Reported by Ranjan Rath
Rayagada, Mar 14:
This newly appointed collector of Odisha’s Rayagada district, Jagannath Mohanty has taken the initiative for the socio-economic development of the Dongria Kondhs in the Niyamgiri area.
The collector, braving the Maoist threat, visited Niyamgiri on Wednesday under a mission ‘Gan ku Chala’. The move intended to win the trust of the Dangaria Kondhs.
This mission ‘Gaonku Chala’ follows a series of failed meeting held with the Kondhs of Muniguda, Bisam Katak and Kalyansinghpur area.
“This mission is intended for the administrative officials to reach out to the villagers and make them part of the government welfare schemes such as health, education, proper road connectivity and facilitate safe drinking water,” the collector told OST.
The tribals, however, still appear to be living in fear from their Vedanta experience and reluctant to let outsiders get to them.
“All the villages under the three blocks have agreed to work with the government on health, education and safe drinking water projects. We haven’t given our word on road connectivity due to the hostile atmosphere created by Vendanta,” said Jitu Shikaka, a leader of the Dangaria Kondhs.
Rayagada Superintendent of Police K Siva Subramani and Divisional Forest Officer Halif Mohammed had accompanied the collector during his tour.