HYDERABAD: Rights activists and others working for the upliftment of SC/ST communities pointed out that lack of an operational SC/ST State Commission in Telangana is depriving them of a space where they can raise their problems.Despite several representations made to the government to constitute a commission, it hasn’t been formed in the last seven years. “We have raised the issue a number of times but for many years now officials have been saying that they have written to the Government of India to separate the SC and ST Commissions, and are waiting for an answer.
Even Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao said the same,” said M Anjaneyulu, regional manager, Action Aid, an NGO. However, members of the community believe that instead of waiting for bifurcation, if the Commission starts functioning, it can safeguard their rights. “We can at least go and share any violations that take place with community members,” he added. As per article 338 of the Constitution, the National Commission for SC/ST has to be set up to investigate and monitor matters of these communities and also inquire into specific complaints.
A special officer designated as Commissioner for SCs & STs was assigned the duty to monitor and investigate all matters and to report to the President. In order to facilitate effective functioning of the office of the Commissioner for SCs & STs, 17 regional offices of the Commissioner were set up in different parts of the country. However, the last Commission in the Telugu states was functional during YSR’s regime.
It functioned with one retired IAS officer appointed as a speical officer, Subba Rao, who later moved to AP.