviction of poor Dalits, from lack of development in Naxal-affected areas to scholarship distribution to scheduled caste and tribe students, at the meeting.

Dalit Hakkugala Horata Samiti Convener Shekhar Laila alleged that the funds sanctioned for providing basic amenities to Naxal-affected areas were not utilised for the said purpose.

Pointing at one such instance, he said that the money was used for constructing a road stretching for about 1.5 km that leads to a Jain ‘Basadi’ in Savanal in Belthangady taluk, while only 150 metres of road leading to Malekudiya hamlet in the same village was asphalted.

“Where are the crores of rupees released by the government going?” he asked.

He also demanded to construct a road to the Malekudiya hamlet in Banjarmale near Neriya, where Malekudiyas are forced to pass through a private property.

Dalit Sangharsh Samiti leader S P Anand cautioned about the pathetic condition of the quarters provided by the Mangalore City Corporation to its civic workers, at Mahakalipadpu.

With monsoon only a month away, there is fear of these houses getting collapsed due to wind and rain. Lives of 36 families residing in these quarters are at risk, he said demanding the city corporation to make an alternative arrangement to them till the new quarters are built.

Anand urged the administration to allot a cremation ground for SCs and STs at Niddodi. “After continuous demand, the department sanctioned two acre land on the top of the hill, which is inconvenient for cremation,” he said.

A few Dalit community members raised objection over the use of ‘Harijana’ and ‘Girijana’ words, despite the ban on public usage of these words.

“Those words attached to the names of the Dalits, should be removed from the RTC and other government records,” a Dalit leader said. In reply, Deputy Commissioner A B Ibrahim ordered the authorities concerned to remove Harijana, Girijana and Holeya words from the government records all at once.

The deputy commissioner also directed all the tahsildars to convene grievance meetings in the respective taluks within a week.

When asked about the employment provided to scheduled caste and tribe youth under tourism employment programme, the social welfare officer said that 30 taxis have been sanctioned to SC youth and 16 have been sanctioned to the ST youth.