Adivasis in Assam demand Scheduled Tribe status

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Guwahati, Jan 11 (PTI) All Assam Adivasi StudentsAssociation (AAASA) today urged Chief Minister Tarun Gogoito recognise the adivasis of the state as Scheduled Tribes.

In a memorandum submitted to the chief minister, theAssociation pointed out that adivasis in other states likeJharkhand, West Bengal, Bihar, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh andChattishgarh were recognised as Scheduled Tribes.

"The scheduling of Adivasis will solve the 80 per centof our problems and lead to all round development of Assam,"the memorandum said.

AAASA also demanded a CBI inquiry into the evictionof adivasis initiated in Lungsung area of Kokrajhar and toimmediately stop their eviction.

It alleged that the tea industry of Assam had beenexploiting the Adivasis for generations reducing them intobonded labour.

The tea plantation system with its policy ofsubsistence economy (low wages, ration system), policy ofdependency, policy of isolation, policy of divide and rule ismaking the workers dependent, poor, illiterate and isolated,it said.

"We demand the wages for tea garden labourers shouldbe increased to Rs 200 and the working time of the tea gardenlabourers from 0900 hrs to 1630 hrs like other industries,"the memorandum added.

Child labour should be immediately abolished fromthe tea gardens in the state and the education system improvedby upgrading the schools with Sadri language to be the mediumof instruction in the schools.

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