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Few takers for govt jobs among tribals

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By SUDHIR KUMAR MISHRA in Ranchi
  • Published 12.10.08
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Ranchi, Oct. 11: Eight Birhors, members of a primitive tribe, died after consuming contaminated food and poisonous roots on October 1, confirmed Chatra deputy commissioner Abu Bakra Siddiqui in his report to chief secretary A.K. Basu.

Though he claimed that the situation of acute poverty was now under control, in reality no step was initiated to give government jobs to primitive tribe members, suitable to their qualifications and experience. Siddiqui said this was because not a single tribal in Hindiakala village, where the incident occurred, or in adjoining villages was fit for government jobs.

The incident took place in Hindiakala village under Pratapur block of Chatra district on October 1. Thereafter, the district civil surgeon and the circle officer concerned conducted an inquiry and found that 24 families held Antyodaya cards and seven families had BPL red cards.

Talking to The Telegraph over telephone, Siddiqui said that there were 33 Birhor families in Hindiakala village. The government had decided to give Antyodaya cards to all the families. Siddiqui claimed that though NREGA projects were functioning in the village, the Birhors were reluctant to take up jobs. The circle officers have now been directed to provide foodgrain from the calamity relief fund to all such families, who do not have money to buy them even at subsidised prices, he said.

He added that a camp was organised in the village in August to provide foodgrain, employment under NREGA schemes and health services, but several Birhor families did not avail of the benefits.

“The competent hands among them have already been engaged. One man is working as a chowkidar. In the neighbouring village, one lady has been engaged as an anganwadi worker. Still we are conducting an extensive survey after the state’s directive to ‘trace’ people belonging to the primitive tribes and give them suitable jobs according to their qualifications and experience,” Siddiqui said.

Meanwhile, chief minister Shibu Soren, sources said, is upset by the fact that despite the cabinet decision to provide government jobs to all members of primitive tribes, no step has been taken by officials concerned. “Bewildered”, Soren said that he would be taking stern measures after carefully going through the report.

“The chief secretary has forwarded me the deputy commissioner’s report. I will soon hold a meeting with the senior officials and work out a concrete action plan. We are committed to save the primitive tribes,” said Soren.