Welfare activities in Kerala's adivasi areas hit a roadblock

Projects galore, but Attappady tribes' food crisis remain a reality
Women sit around and chat at Edavani ooru of Attappady. Photo: Manorama/Kumar

Kannur: Welfare activities in the state's tribal belts have run into a roadblock following the laying-off of ST (Scheduled Tribe) promoters.

The promoters were ousted on March 31 ahead of appointing new hands. Though the written examination for selecting new promoters was held on March 27, the shortlist has not been published.

The posts of ST promoters may remain vacant for a while since the appointment of new staff, after conducting interviews and sending appointment letters, is time consuming.

Meanwhile, adivasis are having a tough time, even without basic facilities, including adequate healthcare and food. The promoters had been coordinating the government schemes meant for the ST population.

Pregnant women, elderly people suffering from various ailments, and children are among those who need immediate help. With the posts of promoters remaining vacant, the State currently has no mechanism to ensure that adivasi students are taking SSLC and Plus-II exams.

The Scheduled Caste communities too are facing similar problems after the government had laid off SC promoters as well.

The promoters were dismissed after the SC/ST department fixed their age limit at 30. The State has 1,232 and 1,182 SC and ST promoters, respectively.

Appointment this month: Directorate

The Directorate of Scheduled Tribes said the ST promoters would be appointed this month itself. An outside agency that had conducted the written test provided a district-level shortlist of candidates. The process of shortlisting candidates at the panchayat level is currently on.

The directorate said the date for interview would be decided after preparing the shortlist. 

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