Porza community to get ST tag in East Godavari

The community is listed as a Scheduled Tribe in Odisha and in Visakhapatnam district in AP but, strangely, not in East Godavari district

KAKINADA: People of the Porza community who have settled in the state from Odisha are facing a strange problem. The community is listed as a Scheduled Tribe in Odisha and in Visakhapatnam district in AP but, strangely, not in East Godavari district.

The situation could change from Tuesday, when East Godavari officials will start accepting their ST certificates.

The Porza community people migrated to the state to work on the government’s projects like the Seleru reservoir and hydel plants and settled in Visakhapatnam and East Godavari districts. The places where they stay are called ‘Odia camps’.

Community representatives say they get ST certificates from the revenue department in Visakhapatnam and enjoy reservations in education and employment. Not so in East Godavari district.

They hope that the YSRC government, in particular Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy will get the issue rectified.

“The Porza community people are living in nearly eight mandals in Rampachodavaram and Chinturu divisions. The people especially the youth are facing hardships in getting admission in education institutions and employment opportunities,” said Ratnam, secretary of Hope Organisation which works with the community.

“They have submitted representations to the state government seeking ST status in East Godavari district. At last, the government wrote letters to the local revenue officials to consider their appeals. Now the community people will submit their documents to the officials from January 4,” Ratnam said.

He said that recently superintendent of police M. Ravindranath Babu had learnt of the problems of the community and promised to recommend their case.

Sd. Subhani, organisation secretary of the Association for Social and Humanise Action (ASHA), said that many of the community people were studying Class X, but were facing hardships to submit ST certificates. This had resulted in the students stopping their studies half-way.

A. Venkata Ramana, Integrated Tribal Development Agency project officer of Chinturu, said that officials had made an inquiry on their status, but the community people could not submit proper documents to prove they belong to STs. He said if they submit proper documents, officials would provide them ST certificates.

Rampachodavaram sub-collector Katta Simhachalam said that the revenue department officials could give ST certificates in some categories which are gazetteed by the state government.

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