The tribal people in many areas in Kollam are in the grip of poverty, hunger and diseases though the central and state governments have devised several welfare schemes for them. The benefits of these schemes rarely reach them and they continue to live in shocking conditions.
Many families, including women and children, live under plastic sheets supported by a few wooden logs with no walls and doors.
Their plight was revealed in a survey conducted in the tribal colonies of Kuriyottuma-la, Mullumala, Achanko-vil and Kadamankode by the KILA centre for socio-economic development at Kottarakkara. Some 37 village extension officers visited the colonies under the ‘Gothrayanam’ programme as part of in-service training.
In Achankovil, of a total 177 tribal families, 27 live in makeshift sha-cks in Muthalathode are-as. “The projects envisaged under people’s plan by LSGDs and tribal sub-plans by central and state governments have not reached these people,” Mr G. Krishnakumar, principal and development commissioner, who led the team told DC.
They have not been given title deeds for the land where they live, though political parties make promises during elections. They are also under threat of wild animals.
The tribals mostly depend on the foodgrain distributed through rati-on outlets or tribal depa-rtment once in a month. However, this is often irregular.
The tribal people do not seek proper medical aid and many die due to lack of treatment. The infants are undernourished.
The houses constructed in Kuriyottumla, Mullu-mala, Achankovil, and Aryaknavu colonies under various government projects are incomplete. Most of them have only walls and roof, without proper windowpanes and doors, while the floors and walls remain unplastered.
The hamlets are in the grip of poverty as ‘rural employment guarantee programme’ has not been implemented there.