Telangana’s Denotified and Nomadic Tribes
The law accords them reservation and other privileges, but life remains the same for them. They travel across Telangana , doing odd jobs and live a life of deprivation.
The Denotified and Nomadic Tribes (DNTs) in the State, include the Badubukkala, Dommara, Pamula Parde, Dammari Jangam, Arya Kshatriya, who come under the 112 Backward Classes in the State, and are thus eligible for reservation. Other DNTs, including the Faqir, Ghante Fakir and Goshayaris, belong to the BC-E category for Muslims in the State. Despite the constitutional provisions, these 20 DNT communities barely survive on the margins of society .Social scientists and experts point out that despite several efforts by the Centre to uplift these groups , most States have not come up with special categories of reservation for them.
“Within the SCs, STs, BCs and OBC communities, there are DNTs, who require special support. Most of them earn so little that they are unable to run their families,” says B. Baburao Varma, former member, National Planning Commission for BCs and the Andhra Pradesh Public Service Commission.
The BC Commission has batted for special privileges and protection for these communities in the erstwhile united Andhra Pradesh.
According to those working with the DNTs, the tribes have been neglected over time. Some of the tribes which were notified as criminal tribes during the British rule still suffer from the stigma .
For instance, the Erukala, branded as criminal under the Criminal Tribes Act, still face discrimination because of the social stigma. Several other such groups still move from one district to another in search of menial jobs, social scientists observed. “The rural-to-urban migration is in some cases owing to this discrimination,” said Ramachandraiah, director of the Centre for Economic and Social Studies.
The BC commission recommended a focus on ensuring a sustained livelihood for such communities. “There should be a special enquiry commission to look at into their status,” said Mr. Varma. The communities, which comprise artisans and artists, could also be integrated into the State’s cultural and art platforms, experts said. “The State should take measures to bring education, housing and jobs to these people,” Mr. Varma observed.
Within the SC, ST and BC categories special provisions should be made to protect the rights of these communities to uplift them and their descendants, social scientists asserted.
‘Most of them earn so less that they are unable to run their families.’