HC orders relief to Kolam tribals in Vidarbha region

By Pervez Bari


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Bhopal, May 4: The Nagpur Bench of the Mumbai High Court has ordered
Govt. of Maharashtra state to provide food under anttyodaya scheme,
potable water and health care to all Kolam tribals facing starvation
and malnutrition deaths in Yavatmal District of Vidarbha region who
have B.P.L. (Below Poverty Line) card.
   According to a Press release of Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti,
(VJAS), the Division Bench of the High Court at Nagpur consisting of
Justice Ambadas H. Joshi and Justice R.C. Chavan asked the petitioner
Kishore Tiwari, who is president of VJAS, to visit all Kolam pods and
update progress made by the Maharashtra Govt. in this regard. It also
asked Assistant Government Pleader, (AGP), Mrs. Bharti Dangre to take
all urgent steps to alleviate tribal hardships as reported by
petitioner without consulting the High Court. Serious lapses and
non-compliance of the State Govt. should be brought before notice of
the High Court in the vacation too, the order said..
   The petition be listed on board for further orders if necessary on
June 15, the order said. Advocate F.T. Mirza argued the case for the
    Meanwhile, the petitioner Kishore Tiwari has decided to visit all
the 700 Kolam pods and will submit video recorded report of progress
to the High Court.
    It may be recalled here that the PIL Writ Petition No. 535 of
2006 was filed way back in May 2003 when the 52 Kolam Tribals died of
starvation in Yavatmal District.
   It may be pointed here that the Yavatmal District of Vidarbha
region is most affected due to non-implementation of various schemes
for the benefit of poor tribal families residing in the 710 tribal
villages of nine Talukas.
   Earlier, taking very serious view on continuous apathy of the
administration the judges had asked PIL petitioner Kishore Tiwari  to
add Central Govt. concerned officials as respondents and ordered the
State Government to direct Amravati Divisional Commissioner to submit
details of Action Taken Reports, (ATRs), by Wednesday 25th April as
the High Court has decided to hold urgent daily hearing in the matter
on the PIL filed asking High Court to save the dying Kolam tribal
community due to apathy of the State Government.
   Last month too the High Court ordered petitioner Kishore Tiwari
and all concerned officials of the State Government to implement the
Action Taken Report on the Kolam Tribals Starvation & Malnutrition
Deaths in Yavatmal District of Vidarbha Region,
   The tribal families who all are deprived of basic means of life
such as food, shelter, education, health & drinking water due to the
apathy of the State Government in implementation the various welfare
schemes, even after the report from the High Power Committee appointed
by the High Court in the PIL.
   The High-Court Division Bench at Nagpur had appointed various
committees from time to time during the period of last 3 ½ years and
finally had directed the State Government to submit ATR.
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