Following his visit to Adivasi youth Madhu’s home in Attappadi, Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan announced a slew of tribal welfare measures.

Kerala CM Pinarayi visits Madhus family announces setting up of care homes
news Politics Friday, March 02, 2018 - 14:45

In an attempt to address the various issues faced by the tribal community in Kerala, the state government announced a slew of initiatives including the setting up of care homes in Attappadi to accommodate persons with mental health issues. This comes after Adivasi youth Madhu was beaten to death by a mob in Attappadi in Palakkad last month. Accused of stealing rice and groceries, Madhu’s death had raised questions over tribal welfare.

On Friday, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan visited Madhu’s house and promised his mother and sisters that stern action will be taken against the culprits.

"Strong action will be taken against those who make derogatory comments against Madhu on social media," Pinarayi told Madhu's family.

Speaking to the media following his visit, Pinarayi said that the main issue brought to his notice by Madhu’s family is the need to set up a facility to shelter those with mental health problems.

“In the area, there are a few who have such issues and are homeless. We will look for buildings and all of them will be accommodated in them in a week. These will be later developed as care homes,” he said.

The CM also said, “The gynaecology department in the government hospital in the region will be strengthened, which will be completed by April. If the service of Asha and Anganawadi workers, the junior health inspectors and the Kudumbashree workers are utilized fully, individual attention and special care can be given to each person. The government will think in that direction and a facility for special care will be brought in place”.

Among a slew of announcements, Pinarayi said that ragi and millet will be cultivated in the tribal areas and the community kitchen scheme will be extended. “There are no tribal promoters in 42 adivasi hamlets. Vacancies will be filled by April. Another issue is alcoholism among people. Deaddiction centres will be set up and strong awareness campaigns will be carried out to address the issue. Individual care will be given for those who are alcoholic. There will be individual centric and general measures to address the issue. Disability census will be conducted to find out and support differently-abled people. Stern action will be taken for offences committed under Prevention of Atrocities against SC and ST.”

The press meet was convened after a meeting with 22 officials of various departments at Attappadi. Social Justice Minister K K Shylaja and Palakkad MP MB Rajesh among others accompanied the CM. The meeting was convened against the backdrop of allegations that the money set aside for Adivasis under various schemes have been diverted for other purposes.

 On February 23, 30-year-old Madhu was tied up and assaulted by a group of people, who accused him of stealing. He later collapsed and died while being taken by the police to the station. The pictures of Madhu with his hands tied including a selfie taken by one individual outraged Kerala, with questions being raised over mainstream society had exploited tribals, snatching away land and resources from them.

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