April 6, 2022
Santanu Sen’s speech on The Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order (Amendment) Bill, 2022
Sir, in reality, it is very, very painful to see the dalits getting mob lynched. It is even more painful to see that the
Union Ministers take food from 7 star hotels to their houses, sit there and eat there just to catch votes and then once again start ignoring them. It is very unfortunate. Article 342 of Indian Constitution speaks about Scheduled Tribes.
India has 427 tribal communities of which 130 major categories are from North East India. If we count the sub-tribes, it comes to around 300. Sir, 9 per cent of total Indian population belongs to them. Unfortunately, 92 per
cent of them stay in the remote villages without having any proper access to health, education, transport, drinking water etc. So far as Tripura is concerned, incidentally and fortunately, I got an opportunity to visit that double engine run Tripura for several purposes including political purposes. In true sense, I got the opportunity to experience how miserable the situation is so far as the lifestyle of these tribals are concerned. One-third population of total Tripura belongs to Scheduled Tribes. 19 Tribes are there. I must tell my previous speaker, who happens to be the State BJP President of Tripura, they are not at all concerned about these Tribes. They have never fulfilled their pre-poll
policies and that is why our supremo Madam Mamata Banerjee became so much concerned. My humble submission is that if you cannot fulfil your prepoll promises, give it to us, we would fulfil it. The Report of Tripura Tribal
Area Autonomous District Council says that Infant Mortality Rate is maximum in Dhalai district due to poor knowledge about breastfeeding. Maternal Mortality Rate is extremely high because of lack of knowledge about health, hygiene and malnutrition and still, even today, the rate of institutional delivery is less so far as the tribal communities are concerned. Other health issues from which they are suffering are Goitre, Pellagra, Anaemia, Beri-beri, vitamin deficiency and Sexually Transmitted Diseases including HIV. So far as education is concerned, more than 20 per cent school dropout cases are there. There is still gender inequality existence. So far as the Gross Enrollment Ratio is concerned, when the national average is 26.3 per cent, in Tripura, for SCs, it is 23 per cent and for STs, it is 17 per cent. …(Interruptions)… Because of poor literacy, major Tribals of Tripura could not register themselves under the Tripura Land Revenue and Land Reforms Act, 1960. That is why they are still considered as encroachers most unfortunately. Even during this post-Covid employment generation, the budget was decreased. For SCs, earlier it was Rs.171 crores and it has come down to Rs.23 crores. For STs, it was Rs.89 crores and it has come
down to Rs.11 crores. The budget for Labour Welfare Scheme has also been slashed down like anything. I am requesting my previous speaker, please come over to our State of West Bengal. Just see what we have done. Sir, so far as the literacy rate of STs in West Bengal is concerned — the national average in Male is 68 per cent — it is 74
per cent. In Female, it is 49 per cent in Tripura and 51 per cent in our State of West Bengal. There is Aikyashree Project to promote education. There is post-matric scholarship to promote education, and Oasis Scholarship to
promote education. There is Jai Johar Pension Scheme, 2022, thousand rupees per month, and free electricity up to 75 units in three months and a dedicated Advisory Council. Instead of using this marginalized section of the society for political purpose, the Government of India must take up this issue seriously. My final submission will be, as this
proposed Bill seeks to amend the ST List to include the Darlong Community as a sub-tribe of Kuki which will enable to get them the benefit of reservation, I sincerely, urge all of you to support this Bill.My request to my previous speaker is to please give the opportunity to us to do it as you failed and we will prove that we can do it.