Show more sympathy for tribals: HC to ministers

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Mumbai: The Bombay High Court today asked the ministers of the State Tribal Welfare department and Women and Child Welfare department to “take more interest” and “show more sympathy” towards improving the poor conditions of the tribal population in Maharashtra.

A division bench of Justices V M Kanade and Nutan Sardessai also asked all the principal secretaries of the departments concerned to coordinate with each other and implement existing schemes for tribal welfare.

The bench was hearing a bunch of Public Interest Litigations highlighting increasing instances of malnutrition- related deaths and illnesses among those living in Melghat region of Vidarbha and other tribal areas in the state.

The court noted that several committees have been constituted and schemes proposed for tribal welfare but the same will get a push only if the ministers concerned took adequate interest.

“If they (ministers) get involved then these schemes will get a push. The court-appointed core committee has met eight times this year but has failed to do much else. So, for the time being, we do not want to make any more committees.

Instead, ask all the principal secretaries of the concerned departments to coordinate with each other and implement existing schemes,” the court said.

The bench directed the principal secretaries to hold a meeting by January 27 and inform the court on what measures it has taken towards implementation.

It asked the ministers concerned to “take more interest” and “show more sympathy” towards improving the poor conditions of the tribal population in Maharashtra.

Acting Advocate General Rohit Deo assured the court that the government was making efforts to address the issue and also submitted an affidavit listing the steps it proposes to take.

At this, the bench said it was certain that if “all that was proposed in the affidavit was implemented in full spirit, the problem would be solved to a large extent”.

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