Basic facilities still a mirage for Makutta tribals

Basic facilities still a mirage for Makutta tribals

A view of Makutta tribal colony.  dh photos

Without basic facilities, the tribals in haadi are living in a deplorable condition. Development for these tribals is an illusion. One such colony is situated in Makutta on Kodagu-Kerala border. The tribals are residing in the colony for a century. However, the government schemes are still a dream for these tribals. The male members of these tribals are daily wage labourers working in Kodagu-Kerala forest. They fetch Rs 150 per month. However, by the time he reaches home, he would have spent 1/3 of his income on alcohol, said Omane, a woman resident of the haadi.

When mediapersons visited the colony, they were greeted by 12 children. However, majority of them have not entered the portals of a school. Instead, they spend their time in bringing water from the river for household works. A water tank was constructed in the colony several years ago. However, water is not being supplied from the tank, thanks to the defunct borewell in the colony.

Though toilets have been constructed in the colony, it is of no use to these tribals as the toilets do not have a roof, door or water facility. The houses are built using soft available stones. As a result, the house gets damaged fully during the rainy season.
“We have made several revolutionary works in several fields. However, we have failed to bring these tribals to the mainstreams of the society,” said former MLA A K Subbaiah who visited the haadi.

In the meantime, the tribals do not get foodgrains through Public Distribution System. A gram panchayat member who has been representing the colony had assured that the tribals names will be included in ration card three years ago. However, the tribals are yet to receive ration cards. “We do not get ration or kerosene. We go to Koothupoojavu in Kerala and purchase rice for Rs 25 per kg,” said Pappi.

There is no hospital near the colony. If anyone is ill in the colony, then he/she had to be taken to Iritti or Kannur for treatment. Many children are suffering from lack of nutritious food. Moreover, the tribal residents do not get any medical treatment.

“It is a clear indication of violation of human rights for not providing basic facilities to these tribals. Government should be ashamed of such act. At least, now the government should wake up and implement effectively Scheduled Tribes and Other Forest Dwellers Act 2006,” Subbaiah urged.

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