The students of Adhiyan community in Tamil Nadu who live in Nagamangalam in Tiruchi district are suffering as they are not given Scheduled Tribe certificates by the authorities.
The community members vouch that they are tribes and their forefathers were fortune-tellers who reach houses with ox to tell fortunes. The members of the Adhiyan community said that they are from tribal communities and are from Tiruvannamalai in Tamil Nadu.
The members said that an anthropological study in 2001 recorded their origin from the tribal community but the revenue authorities and the village officer level authorities have not provided any certificate to validate that they are from the tribal community.
K.R. Kannayian, 53, a farmer from the Adhiyan community told IANS, “After some of our family friends got the certificate, we thought that it would be useful for getting ST reservations for our children. However, the village officers and the revenue department officials informed us that they cannot provide ST certificate based on the studies from the Anthropological studies.”
He said that many students have ended their higher education dreams as they are not able to pay high tuition fees for collegiate education. It is to be noted that if they had the ST certificate, the students could have availed of free education and also received a scholarship.
The tribal farmer said that they are now directed to approach the Tribal Research Centre, Ooty, for getting certificates. Kannayian told IANS that in 2017 a few families got the certificates but at present, they are not able to get as the Tribal Research Centre in Ooty is now the agency to issue the tribal certificates.
An official with the Tiruchi district collector’s office when contacted told IANS that they are awaiting a report from the Tribal Research Centre to provide the ST status to the community.
M. Kannan, a member of Adhiyan community told IANS, “If we had received the ST certificate earlier, our children would have been in government service and we request the authorities to clear this issue and help our children get the reservation.