Student groups under the banner of Tribal University Sadana Samithi (Committee for Tribal University) have taken up protest campaigns in Telangana’s erstwhile Adilabad district. Seated in thick and vast forests, erstwhile Adilabad was carved into four districts — Adilabad, Komaram Bheem Asifabad, Mancherial, and Nirmal. It consists of a higher population of various tribes, compared to the other districts in the state. The committee kicked off the campaign earlier on Wednesday with a rally of students from junior and degree colleges in Asifabad and Kagaznagar towns.
Demanding that the Union and state government initiate the procedure to set up a tribal university in Utnoor, the committee alleged that both the governments were neglecting the promise that was assured in the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014. Schedule 13 of the Act necessitates the Union government to set up Tribal Universities in both Telangana and Andhra. The protesters said that even after seven years of state formation, this was yet to be done.
Following a rally and demonstrations, the students and leaders of the committee submitted representations to local MLA Koneru Konappa and Zilla Parishad Chairman Kova Lakshmi. Speaking to TNM, Raisidam Bapurao, convenor of the Tribal University Sadana Samithi (TUSS) said, "We have launched rallies and campaigns across the erstwhile district. In this four-day campaign, we are explaining the significance of the university to the students in colleges."
He further added, "The establishment of the university is being neglected. If this becomes a reality, it would cater mostly to indegenous tribal communities beside accommodating research on tribal folklore cultures, lifestyle and more."
TUSS opines that setting up a Tribal University in Utnoor can help education flourish in all the four districts. They argue that a Tribal University would serve to preserve Adivasi culture, languages and artisans and resources for future generations. Convenor Bapurao said that they would intensify the movement in the next phase if the governments continue to neglect the issue. On Friday, the committee held a campaign in Utnoor town in which hundreds of students participated.
Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR) is said to have sought the attention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the matter of setting up a Tribal University beside other issues, during his visit to New Delhi earlier this month.