A CRIME COMMITTED AGAINST A DALIT EVERY 18 MINUTE | 6 DALITS KIDNAPPED OR ABDUCTED EVERY WEEK | 3 DALIT WOMEN RAPED EVERY DAY | 13 DALITS MURDERED EVERY WEEK | 27 ATROCITIES AGAINST DALITS EVERY DAY
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Impressions from the first State Adivasi Women Conference in Kerala

by admin last modified 2015-02-04 15:29

The day long State Adivasi Women Conference started with the Adivasi women’s struggle for survival.

Impressions from the first State Adivasi Women Conference in Kerala

Beena J Pallical

From then on we had the articulation of a long list of inhuman treatments (violence, atrocities and grievous body harm) meted out by the other communities and the state.  

But what about economic violence that too has its ramifications on the community? Though I do think safeguarding and protecting the dignity of Dalit women is very important and we need to strengthen the PoA Act, but we also need to look at their economic well being. If we look at any of the Human Development Indicators, Dalits and Adivasis rank the lowest in all the indicators including malnutrition, infant mortality rate, morbidity etc, which too leads to their rampant exploitation.

I began by explaining to the audience the history of the Scheduled Caste Sub Plan Tribal Sub Plan such as when and how it emerged; and then the important parameters of SCSP TSP, which are the Family Oriented, Individual Oriented and Basti Oriented Schemes.

The sub plans are a great way for ensuring economic liberation. However, there seems to be no political will. At the national level, there is about Rs 1 lakh crore available for the development of SCs and STs, but how much of it has been used?

Let’s take a look at the situation in Kerala. The population of Adivasis is about 1.6 per cent and the budget allocated is about 3 per cent, which is Rs 20,000 crores. So far so good! But when one looks at the amount spent in 2014-15, it is only Rs 665 crore!  With 65 days left for the financial year to end, how and when will the state utilize the rest of the 47 per cent of the budget is anybody’s guess.

In such a gloomy situation, our demands regarding the Budget are that we first have the right to planning, the right to development and the right to resources.

The equitable delivery of basic services is central to the goal of reducing discrimination and inclusive growth. Therefore, equitable access to quality healthcare and equal participation in the planning process is crucial. Also, the principle of non discrimination in budget allocation, mainly schemes relating to agriculture, education, preserve culture and livelihood, will further reduce the disparity.

Also, all the six Adivasi communities in Wayanad  cannot be treated as one entity or as a homogenous group as there are discernable differences among the communities in terms of economic activity, level of income, etc.

Finally, our other demands include land to the landless, schools, higher education, housing, healthcare and pensions.

Beena J Pallical

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