Adivasi Adhikar Rashtriya Manch (AARM) chairman and former MP Dr. Midiam Babu Rao has called for unified and concerted efforts to safeguard the hard won rights of tribal people, their rich traditions and cultural identity from the “communal onslaught” of “saffronisation.”

Addressing a webinar organised by the Telangana Girijana Sangham to mark the World Adivasi Day on Sunday, Mr Babu Rao alleged that the centuries-old glorious cultural heritage of tribal people and their constitutional rights are facing severe attack from the fascist elements under the present BJP dispensation at the Centre.

“Attempts are being made to dilute the acts applicable to the Agency areas such as PESA and RoFR to undermine the constitutional rights of tribal people,” he charged, saying such moves should be countered aggressively to protect the tribal rights. He alleged that the move initiated by the Centre to auction 41 coal blocks for commercial mining in predominantly tribal populated States will adversely affect nearly five lakh Adivasis in the form of displacement due to extensive opencast mining and other social, economic and environmental repercussions.

“The rights of SCs and STs are under grave threat in the present BJP regime at the Centre and a unified movement is imperative to ensure continuation of the reservation provisions in employment and promotions as per the constitutional safeguards,” he said.

Stating that tribal people account for a major chunk of the displaced migrant workers hard hit by the COVID-19 crisis, he demanded that the government should sanction ₹ 7,500 financial assistance per month to each poor family, provide essential commodities and extend immediate succour to all the needy.

The Telangana Girijana Sangham district general secretary Bukya Veerabhadram and others participated in the online seminar.

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