Gangtok, 08 Jan (IPR):
Day-long Consultation Meeting of the Committee constituted by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs (MoTA), Government of India with the state government and eleven left out communities for inclusion as Scheduled Tribes was held at ChintanBhawan today. The Committee was headed by MeeraRanjanTshering, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Tribal Affairs. The meeting was organized by the Department of Social Justice, Empowerment and Welfare, Government of Sikkim.
The meeting was attended by the Chairperson of Other Backward Classes Board, T. N Sharma, MeeraRanjanTshering, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Tribal Affairs, who is also Chairperson of Committee, Tribal Affairs, GoI, Director of Ministry of Tribal Affairs,GopalSadhwani, who is also Member Secretary, Prof. SoumendraPatnaik, Vice Chancellor of Utkal University as Member, Principal Secretary of Social Justice, Empowerment and Welfare, K. Srinivasulu, Secretary of Social Welfare department, DhanJyotiMukhia, Secretary Scheduled Caste and Backward Class (SCBC), H.K Sharma, Chairman of Eleven Indigenous Ethnic Communities of Sikkim (EIECOS), Dr. S.K Rai and representatives of all 11 left out communities of Sikkim and its members.
Delivering key note address, Chairperson OBC Board, T. N Sharma said, “The reason of Committee’s visit headed by Chairperson of Committee, MeeraRanjanTshering to Sikkim and having meeting with us is a welcome step by the Centre government to reiterate the stand of the Sikkim government on this issue. The state government has already put forth a clear stand on this issue more than once. The state government has ample reason with valid justification to recommend the demand of these left out communities to recognize them as tribal.”
He informed the house about Sikkim Summit for Tribal Status to Eleven Left-out Communities of Sikkim, which was held last year in Gangtok.
He briefed about the report submitted by Sikkim government to Centre government.
He presented synopsis and the background of the demand of eleven left out ethnic communities of Sikkim, namely; Bhujel, Gurung, Manger, Jogi/Sanyasi, Chettri, Bahun, Newar, Rai, Sunuwar/Mukhia, Thami and Yakha (Dewan). And he said that the demand of Sikkimese Left-out ethnic communities of Sikkim is bonafide demand based on historical, sociological and constitutional justification.
Chairperson of Committee, MeeraRanjanTshering in her address said, “When I came Sikkim this morning, my exposure and understanding was limited to paper and documents. But I have seen different perspective and I don’t know whether that perspective, how far that would go further. We (team from MoTA) would like to take back all the findings with us and consider it properly.”
During their two-day stay in Sikkim, the Committee will be visiting some of the places and meeting some of the communities and try to gather first-hand information about them to substantiate their reports.
Earlier, Chairperson of EECOS, Dr. S.K Rai presented brief report of EIECOS and how it has been trying for the Tribal status of the 11 left out communities of Sikkim for over one decade.
Assistant Professor of Nar BahadurBhandari Degree College, Dr. RajenUpadhya gave power point presentation on historical aspect of 11 communities. In his submission, he mentioned about historical right, need right and justice right of left out communities and based on the aspiration of people for equal rights of man and true constitutional democratic value.
During the programme, representatives of all 11 left-out Communities, Chairperson of EIECOS and Chairperson of SCBC submitted their memorandums to the Chairperson of Committee, Meena R Tshering.