Situated 60 kms from Palakkad in Kerala, the hilly town of Nelliyampathy has been grappling with tribal rehabilitation and land alienation issues for more than two decades. The people living in the Pollukad settlement identify themselves as descendants of the Malasar tribe.
When ‘Rest Of My Family’ visited the tribal settlement last year, the tribe expressed their discontent over their current situation. “My name is Arumugan. I’m sorry I wish I could offer you some chairs to sit on. As you can see, I have nothing.” His eyes betrayed his smile. There was bitterness and sadness in them.
“We have no water. We have no electricity. We have no toilets. We don’t have any home or identity today. And over time, they even took our hope away,” he said.
“If they give us our patta land or at least provide us with an alternative, then I am ready to move. Right now, I belong nowhere,” said Arumugan. He told with great sadness that many decades ago, they were asked to leave the forests since their land was forcefully declared to be a part of the Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary. As a part of their rehabilitation, the tribes were promised jobs within the estates and a temporary living arrangement. There are about 156 families who belong to the tribe that are currently residing in the forests.
Problems the community is currently facing:
- Temporary Residence in Un-farmed Lands.
- Refusal to hand over ownership of land to the tribe.
- Water scarcity.
What does the tribe want?
The tribe demands that the government return their land or give them ownership of their land and grant them the permission to build permanent structures on their own land.
How can you help?
Sign the petition to support their cause here:
For more details about the Malasar Tribe read: https://thelogicalindian.com/story-feed/exclusive/even-after-decades-the-malasar-tribe-continues-to-remain-landless-and-abandoned/
This story is an effort by The Logical Indian in collaboration with Rest Of My Family towards bringing stories which need much attention in India.
Submitted By – Akshatha Shetty & Piyush Goswami