Friday, May 21, 2010

An Article by Sunila Bhise on Orissa


I am back from Orisa. My Orisa trip was great learning experience for me. Our research was on "Concerns of women in riots affected area" We were all together sixteen. three faculty, three project people and ten students from Nirmala Niketan College of Social Work. One team came from Loyala College - Chennai. Langauge was the problem but we try to manage with translators. Some time they are also not able to translate in hindi or Marathi. Some respondeants were not even speaking oriya they were speaking Kui language.

This proposal was given to some fathers and Mr. John Dayal (Journalist and christian leadear) to Nirmala Niketan College. They wanted to know kind of problems faced by women during riots and after riots. Condition of riots affected people is very bad. There is no strong organisation who is fighting for them or doing advaocacy of their issue. Politically also this group is weak. This fight is between Kandha and Panas. Both were Adivasis but few year back Panas has consider under Schedule Caste. Most of the Panas has converted into Christians. Riots took place in August 2008.

In Dec 2007 there was riots in few areas. but in 2008 it affects on whole Kandhamal. After the death of Swami Lakhananand. Peoples houses were totally burned, in some villages people are not allowed to cultivate their land. Some part not allowed to take wood and other material from jungle. People were still threatened by the kandha and hindu villagers. I have interview two women who were gang raped during riots. It was heart breaking experience for me. Some people I have mate who have not gone back to their village after riots. They shifted to near by cities like Bhubaneshwar, Katat, kerala, delhi etc. staying in rented houses. Church people helping their children in education.

People feel that they have lost their rights on the jungle. Question of employment is very intensive. Before riots they were working in hindu or Kandha family. Most of the women are unemployed, because they were mainly doing labour work in the village and employment activities depended on forest. When all the camps were over people have carried the same tents with them. Even if they back to home they did not build the house they put the same tent in the village they feel that they were still staying in the camp. Or may be they feel that their house can burn again so they did not want to build the house. Compansation given by them Orisa governmen and central government and CRS (Christian organisation).

We have also interviewed some Hindu people. Some feels that whatever is done by them was bad.

I have been to places where sister Meena was gang raped and they beaten Father so badly. They wanted to burn them after the rape they put petrol on them and lit the match box, that time match box fall into the petrol can. They were not able to burn them. I am so surprise what kind of culture coming in Adivasis.

This is Mumbai's Slum culture. Even in government empoloyment scheme christian labours are not getting job. In one school where children is getting mid-day mill. One christian boy touch the food, that day none of other hindu and kandha boys has eaten the food. So now first food serve to Kandha and hindu and remaining given to Panas. Some time they did not get. Untouchability is more sensitive. We have many case studies and interwiews.

If Panas dont unite themselves under one banner and fight for their rights then we have to wait for one more riots.

Article by:
Sunila Bhise

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