<SiteLock

Open Letter to the Chief Minister of Maharashtra

 

Date: 27th March 2020

The Honorable Chief Minister,
Government of Maharashtra

Subject: Regarding the safety of nomadic tribal communities during the Covid-19 pandemic.

In light of the scenario resulting from the current global pandemic, Honorable Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Honorable Prime Minister Narendra Modi have taken decisions which have been welcomed and followed by people. According to the orders given by the government, people are not to leave their homes. Most people are faithfully following these instructions, but while that is happening, people from nomadic communities, the ones who are without homes, the ones who travel from village to village for shelter and work every day to fill their stomach are still roaming about with no shelter in sight. All villages are under lockdown and people from outside are being refused entry. At such a time, which village will come to their rescue?

nt-dnt 1 This is the question that people belonging to nomadic tribes are currently facing. Many villages have refused them entry, roads have been blocked in several places, they aren't allowed to even wait near some villages, while others have closed their doors to them entirely. Because of this, the nomadic community is facing the danger of death due to starvation. These people don't have any documents or ration cards, so we request the government to please take measures to ensure that they are provided with ration without necessitating ration cards.

Similarly, given the current scenario, we urge the government to urgently instruct the Sarpanch of villages that the nomads who have set up their temporary houses near their villages be allowed to live there. There should also be provision for ration, medicines, and other health services for them in these villages. We also appeal to the government to take responsibility for their safety. The responsibility of their safety rests on all of us as they are also as much citizens of this country as us. They also have the right to life, and we appeal to the government to uphold this right.

People belonging to nomadic tribes come in large numbers to peripheries of cities like Pune and Mumbai, or to the nearby villages, where there is a large number of cases of people affected by the Coronavirus. They live without any permanent shelter in such places and hence, there is a high possibility of them contracting the disease. In such a situation, there must be provisions for their shelter immediately. If the government does decide to visit door to door to test for Covid-19, then we strongly feel that special efforts are needed to ensure that such measures reach those belonging to nomadic tribes.

nt-dnt 2

In Karjat, a case of police brutality towards a person from Mendhpal community has come to light. We understand that the police are taking action on people who are roaming outside, but they must be sensitive while dealing with people who do not have homes. In fact, they must aid them, especially families belonging to nomadic communities, in accessing essential services and facilities in such a time of crisis. In many places, because of scarcity of fodder, the animals belonging to nomadic communities that rear them are facing death because of starvation. These animals are their only source of livelihood, so it is very important that they be provided with fodder wherever they are.

We urge the Honorable Chief Minister to urgently make note of the above. We strongly appeal that he must save Nomadic citizens, who form 15% of the population of Maharashtra, from death due to starvation and lack of shelter. This is our sincere request.

Yours sincerely,

Anand Kokre, Mendhpal Hakka Andolan, 878897032

Deepa Pawar, NT/DNT Activist, 9773366000

Arati Kade, Student, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, 8698066778

~~~

 

[via Arati Kade]

Pictures courtesy: Mangal Kokare

Other Related Articles

Election of Kamala Harris: Is America half a century behind South Asia?
Monday, 25 January 2021
  Prof Vivek Kumar On January 20, 2021, Kamala Harris created a history of sorts by taking oath as America's first female Vice President. She is the first woman of South Asian and Afro-American... Read More...
Free Legal Aid for Bahujans and other Citizens
Thursday, 21 January 2021
  Adv Soniya Gajbhiye Legal Aid is one of the most desirable services desperately needed by those who are unable to afford legal representation, engaging lawyers and to access the court system.... Read More...
Need for Political Power for Depressed Classes: Babasaheb Ambedkar
Thursday, 21 January 2021
(Babasaheb Dr. B. R. Ambedkar's speech at the Plenary Session, Fifth Sitting of the Round Table Conference on 20th November 1930) "Mr. Chairman, my purpose in rising to address this conference is... Read More...
'The Khalistan Conspiracy': An Eyewitness Account of Targeting of Sikhs in the 1980s
Thursday, 14 January 2021
Jaspal Singh Sidhu Tragic happenings of the 1980s continue to perturb the Sikhs. Most of them want to know what actually took place behind the smokescreen erected by the power of the day. In this... Read More...
Cancel Culture and Saviour Syndrome
Monday, 11 January 2021
  Anand Silodia A few days ago, Richa Chadha shared the poster of her new movie, ‘Madam Chief Minister’, and it was immediately criticized for the depiction of the dalit protagonist. The... Read More...

Recent Popular Articles

Lineage and Caste in Islam
Sunday, 20 September 2020
  Shafiullah Anis   (Round Table India and SAVARI have been hosting a series of online talks by activists and thinkers on issues of importance to the Bahujan. This is the... Read More...
Can you unlove your stars?
Wednesday, 19 August 2020
  Amarnath Sandipamu  Please read the previous part of this article here. Manufacturing a star A film is a cultural product that takes shape through the labours of over 24 departments... Read More...
Statement of Solidarity for Dr. Maroona Murmu from the Faculty of Presidency University
Monday, 07 September 2020
We, the undersigned teachers of Presidency University, Kolkata, are shocked to know about the recent attacks on Dr. Maroona Murmu, Associate Professor of History, Jadavpur University, Kolkata.... Read More...
Running with the wolves, Hunting with the hounds
Wednesday, 26 August 2020
  Kanika S This essay explores the role of business archives in serving the business interests, and how history – distinct from the past – is created and revisions to it (or alternate... Read More...
The twice born parasite
Thursday, 30 July 2020
Dhamma Darshan Nigam The COVID-19 pandemic has made clearly visible the deep chasm of inequality in the Indian society: it is our Bahujan folks who are suffering the most. However, for the... Read More...