KSU appeals to the Chairperson NCST to constitute members in the commission from NE

Shillong, May 15: The student organization of Meghalaya, the Khasi Students’ Union (KSU) today submitted memorandum to Mr Nand Kumar Sai Chairperson of the  National Commission for Schedule Tribes Government of India.

The KSU is pleased that the panel members of the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) are on an official tour to oversee its performance in the state of Meghalaya which is a tribal state and also to address the grievances of the tribal communities of the entire North East region. Our Union, the KSU is at the forefront since its inception in 1978 fighting for the rights of the tribal Khasi community in all spheres, be it socio-economic, political, educational and cultural rights.

The Khasi Students’ Union (KSU) seeks to address the welfare, rights and security of all Khasis irrespective of their religious, regions or any other affiliations. The Khasis predominantly resides in the eastern part of Meghalaya and in certain pockets of Assam, Mizoram, Manipur and Tripura.

They are also found in large numbers in the neighbouring country of Bangladesh. Khasi is a generic name of the Khynriams, the Pnars (Jaintias), the Bhois, the Wars, the Lyngngams, the Marams and the Dikos sub groups which constitutes the unique identity of the Khasi or Hynniewtrep people. The KSU would like to place the following points for your kind perusal and necessary intervention at the earliest.

In the memorandum the KSU mention that,  It has come into the notice of the Union that the regional office of the NCST in Shillong does not meet the required strength of staffs whereby most posts are lying vacant and even the post of the Assistant Director is also unfilled. The KSU therefore urges upon your office to kindly initiate the filling up of all the posts lying vacant in the said regional office so as to ensure the smooth functioning and efficient performance of the Commission in the state.

After the bifurcation of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes into two different entities in 2004, the NCST office in Shillong has been entrusted with the overall jurisdiction of the states of Meghalaya, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Mizoram, Manipur, Tripura and Sikkim.

Since the North East region is a predominantly tribal area which exhibits a plethora of distinct tribal identities, cultures, languages and ethnicity; the Union is of the opinion that it is high time for the regional office in Shillong to be fully upgraded into a full-fledged Directorate so as to cater to the requirements of the tribal populace in the region with precision.

The KSU also appeals to your office to kindly constitute members in the Commission from the eight states of the North East region. To justify this demand, the tribal communities from mainland India differs conspicuously from the tribes of North East India in terms of origin, geography, habits, language affiliations, cultures, etc. Even the aspirations of tribal communities in North East India are less similar to those of the mainland tribal groups.

The region in general and the state of Meghalaya in particular is plagued with the unabated migration of outsiders from the neighbouring countries of Bangladesh and Nepal and also from other parts of the country. Such uncontrolled influx of outsiders threatens the very existence of the microscopic tribal communities of North East India.

The Union therefore implores the Commission to prevail upon the central and state governments to formulate steps and mechanisms to protect and safeguard the rights of the tribal communities in the region including their survival and dignity.

The Union request the Chairperson to address the ongoing stalemate in the premier North East Indira Gandhi Institute of Health and Medical Sciences (NEIGRIHMS). Due to the stand-off between two high ranking officials of the institute, two precious tribal lives were snatched away because the required equipments for their treatment are unavailable. The Union hopes that in the best interest of the tribal patients, the Commission will intervene at the earliest.

The KSU felt that the aspirations of the tribal communities of North East India should be properly addressed by the Central Government and the NCST can play a proactive role in this matter. The above mentioned points are but a few grievances of the Union which we hope that the Commission will respond with utmost sincerity for the overall welfare of the tribals.

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