Malaikuravan tribe yet to receive community certificates, officials point to 'hilly origins' as reason

According to sources, around 20 Malaikuravan families are living in the village. A total of 500 members of the community reside in Tiruchy district alone.

Published: 10th August 2022 06:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 10th August 2022 06:00 AM   |  A+A-

caste-certificate

Representational Image. (File Photo)

Express News Service

TIRUCHY: Even as we celebrate International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples on August 9 to create awareness of the rights of indigenous communities, Malaikuravans living in Thiruthalaiyur village are being denied community certificates.

According to sources, around 20 Malaikuravan families are living in the village. A total of 500 members of the community reside in Tiruchy district alone. While a few of the residents managed to get community certificates, officials denied the certificate to others citing their background as the reason. V Vathan, an elderly person from the village, said, "We are traditionally bamboo basket makers.

We also used to rear pigs and sell them. Our ancestors used to live on Pachamalai hills and Kolli hills around 100 years ago. After the amendment of the Forest Act by the British, we came down to the plains. Officials are not issuing us community certificates and are asking us to get the document from the authorities in-charge of the hills." Vathan claimed that the Musiri Revenue Divisional Officer had asked them to get their certificate from "where they came from." S Shankar of Thiruthalaiyur, who works as a lorry cleaner, said, "I was able to study till Class 9.

After that, the school asked me to produce a community certificate. I had no other option but to drop out of school." Members of the community said they have repeatedly complained to the authorities about irregularities in issuing certificates.

A few of the villagers have received the certificates, while others are still waiting. M Priyanka of Thirupanjali, who received a community certificate, was not able get one for her son. "The RDO turned down our request for a certificate for my son, saying the certificate was issued to me by mistake." Veeran, vice-president of Tamil Nadu Malaikuravan Tribal People Welfare Association, was issued a certificate, while his cousin Vathan was denied one.

Veeran said, "I got my certificate in 2001 after making several appeals to the administration. In total, around 500 people from the community reside in Tiruchy district alone. Out of them, only 100 have received their certificate. The document was issued only after a team of researchers from Ooty conducted a study to ascertain our origin.

Later, minister KN Nehru issued the certificates." An official from Lalgudi Revenue Department said, "The Malaikuravan community is not listed in the gazette. Therefore, we have to first officially list them before certificates are issued." VP Gunasekaran, an activist, said the name of the community was wrongly spelt in the ST list issued by the Union government as 'Malakkuravan' instead of 'Malaikuravan.' "A proper study should be conducted in this regard," he said. Collector M Pradeep Kumar said the issue will be taken up with the revenue officials and certificates will be issued after conducting a study.



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