News headlines

from Daijiworld's special correspondent in Panaji

Panaji, Apr 24: Dhangar tribals inhabiting the hilly regions of this coastal state will finally get respite, if attempts of chief minister Pratapsingh Rane prove fruitful.

The long-driven struggle of the 7,500-odd strong Dhangar community for Schedule Tribe (ST) status got a new twist last week, when Goa chief minister Rane, personally went to Delhi to pursue the matter.

"The Registrar General of India (RGI) officials have decided to come down to Goa and study the life and living of Dhangars. We are optimistic that RGI's report would be supporting our demand as Dhangars fit into the criteria of tribals," stated Chandrakant Kavlekar, lone legislator representing Dhangar community in the state legislative assembly.

It is a long drawn struggle for Dhangars who had no firm leadership till Kavlekar made it to the assembly. Dhangars had clubbed their struggle with Gauda, Kunbi and Velip communities who were also demanding ST status.

However, the Parliament accorded ST status to Gauda, Kunbi and Velips,  leaving the Dhangars in the lurch.

"Dhangars are more eligible for ST status compared to others as we stay in hilly area, worship nature God and are still backward," Kavlekar stated.

Though Dhangar's struggle seems not to be ending for few months to come, the state government has decided to form a welfare board to provide all the facilities to them. "Notification regarding welfare board would be soon out," Kavlekar said.


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