Tribals ready to shift from top of hills to foothills in Maoist infested Latehar

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Aradhana Patnaik,Deputy Commissioner of the Maoist infested Latehar district in Jharkhand,is credited to have visited Jagir ,a remote village of tribals,only to learn that the residents were up in arms demanding health and education facilities.

Jagir,a village of 35 tribal families,located on top of a hill in dense forest,lacks motorable road.It can be reached by trekking through a dirt pathway criss crossing forests and hills.Patnaik,an IAS officer,reached it on June 8.

She saw that the tribals were dependent on the vagaries of the monsoon to cultivate their rocky fields.They reap mono crop of paddy.Apart from trekking down to near by towns to sale their labour off and on to ekk out their living in non agricultural seasons,most of them exploited forest produces.

When Patnaik asked them if they were ready to shift and settle down on the foothills,many of them replied in the affirmative saying that they have no problem “provided they are given agriculture land and basic facilities. “

Patnaik said that she had forwarded a letter to the state forest secretary requesting to look for their land to settle them somewhere on the foothills.”They need health care and education facilities too”,said Patnaik.

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