People belonging to the tea-tribe community, comprising Mundas, Oraons, Santhals, Bhumij and others, are optimistic that Murmu will take steps to ensure granting of the Scheduled Tribe (ST) status to them
Tea plantation workers pick leaves in Sonitpur, Assam. File pic/AFP
Hopes and aspirations are running high among tea-tribe community and several backward groups in Assam as they look up to Droupadi Murmu for fulfilment of their constitutional rights and socio-economic empowerment. People belonging to the tea-tribe community, comprising Mundas, Oraons, Santhals, Bhumij and others, are optimistic that Murmu will take steps to ensure granting of the Scheduled Tribe (ST) status to them.
They are descendants of labourers who were brought from Chotanagpur plateau areas by the British to work in tea gardens, but they have not been granted the ST status as their brethren in the states of Jharkhand, Odisha and Chhattisgarh. Adivasi National Convention Committee secretary Bir Singh Munda said Murmu, as the constitutional head, has the power to ensure that the long-pending demand of the Adivasis in Assam for the ST status is fulfilled.
“We also hope that various issues related to land and forest rights, language, education, socio, cultural and economic development of the Adivasis and all backward communities will be addressed so that they can move ahead towards progress and prosperity,” he said. The tribal people comprise 12.45 per cent of the state’s population.
“Even after 75 years of Independence, the tribals and Adivasis in the state remained backward but we hope that the situation will now improve,” Prominent Adivasi advocate and rights activist Shyam Tudu said. Bodo Sahitya Sabha secretary Jwngsar Narzary said, “I am sure that she will work towards safeguarding and securing the Constitutional rights of all tribals and downtrodden communities of the country.”
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