International Day of Indigenous People: How tribals of Andhra suffer in silence

As India celebrates International Day of Indigenous People on August 9, tribals in the interior parts of Alluri Sitarama Raju and Parvathipuram in North Andhra Pradesh await basic facilities.

By Sri Lakshmi Muttevi  Published on  9 Aug 2022 4:41 AM GMT
International Day of Indigenous People: How tribals of Andhra suffer in silence

Alluri Sita Rama Raju: For many years, tribals in Jajulu Banda village, Mulapeta Panchayat in Koyyuru Mandal have been struggling for potable water. They have to walk long distances to fetch drinking water. Tribals said political leaders remember them only at the time of election.

As India celebrates International Day of Indigenous People on August 9, tribals in the interior parts of Alluri Sitarama Raju and Parvathipuram in North Andhra Pradesh await basic facilities.

A group of tribal women staged a unique protest to press for their demands. They brought water in pitchers and staged a sit-in to highlight their plight. "We have no safe drinking water facility. Our children fall sick because of the contaminated water. We request the district officials to visit our area and address our problems ", said Lakshmi, a tribal from Jajula Banda village.

No road connectivity

Around 300 villages in north Andhra Pradesh do not have proper road connectivity. Dirt roads are so narrow that even two-wheelers cannot pass through.

Sick and pregnant women are being carried in dholis to reach a primary nearby health center. There are times when pregnant women deliver babies in the middle of the road or in mobile ambulances. In June, a 31-year-old pregnant woman had to be carried in a dholi for nearly 9 km in Alluri Sitharama Raju to the nearest road.



Tribals in Pitru Gedda, Pedda Guruvu, and Jajula Bandha staged a protest by wearing leaves and carrying dholis. "Owing to lack of road connectivity, people have no other option but to carry the patients in dholis, '' said K Lokanadham of the CPM.

According to the health officials, they have been trying to help the people in these areas. "We are shifting pregnant women to nearby primary health care centers or teaching hospitals ahead of their delivery date. However, there are many tribals in the interior areas who opt for delivery at home and are reluctant to get admitted to hospitals,'' said an official from the Medical & Health Department.

Tribals protest half naked

On Monday, some tribals of Alluri Sitarama Raju and Anakapalli districts staged a half-naked protest. They were demanding road connectivity, an Anganwadi center, and a school for their children.

About 400 people of Peda Garuvu and Pithrugedda of Koyyuru Mandal participated in the half-naked march. They condemned the proposed amendment to the Forest Rights Act by the Centre. They alleged that it was an attempt to hand over the forests to corporates. Shouting slogans, they appealed to the government not to roll back the amendments.

Tribal people took out a rally from Peda Garuvu and Pithrugedda of Rolugunta Mandal of Arla Panchayat to Jajulabandha village of Mulapeta panchayat.

"With about 70 children between 0-11 years and 15 children between 12-14 years, the area has no Anganwadi center or a government school. Children have to walk 4 km to reach the nearest school", said a Tribal of Peda Garuvu.

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