ADILABAD: As a result of the apathy of State government and the authorities concerned, Kolam tribals are suffering a lot, owing to the unavailability of nutritious food. Not just that their life expectancy has gone down to an average of 55 years, most tribals, who are in their 40s, have started looking like elderly persons.
According to sources, most areas where the Kolam tribals live are disconnected from the “outer world” with no proper road connectivity. As a result, they are not able to visit hospitals for deliveries or any kind of diseases. Apart from this, they have also been struggling to get pure and safe drinking water.
The New Indian Express also found out that the infant mortality rate is very high among Kolams, and that one in every 10 newborns dies due to malnutrition.
Speaking to The New indian Express, several Kolams said that they can’t afford the “luxury” of making curries due to financial crisis. Most of them buy rice from PDS shops and have it with pickle, without including any vegetables in their daily diet.
Though their situation has been the same for quite some time now, neither the Anganwadi workers nor the officials of Women and Child Welfare Department have, till date, taken any measures to improve their lives.
Governor's helping hand
After learning about the hardships being faced by Kolams and other tribal groups, Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan had called for an action plan to ensure that such underprivileged groups get proper nutritious food.
As part of this, she adopted Burki village, a remote Kolam tribe habitation.According to the plan envisaged by the Governor, the officials have made arrangements to provide nutritious food to the tribals from local markets.In light of this, the members of the Indian Red Cross Society (IRCS) carried out a survey in the village and submitted a report to the government.
Apart from the aforementioned details regarding life expectancy, the IRCS members also found out that only five persons among the Kolams have completed their matriculation. The total population of Burki is 108.
Speaking to The New Indian Express, IRCS State managing committee member G Vijay Babu said that they have identified five members from the community, who will soon be taken to Hyderabad to meet the Governor and explain to her, in person, all the hardships being faced by them. The Governor has also adopted Mangli village, a habitation of Gond tribals.