Orissa tribals demand ST status

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Malkangiri (Orissa), May 10 (ANI): Tribals of the Konda Reddy community staged a protest in Orissa's Maoist-infested Malkangiri District on Monday demanding Scheduled Tribe (ST) status from the state government.

Tribals residing in the Paplur village shouted slogans in favour of the ST status.

Pandama, a tribal woman, said the lack of ST status has deprived them of basic facilities like health and education.

"We are demanding for the Scheduled Tribe status. We have been staying here since the British period. Earlier, there was no school. It was only after the 1970s, that schools were built," said Pandama.

"But our children are still not getting educational benefits, as we don't have a Scheduled Tribe status," she claimed.

"We are demanding the ST status. Our children are not getting any facility, neither in the education field nor in service field. Several times, we have raised voices but there are no results," said Cina Bhai Palasa, a tribal.

Konda Reddy tribals had earlier handed over a memorandum to the district collector urging the state government to grant them ST status soon.

There are several groups that benefit from government affirmative action such as the Scheduled Castes (SC), made of former 'untouchables', Scheduled Tribes (ST) made of 'tribal groups', nd the Other Backward Classes (OBC) made of a host of 'lower castes'. (ANI)

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