Adilabad: Exploitation At Its Very Best

Adilabad is among the most backward Districts in Andhra Pradesh and this was evident in the three stops that the Sangharsh Sandesh Jatha made at Nirmal, Khanapur and Jannaram.

At Nirmal people are being subjected to exploitation by the nexus of officials and businessmen. For example, the 1.2 lakh women beedi workers belonging to minorities, backward class, SC and ST are under paid by greedy company management and government is ignoring their plight. Although, the government has fixed Rs 162.50 as daily wage for the beedi workers, they get only Rs. 120. In addition, water is not released to the full extent to Saraswati Canal, which is the main source for irrigation in the drought-prone area.

The meeting at Nirmal was attended by over 90 percent women who are mainly beedi workers and scheme workers. M.A.Baby and Veeraiah addressed the meeting at Nirmal.

From Nirmal the Jatha traversed through the Kavval forests home to the Gond and Kolam tribes. The government's decision to establish Tiger Zone in Kavval Project Forest has resulted in people from 42 villages being evicted forcefully. It is an irony that while the Government is bothered about the Tiger population and their protection, they are least bothered about adequately rehabilitating the Tribal people and resettling them in accordance with the Forest Rights Act. While tigers need to be protected it cannot be at the cost of destroying livelihoods of the Tribal people who have for centuries co-existed in these forests with the wildlife.

At Khanpur 4 acres of land has been occupied under the leadership of the CPI(M) and about 60 huts have been built on this land belonging to the Government by Adivasis, Dalits and Backward Castes. The Jatha stopped at Khanapur and expressed solidarity with the struggle for land and homes for the poor. S. Ramachandran Pillai hoisted the Party Flag at the venue and Sreenivasa Rao said the Party would stand by the people and protect their right to the land occupied. The Jatha leaders were welcomed in the traditional way with garlands and the red tilak.

In Jannaram the landless and homeless people are demanding land and homes for all. Forest land of over 6000 acres spread across 6 villages has been occupied by Tribals, Dalits and OBCs and the struggle is going on to regularize it. Over 200 acres are also being cultivated. The government is turning a blind eye to their demands and has resorted to arrests and threats to stifle the movement. Women working in Mid-Day Meal Scheme, Anganwadis and ASHA workers along with the landless and homeless formed the bulk of the audience of whom over 80 percent were women.

Another major issue is the forced acquisition of land for open cast projects in Singareni region against with the local people are fighting under the Party banner.

People of Nirmal, Khanapur and Jannaram who are victims of the faulty policies of the government and local administration received the Jatha with great enthusiasm.

S. Ramachandran Pillai and V.Srinivasa Rao addressed the meeting at Jannaram.