NHRC team to visit Vidarbha today to verify report on Kolam Tribals starvation deaths

By Pervez Bari, TwoCircles.net 
Bhopal, June 03 : After having a very difficult task to save the Maharashtra Govt. before the Nagpur Bench of Mumbai High Court in PIL pertaining to most serious issues of starvation & malnutrition deaths of Kolam Tribals in Yavatmal District, now the team of National Human Right Commission, (NHRC), headed Dr. L.P. Mishra is visiting Vidarbha tomorrow (June 4), a Press release issued by Nagpur-based Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti, (VJAS) said.

    This NHRC special team will visit all Kolam pods to see into facts raised by Kishor Tiwari, president of VJAS, regarding  government's apathy and lack of timely support from Mantralaya, the State's secretariat, to address the various issues involving Right to Food, Shelter – Gharkul, Health Care, Education, Drinking Water, etc. This had to be made available to the distressed Tribal families in the Yavatmal District by the administration in solving the issues. The NHRC team will also look into the officials' limitations in speedy implementing the Tribal Schemes for want of budgetary supports and approvals of the Maharashtra Government.
    NHRC is investigating the complaint filled by petitioner VJAS Kishor Tiwari in 2003, in the wake of untimely, sudden starvation deaths of 52 Kolam Tribals which had rocked entire nation in the year 2003.
    It may be recalled here that the report of High Power Committee appointed by the Mumbai High Court had pointed out serious issues pertaining to poor healthcare, contaminated & poisonous drinking water, poor conditions of Ashram schools run by politicians, short coming in BPL Schemes and denial of benefits to the poor and innocent tribals families residing in 710 villages of tribal belts of Yavatmal District.
    Upon perusal of the report and on the request of PIL petitioner, the Mumbai High Court had ordered the Maharashtra Government to take immediate steps and submit Action Taken Report, (ATR), on the serious points raised by the High Power Committee headed by the Divisional Commissioner of Amravati in which top IAS officials were members of the said fact finding committee. They all are the part of administration governing the control of various schemes. But in the joint meetings, these officials express their limitations in solving various burning problems of the Tribals in spite of knowing fully well the situation. They fail in getting timely support from the State Government at Mantralaya even after their repeated efforts.
    According to VJAS NHRC team will certainly be shocked to note that many of the villages are forced to drink fluoride contaminated and poisonous drinking water, non-availability of doctors in Tribal areas, miserable conditions of shelter and housing, mis-managed Ashram schools run by politicians, non-inclusion of illegible families in BPL list due to delay in finalization of the list at Mantralaya level, guaranteed employment to the tribals, etc.
    NHRC has been asked for urgent needs for protection of deprived Tribal families whose Fundamental Rights to Life & Liberty is infringed due to negligence of Maharashtra Government. The Tribals have been denied Fundamental Rights to food, shelter, healthcare, drinking water & education in spite of the directions from the High Court.
    Meanwhile, along with NHRC team it is learnt that Amravati Divisional Commissioner Dr. Sudhir Goyal, PIL petitioner VJAS president Kishor Tiwari and Counsels Advocate Firdos Mirza, Advocate Vinod Tiwari, Advocate Ajay Somani, Asst. Govt. Pleaders Mrs. Bharti Dangre, Arvind Mujumdar and host of the Government Officials from Yavatmal District will visit these Kolam pods. ( [email protected])