VISAKHAPATNAM: The two-day national seminar on ‘Exclusion and Deprivation of Scheduled Tribes: Issues and Challenges’, organised by the Centre for Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy, Andhra University, was inaugurated by vice-chancellor GSN Raju here Thursday.
Speaking at the seminar, GSN Raju stated that the Indian Constitution was comprehensive in nature covering all the social, economic and political aspects of the marginalised sections and adequate safeguards were provided for the protection of interests of STs. However, despite the legal framework and policy initiatives, many STs were lagging behind in the developmental process when compared to other social groups. Poverty, illiteracy, hunger, morbidity, high mortality rates, lack of assets and social backwardness are the major hurdles faced by them, Raju said.
On the occasion, Visakhapatnam MP K Hari Babu explained the vulnerable condition of Tribes in general, particularly vulnerable Tribal groups. He noted that literacy rate among the tribal women was the lowest, the tribal areas have poor sanitation and unwholesome drinking water facilities. He wanted the civil society and all stakeholders, including educational institutions, faculty and students to propagate the governmental programmes and see that such benefits reach the tribals.
Centre for Developing Societies, New Delhi, Prof MS Priyadarshini Vijasri, in her address, distinguished the terms, caste and tribe and explained how tribes suffer from exclusion, geographical isolation, illiteracy and the structural barriers confronting them. She referred to the cultural norms, oppression and exploitation suffered by tribes and expressed the view that particularly vulnerable tribes are suffering from discrimination.
AU rector EA Narayana wanted the Centre to take up participatory action research and extension services. Principal, College of Arts and Commerce, M Sundara Rao and several other professors spoke.
As many as 100 professors from various universities across the country attended.