Nayagarh: Demanding for ‘Kondh’ status, people belonging to Odia Kondh tribe from this district have recently submitted a memorandum to the Chief Minister, the concerned department’s minister, Panchayatiraj minister, Ranpur MLA and the Collector.
People from Patia, Bandhamunda, Rahipada, Champapedi, Kandapada, Surkabadi, Brundabanpur, Balabhadrapur panchayats in Ranpur block submitted the memorandum.
According to a report, at the time of survey in 1945 when the land documents were being prepared, the ‘Kondh’ was mentioned as ‘Odia Kondh’. Meanwhile, ‘Odia Saura’ and ‘Odia Munda’ have been accorded tribal status. But the Odia Kondhs aren’t that lucky. They allege that the single mistake made in 1945 has wiped their identity out.
However, the government’s letter proposing ‘Kondh’ status to ‘Odia Kondh’ has been in cold storage. The tribal department of Odisha government in its letter (bearing no 13264/8-4-2008) has proposed for ‘Kondh’ status to ‘Odia Kondh’. Subsequently, in the serial number of 34 and 104 of its letters dated 23/12/2011, 26/03/2012 and 10/04/2016, there are proposals to accord tribal status to Odia Deshua Kondh and ‘Odia Kondh’ respectively.
They alleged that the fact that the proposals having not been dealt with has made the matter worse for them. Since they are yet to be identified as tribal, they have not been able to receive the advantages of government yojanas and facilities.
Patia area in Ranpur block is well known as a habitat of tribal and dalits. It is alleged that a company is acquiring lands of SCs and STs who are living in Kusapalla, Kantagiri, Paikasahi and Jiripada through coercion.
Fearing some goons, backed by the said company, these innocent people are selling their lands. This company is alleged to have encroached upon government land as well.
In the process, the people here have already lost their regular path and pasture land. According to the villagers, some women Monday met the Collector, requesting his intervention to take action against the company and check encroachment.
They also alleged that the village community has also been neglected when it comes to community forest resource right even as they are entitled to. Maa Maninag Jungle Suraksha Parishad, secretary, Arakhita Sahu said women had met the Collector in this regard Monday.