NAJAFGARH-NEW DELHI, MARCH 5, 2013: In response to a request made one month ago through Mr Neeraj Ekka of Bosco B Colony in Najafgarh, the parishioners of Sts Peter and Paul Church were privileged to have Dr Rameshwar Oraon, Chairperson, Ministry of Tribal Affairs visit the Tribal community at Najafgarh on Sunday, March 03, 2013 at 12.00 am.
Mr Oraon was escorted to the community Centre in Bosco B by a traditional tribal dance performed by the women folk of Bosco B, with Fr. Mathew Katara, SDB, parish priest and Fr. Justin, SDB, co-pastor on either side of him.
On reaching the centre, there was the hand washing ceremony of dignitaries followed by the anointing of foreheads with tilak of haldi and sandalwood paste. Sunflower petals were showered on the dignitaries. On entering the centre, Dr Oraon was welcomed with the presentation of bouquets and a traditional Adivasi shawl.
The proceedings began with a brief life-sketch of Dr Rameshwar Oraon, his achievements and accomplishments and the ascent of his political career till his present position. This was read out by Naveen Kujur of Bosco B.
Fr. Katara then welcomed Dr Oraon and thanked him for accepting our invitation to visit us in Najafgarh inspite of his busy schedule. He expressed the hope that his visit would be fruitful through the aspirations to be addressed to him by the community members.
Mrs Uma then read out a list of points to be addressed to Dr Oraon covering education for children and youth, establishment of a community centre and library, employment facilities and security and protection of the community. Mr Jewel Bara, a senior member of the community apprised Dr Oraon of the urgent need for the regularisation of the colony which had been registered in 2002. He expressed the hope that regularisation would cover such basic needs as housing, water, drainage, sanitation, electricity, etc.
Responding to all the problems addressed to him, Dr Oraon first of all thanked Fr. Katara and the community for inviting him to Najafgarh to visit the tribal community. He expressed his surprise and delight at being escorted all the way from his car to the community centre by the traditional Adivasi dance. Such a thing would have been commonplace in Jharkhand or Chhattisgarh. He had never expected to witness such a traditional welcome in Delhi.
Regarding the problems addressed to him, he said that he would speak to the Commissioner of Police to arrange all-round protection of the residents of the colony and 24x7 patrolling of the area during the day and especially at night.
He also informed all of us of the Adivasi Act 1989 whereby persons committing atrocities against Adivasis could be convicted by Courts of Law. Such offences were non-bailable. He asked us to cite this Act in police stations when lodging FIRs against any crime committed against us. Regarding employment, he informed us that there was 7.5% reservation in jobs for Scheduled Tribes.
Most of the time this was unavailed of and he asked us to take full advantage of this. With regard to education, he said that he would have further discussions with Fr. Katara and the Parish Council members to determine what he could do to help us in this regard.
About the other matters raised to him, he promised to speak with Mrs Sonia Gandhi, President of the Congress Party to see what they could do. He went on to say that Mrs Sonia Gandhi and the Congress Party were the only ones who expressed interest in the welfare of Tribals and listened to matters concerning them.
At the end of the programme, Dr Oraon was once again bidden farewell with a traditional Adivasi dance by the community. It had truly been a most fruitful day for all.