The Indigenous People’s Forum (IPF) on Friday demanded establishment of a special cell in Governor’s office to deal with issues related to tribal communities of the State.
Celebrating the World Indigenous People’s Day in Odisha for the first time, the IPF submitted a memorandum to State Government in this regard. Since Governor, as head of the State, holds the executive power over the scheduled areas, a special cell must be set up at his office to deal with the scheduled areas and STs to act as a single window system for addressing the issues.
Addressing the meeting, Secretary of ST and SC, Minorities & Backward Classes Welfare Development Santosh Sarangi said the Government would celebrate World Indigenous Peoples Day every year on August 9.
“The government is taking necessary measures to bring tribal population to main stream of the society. Hundreds of hostels for tribal students in pre-matriculation and college level are being constructed to encourage them,” Sarangi said adding, Odisha’s implementation of Forest Rights Act is more effective than its neighbours.
Nicholas Barla of IBF said all matters relating to land acquisition and rehabilitation and resettlement must be administered with the consent of the gram sabha and panchayat bodies. The forum demanded that gram sabhas in scheduled areas should be authorised to issue certificates of residence, caste, marriage, birth and death.
Director of ST and SC Research Training Institute AB Ota said steps are being taken to provide access of education to tribal communities.