Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit has said it is necessary to ensure that vulnerable tribes are given special attention to ensure smooth merger with the mainstream population.
He said this while speaking at the Conference on Tribal Youth Empowerment & Entrepreneurship and 102nd birthday cCelebration Of Nawa Founder Padmashri Dr S Narasimhan at Resource Centre for Tribal Culture (RCTC), Udhagamandalam.
“Among the tribes of Nilgiris, which constitute nearly 5% of the district’s population, 6 groups find special mention as Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Communities. They are the TODAs, a pastoral community, KOTAs, a community traditionally engaged in carpentry and blacksmithy, IRULAs, who are traditionally collectors of minor forest products and are now engaged in agriculture work involving tea, coffee, spices etc.,” he said.
Governor added: “KURUMBAs, traditionally Healers and honey hunters, PANIYAs, who are mainly engaged in agriculture and KATTUNAIKAs who are traditional forest dwellers and familiar with wildlife forest trails etc. It is necessary to ensure that these vulnerable tribes are given special attention to ensure smooth merger with the mainstream population.”
“Many are the organisations and personalities who are working hard to ensure that this becomes a reality. I am happy that NAWA has started the practice of honouring such individuals who have contributed in a large measure for tribal upliftment,” he said further.
According to Purohit, the origin of the Association has an interesting tale to narrate. After Dr. S. Narasimhan, completed his Licentiate in Indian Medicine from the Kilpauk Medical College, he was residing in Ooty, where his father was a teacher in High School. One day when a woman from the nearby tribal hamlet approached him for help, he attended to the delivery successfully. This incident resulted in the founding of NAWA by Dr. Narasimhan on 20 th May 1958.