NEW DELHI: The National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) on Monday released a slew of recommendations for the Scheduled Tribes (ST) population in Andhra Pradesh’s Araku Valley. During a recent visit to the valley in Visakhapatnam district of Andhra Pradesh, the NCST found that the ST population was facing a number of challenges in terms of education, health, and civic problems.
According to the 2011 Census, a caste-wise population break up shows that 91.5 per cent of the population in Araku Valley mandal belonged to the ST communities and 0.9 per cent belong to the Scheduled Castes (SC).
Health and education are the other areas where the tribal communities were found to be losing out.
“Of the women suffering from sickle cell anaemia in the region, around 80 per cent of the women belong to the Valmiki community,” said S K Ratho, NCST joint secretary. Sickle-cell anaemia is a genetic blood disorder. In this disease, the blood cell contains abnormal haemoglobin.
The Commission will make a recommendation to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to set up a dedicated centre to treat sickle cell anaemia and a blood transfusion centre for the welfare of the health of tribal women in the region.
The ground survey also shows that schools with less than 20 students have been merged with near-by schools. “This may mean education will be hit among the tribal population as they will be forced to travel for a longer distance from their homes to the schools which may discourage them further in pursuing academics,” he said.
Over 1,000 habitations do not have road connectivity leading to their households and 12 habitations lack portable drinking water facilities, the ground survey has revealed.The Commission has tapped the state government to bring in road connectivity and bring in potable water connections in a time-bound manner.
Administration should take stock of the situation and create a more enabling environment for ST students. Schools with less students must be merged. There is also a need for for a dedicated health centre and a blood tranfusion centre to combat the prevalent Sicke cell anaemia in ST women. Over 1,000 habitations found without any road connectivity. The NCST tapped the state government to build roads. The panel also found that over 10 habitations were without potable drinking water in the region.