Monday, May 30, 2016

Compensation fails to reach kin of farmers

Pochubai, wife of deceased farmer Perumalla Istari
The Government order (GO) No . 194 issued by the state government enhancing the amount of compensation of Rs 6 lakh to families of the farmers who committed suicides has failed to enhance the confidence of the bereaved families in Adilabad district of Telangana.

Earlier, the government used to give Rs 1.50 lakh compensation under GO No . 421 to the families who committed suicide. The state government has issued GO. 194 in October 2015 with the retrospective effect from the formation of the Telangana state on June2.

The state government has failed to implement G0. 194 which was issued enhancing the compensation Rs 6 lakh from Rs 1.5 lakh to the family of the deceased farmers who committed suicide due to mounted debts.

So far, compensation was sanctioned only to 38 deceased farmer families where as many as 222 farmers committed suicides in the Adilabad district since the formation of the state.

Suryavamshi Parameshwar committed suicide by hanging himself unable to handle debts in Tadithnoor in Narnoor mandal. Local Tahsildar visited deceased farmer’s home and collected details but nothing has been done as far as sanctioning compensation.

V.S Krishna, state general secretary of the Human Rights Forum (HRF) said the state government has literally failed to implement the GO No.194 issued enhancing compensation.

“In most cases, members of the divisional level committees led by RDO formed to verify the authenticity of the farmer suicide are not visiting the deceased’s house instead depending the local Tahsildar’ reports which are most of the time being rejected at divisional level”, he observed adding that same is the situation in all the district except Hyderabad and Medak.

Tenant farmers were 80 percent among the total farmers who committed suicides in the Telangana state and compensation was being denied to tenant farmers citing the lack of land ownership documents.

B. Kondal Reddy, representative of the Rythu Swarajya Vedika said compensation  was sanctioned to only three farmers who committed suicide from Utnoor division out of total sanctioned 38 in the district though farmer suicides were high in number in Utnoor division.

Kavitha, the wife of the deceased Suryavamshi Parameshwar who committed suicide in 2015, said they have cultivated cotton in the 10-acre land out of total 15 acres they had and there was only 2 quintal of cotton production in acre due to severe drought and added that they have lost a cotton crop in the last two seasons.  

She said they have incurred a huge loss due to crop loss and mounted debts due to a huge investment in cotton cultivation.

Same is the case with the Rahith Ramdas who committed suicide in Jaithram Thanda in Narnoor mandal and also Perumalla Isthari of Vaghapur of Adilabad mandal who committed suicide due to crop loss and mounted debts.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Dry conditions affect Kharif Ops

 Tilling the land with tractor at Romankasa in Narnoon mandal in  district 
The prevailing dry conditions hit the agriculture operations for Kharif on various accounts. The temperatures are rising before the onset of monsoons which were  one –week delay. 

Temperatures between 44- 45 degree Celsius recorded in the district for the last one week.

People are staying at homes whenever possible and roads wore a deserted look. The brief spell of rains struck ten days ago brought some respite to the people for few days. 

The news of one –week delay in entering the monsoon disappointed many farmers.   
Half of the farmers have not begun agriculture operations for Kharif due to high temperatures recorded, heatwaves and were waiting for a spell of rain to bring down the temperatures.

Some of the small and marginal farmers who had sold their cows due to lack of fodder and shortage of drinking water are now taking cattle for rent for agriculture operations.

On the other hand, some farmers fell in a dilemma over cultivation of cotton and not yet decided whether to cultivate cotton or traditional crops for Kharif in the wake of the campaign against the cotton cultivation by the state government.

The state government will supply seeds of soya and pulses on subsidy to encourage cultivation of these crops but it is not sure whether state government will supply seeds sufficiently.

Jangil Dashrath of Ichoda said, still 50 percent of farmers have not started agriculture operations particularly ploughing fields as they were waiting for a brief   spell of rain so that the hard soil become lose and ploughing will go deeper into the soil  and easier to do in less time.

Small and marginal farmers were not in a position to start the agriculture operation due to the poor financial position following the successive droughts and they are looking at intermediaries and private moneylenders for loans even at exorbitant interests.

Fake cotton seed seized

Fake cotton seed packet with name Baba Ramdev
Adilabad agriculture officials recently seized 22 fake cotton seed packets bearing the name Baba Ramdev in Hindi on them from Kova Bheem Rao’s house in Devguda village in Hasnapur gram panchayat in Utnoor mandal.

The fake seed packets with the name of Baba Ramdev along with ‘Sri Ganesh seed packets’ (16) came from Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Rajasthan states. These fake seed cotton packets were being sold t the gullible farmers by local agents.

Baba Ramdev promotes Ayurvedic products under Pathanjali brand. He had Ramdev recently declared that the business was being developed to achieve Rs 10,000 crore turnover in 2016-17.

It is a general practice that businessmen who manufacture fake products use the names of prominent cinema personalities and blockbuster movies to attract the people.      
The fake seed packets with different names flooded the interior tribal areas in Utnoor division and especially in the villages in the mandals sharing borders with Maharashtra.

Joint director of Agriculture, K. Koteshwar Rao said that they came to know that women actively involved in the fake seed rocket and they were supplying these fake seeds in the night and early in the morning to the local agents.

Koteshwar Rao said they had filed a complaint with Utnoor police against Bheem Rao who was selling fake cotton seed packets to other farmers adding that it was surprising that even big farmers had purchased fake cotton seed packets offered at a cheaper price. 

The sellers were asking them to pay the money for seeds only after harvesting cotton.

It is observed that the farmers especially Adivasis who were affected by the successive drought and incurred a huge loss due to crop damage in the last two seasons are purchasing these fake cotton seeds.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Bamboo caps a hit in Adilabad

A creative primitive tribal Sidam Gangu, 40, of Bhimjiguda of Narnoor mandal in Adilabad district, become an entrepreneur sort by selling the caps decorated with radium tapes each for Rs 40 to Rs 50.

He had expertise in making different types of caps with bamboo and selling in the weekly shandies and there is good demand for these caps in the wake of soaring temperatures.

Illiterate Sidam Gangu said he would make more caps if, ITDA, Utnoor will extend help as caps made of bamboo will naturally protect the people from the hot sun as Bamboo will not absorb heat and disseminate like cloth or other material.

He said there was good demand for his caps made of Bamboo and people especially youth are asking for caps as they feel these caps will give them a different look like a cowboy.

Gangu is selling the bamboo caps with added colors at Sangvi and Narnoor and Lokari and people more fonder them after a good word was spread among the people about his caps and he is looking to helping hand from the officials to make them on the higher number.

Gangu has become a familiar face among the Adivasis in the villages in Lokari area and even strangers can find his home easily.

Generally, Adivasis of primitive Kolam Tribal Group make their living on making baskets, mats, and other items use in the day to day life and collecting minor forest produce from the nearby forests.

Adivasi Kolams lives in interior areas in the forests by avoiding mingling with the non- tribals. It is surprising to note that even the Kolam Adivasi families live as a separate entity at some places though they live on the fringes of the Adivasi Gond gudem.

Kolam Gudems are independent in nature on various accounts. Kolams are more creative in making items with Bamboo they collect from the forests and they have their own set of rituals and festivals. 

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Fishing activity gathers pace

Fishing activity has increased in villages as tanks on the verge of drying up. Community fishing is in full swing in the villages. 

People and birds flock at the tanks, which are on the verge of drying up. Fishing is easy in the mud with little water unlike in the tanks with full water.       

Community fishing is popular among the Tribals and fishermen . Fishing activity is quite strong in tanks around Nirmal and its surrounding mandals.

The interesting part in fishing is that they do not use any nets but catch fish traditionally as it is possible with the tanks drying up and very little water remaining in the tanks.

Members of the fishermen communities were of the opinion that fishing need to be carried out or the fishes will die without water as tanks are drying with rising temperatures.

Fishing of large fishes will become difficult once the tanks started receiving rainwater while releasing fish seed into the tanks.

Fishermen were seen busy fishing in Dharmasagar and Bangalpet tanks in Nirmal town in the last two days. Nirmal town and its surrounding areas have become the hub of fishing activity for the last 15 days.    

Fisherman Ramaiah of Utnoor said he will have to catch all the fish raised in the last season or he would incur a huge loss. He exports fish to Nagpur and Hyderabad.

Demand for fish during the summer as chicken prices have been on the rise in the last one month and people prefer fish , he said.

Meanwhile, fisheries department is preparing to supply seed to the registered fishermen societies during the rainy season.

Check dams will help improve groundwater

The state government will take up check dams on a large scale to improve groundwater table and prevent rainwater from going waste.

The state government issued orders to the department to focus on the construction of check dams especially in the areas where there is steep fall in groundwater table in the district.

Keeping in mind the prevailing severe drought in the state, the state government has taken a decision to improve the ground water table. For this, it will encourage rainwater harvesting pits at individual level and check-dams at the community level.

Already, the district administration has started encouraging construction of rainwater harvesting pits in the government offices and police department also doing the same in their police stations.

Experts say that even streams and rivulets will not go dry if there were check dam on them and ground water table will increase manyfold in that area. This would be more helpful to the farmers as most of them set up agricultures motors in the streams or rivulets and supply water to their agriculture fields.

The state government is also planning to construct check dams at the bridges on the rivers and streams and rivulets.

The state government will also strictly impose the rule of having rainwater harvesting pits giving permission for the constructing new buildings so that groundwater table will get a boost with the rainwater at least in the premises of a house or its surroundings. 

People who had experience d severe drought and drinking water problems this season to seem to have realized the importance of having the rain harvesting pits to have sufficient water and to avoid drinking water problems even during the hot summer.

Krishnakanth Goud of Vidyanagar in Adilabad town said ‘they have decided to construct a rain harvesting pit in his house as they have been facing severe drinking water problem for the first time this summer’.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Police attends Adivasi weddings

A traditional Adivasi marriage is in progress
Police officials were seen attending marriages of Adivasi youth without fail in the hot summer in interior places to get closer to the Adivasis in the district. 

Police are trying to make a good impression on Adivasis with new gestures.   

Police are attending the marriages of Adivasi youth who were active in their student organizations and actively participated in the agitations for the rights of Adivasis.

It is a general practice that police to organize free medical camps, laying roads to interior Adivasi gudems with shramadanam, conducting sports and games events to youth, distributing sports kits, clothes, and blankets and giving free coaching to Adivasi youth appearing for police constable and SI and other examinations under police meekosam and people friendly police.

Now, police officials are making their presence felt at Adivasi youth marriages to develop friendly relations to suits their slogan ‘people friendly police’.

It is surprising to note here is that district administration even selected few Adivasi and Dalit youth as best social activists (Uttama Udyamakarulu) and felicitated them with appreciation certificates on the special occasions.

Police are also relaxing the restrictions at the special occasion for the Adivasis to send a message to the community that they respect the sentiments of Adivasis. 

Park with medicinal plants to be highlight of Mancherial

Gandhari Vanam, a nature park with medicinal plants and herbs will soon be the centre of attraction in Mancherial in Adilabad district is attracting the elders and children alike. 

The forest department is developing the park named after famous Gandhari fort in the area.

Colorful paintings of forest animals adorn the compound wall of Gandhari Vanam  to create awareness among the people about the forest and animals.

Special secretary Smitha Saberwal from the Chief Minister’s office recently visited the Gandhari Vanam and was impressed by the work taken up to create awareness  about the growing plants.

The Gandhari Vanam is first of its kind being developed in the district. The project is coming up near Bokkalagutta on the out skirt of the Mancherial town.

Gandhari Vanam will be another feather in the cap of the Mancherial which already has Shivvaram Crocodile Sanctuary and ancient Gandhari fort where annual jatara will be organized by the local Adivasis.

Smitha Sabharwal asked the forest officials to grow Ayurvedik herbs and other medicinal plants as there was a huge demand for it in the open market.

The park is adjacent to the Gandhari Mysamma temple where thousands of devotees visit the temple every week.

The park is also an ideal place for picnics with and soon the authorities will install play equipment for the children. According to sources, the Gandhari park will be developed as a deer park in future to attract the tourists from coal belt areas in the east district of the Adilabad.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

TS tribal schools undergoing change

After social welfare Residential school, it is tribal welfare schools and hostels, which are undergoing change with many reforms in terms of menu, academic calendar year, conducting special classes and conducting summer training to the students in various fields as part of summer samurai program.

The Tribal Welfare schools under ITDA got 80.40 pass percent of SSC this year against 33 last year. There are nearly 40,000 students are studying in tribal welfare ashram schools under ITDA, Utnoor and above 3,000 teachers are working in these schools in the district.

Tribal welfare officials are making serious efforts to improve the educational standards in the Tribal ashram schools and hostels run under ITDA, Utnoor.

However, it is too early to comment about the improvement in educational standards in Tribal ashram schools because with the recent increase in pass percent in SSC. It remains to be seen how these students will perform in intermediate.

The officers of agency education department say they have conducted slip tests, orientation classes and a special focus on Mathematics, Telugu and English subjects in SSC and this resulted in good pass percent when compared to last year.

Efforts are also being made to improve communication and English skills among the students studying in Tribal Ashram schools.

Project officer R.V Karnan said they have changed the previous school academic calendar adding that prepared new academic calendar taking the tribal festivals and Jataras into consideration and hoped that new academic calendar will improve the attendance of the students.

The ITDA also changed the food items in the menu and serving traditional nutritional food to the inmates of the Tribal Ashram schools for some time and also encouraging sports and games among the students studying in tribal schools and hostels.

Students of Tribal Ashram schools and hostels are now being called with the suffix ‘Stars’ as part of an image makeover to the schools and students and infuse confidence among them.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

TS fails to provide jobs, people back to gudumba

Brewing Gudumba (illicitly distilled liquor) in the interior areas is continuing despite officials declaring district as Gudumba free long back. People affected by drought continued their traditional manufacturing of Gudumba  as a livelihood.

Many incidents of manufacturing gudumba are reported in the coal belt areas in the district and this is mainly in a village in the mandals along the river Pranahitha and the Godavari and also in coal belt areas of the western region of the Adilabad district.

The state government has failed to provide an alternative employment to the people who gave up their traditional brewing gudumba and again they have started it to make both ends meet in the drought situation. 

The local police have been conducting raids on Gudumba manufacturing units while the excise police have become inactive.

Police conducted raids in Marripelli village and also in Kalvada, Devulaguda and Lambadi Thanda villages in Dahegoan mandal recently. 

Police conducting raids regularly and destroying thousand of liters of ‘Bellampanakam’ and seizing gudumba in huge quantity, Vehicles used for transportation has become regular phenomena in the east district. Police seized Gudumba packets in their raids on gudumba manufacturing units.

It is surprising to know that police are seizing the manufacturing material from the same villages again and again and this means the villagers have not given up the brewing of gudumba despite regular raids and counseling them against brewing gudumba.       

Gudumba is being packed in sachets so that they can easily transport to the selected locations and places and it is found that women are playing an active role in transporting the Gudumba to other places in the district and to villages in bordering Maharashtra. There is a liquor prohibition in Chandrapur and Gadchiroli districts of Maharashtra bordering Adilabad.            

The traditional manufacturers of gudumba stopped brewing liquor with the state government’s promise to provide them with an alternative employment to compensate the income they lose by giving up brewing gudumba. But the state government has failed to fulfill its promise till now.

In the meanwhile, the situation has turned from bad to worse with the severe drought conditions in most of the villages.

On condition of anonymity, a woman of Marripelli in Dahegoan mandal said, what should they do to make both ends meet other than brewing Gudumba or else they will die due to starvation as there are no works under Mahatma Gandhi National Employment Rural Scheme (MGNREGS) and wages were pending for a long time and there are no crops.

Villagers oppose new private English medium schools

People of a few villages opposing the establishment of new private schools in their villages as they strongly feel that the private schools will affect the government schools in Adilabad district.

Villagers are spending thousands of rupees for school fee. On the other hand, government teachers are campaigning in the villages appealing to the parents to send their children government schools instead private.

Villagers of Pipparwada had passed a unanimous resolution recently in gram panchayat opposing setting up a private primary school in their village in Jainad mandal.
Villagers have been campaigning in favor of government schools to improve the enrollment of the students in their schools in Lokeshwar mandal.

Government teacher R. Venu of Adilabad said, “parents should take the lead to protect the government schools and strengthening them the teachers will follow them”.

Teachers of government schools have launched a campaign in the villages highlighting the facilities available at their schools and highly qualified teachers and other provisions like mid-day meal, school uniforms, and no fees.

Some of the government teachers distributing pamphlets with the information highlighting the facilities and explaining how government schools are best compared to private schools and taking out rallies to create awareness among the people about the advantages of the government schools.

People of some villages passing resolutions demanding the state government to introduce the English medium in the government school in their village to reduce the financial on the parents sending their children to private English medium schools and also save the strengthen the government school in the larger interests.

Director of school education earlier issued orders allowing villagers to introduce English medium in the government school if parents are interests and they will accord the permission to such schools and consider the English medium at their school.

It is surprising to note that, villagers are questioning the teachers for asking them to join their children in government schools while sending their children to private English medium schools. People asking the teachers admit their own children at government schools.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

State strengthening its hospitals sector

Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS), Adilabad 
The state government is making efforts to strengthen the government hospitals and teaching medical colleges, including Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences( RIMS), Adilabad, by creating good infrastructure and acquiring the requisite equipment to the patients. 

The state government is also recruiting doctors to fill the posts that have been lying vacant for a long time.

Creating best facilities and giving treatment round the clock is likely to attract the economically poorer sections who were being forced to go to private hospitals which were fleecing them.

A senior doctor at RIMS, Adilabad said that creating confidence in the people in the competence of the government hospital system would be induced to check irregularities taking place within their own ambit when unwitting patients stopped promising then and getting duped. People would start demanding better facilities from government hospitals.

Private nursing homes and corporate hospitals have been known to keep ignorant patients and their family members suspended in anxiety and anticipation of a diagnosis by not revealing the exact status of the health problems.

They tend to charge a huge fee for even for fevers, dengue and malaria, which are seasonal diseases that can be treated speedily if detected early.

VTDA's to be strenthened to empower tribals in Adilabad

Project officer R.V Karnan interacting with Adivasis at Gundala in Tiryani
The Integrated Tribal Development Agency (ITDA), Utnoor is making efforts to empower the tribals by strengthening Village Tribal Development Agencies (VTDAs). 

The VTDAs will give democratic space for the local tribals to take up development works needed for them instead of accepting what is imposed by the government officials.

The ITDA authorities are of the opinion that the involvement of the local tribals especially Adivasis in development works and schemes will help the effective implementation of government schemes and speed up the works take up in their respective villages.Misappropriation funds meant for the development works in interior tribal areas is on the higher side.

The village tribal development agencies will take up development works like roads, construction of a school and other buildings, minor drinking water schemes and supplying food and other items to the Tribal Ashram schools instead of private contractors.

The ITDA, Utnoor project officer R.V Karnan said they will conduct elections to the VTDAs through gram sabhas and leaders and villagers will elect the president and members to 530 Village Tribal Development Committees (VTDA’s).

He said various programs will be organized and schemes will be implemented through VTDAs under ITDA.  

Earlier, the VTDAs were active and but the majority of them become inactive and some of them inactive as political leaders and private contractors and some government officials diluted them over a period of time as they were affecting their interests.

Leaders of some of the VTDA’s misused the powers and gave works to the private contractors taking the goodwill from them instead doing works on their own or else not supplying material in time or not completing the works in time as per agreement.

It was found that there is no proper monitoring of the development work taken up by the private contractors and various departments in the tribal villages. 

The same work being taken up many times to get the profits though there was no use of such sub-standard works to the local tribals. This came up for the discussion many times in the meeting of governing body of the ITDA.