By: Ranglal Jamuda
New Delhi: Population of Scheduled Tribes (STs ) alone ,excluding the vulnerable tribes yet to be included in the schedule of Indian Constitution, is nearly 10 millions in Odisha which is more than the population of many countries in the world including Austria, Bulgeria, Denmark , Israel, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, Switzerland etc.
But it is an irony of fate that even after India became independent, the STs continue to be marginalised despite the launching of a series of welfare schemes prior to each general election. Possibly the recently launched Special Development Council for 9 districts (where ST population is more than 50%) is going to be one among the so many already in existence.
Drafting and adopting nice policy decisions is one thing but really translating those into action is really the confirmatory test to acquire any credibility. What is more painful is the fact that as and when any ST person has tried to assert his/her position in Odisha, he/she has been invariably eliminated or marginalised. Consequently, the leaders from among them have been opting to become followers. This is certainly not a desirable situation.
Let us watch and see the speciality of this new initiative.