Dalit Tatma community feels neglected

[ 2013-02-10 / REPUBLICA / SANTOSH SINGH ] SARLAHI, Feb 10: The country has witnessed much socio-economic change since Jana Andolan-II, but the marginalized Tatma community in the Tarai feels things are still the same.

An 80-year-old woman from the Dalit Tatma community in Sarlahi, who was attending perhaps the first ever convention of her community organized in the district, said all the changes that have taken place in the country mean nothing for people like her and her as they continue to suffer under unfair social practices and an indifferent government.

“I have already turned 80 and have my citizenship certificate, but I am yet to receive my social security allowance,” said the octogenarian who was too shy to even say her name. “I will tell my name to whoever will get me ny elderly allowance. Everybody asks for my name and age, but nobody comes with the allowance” she said.

The senior citizen also said that had there been change for them, her grandchildren would have been in school. She said the community itself should start a struggle for its upliftment.

Ramchhetri Tatma of Parsa, who is also participating in the event, expects the convention to decide to work for the upliftment of the Tatma community and help ensure free education for the children of this marginalized community.

The participants of the three-day convention being organized at Nawalpur of Sarlahi berated government apathy toward the problems of their community.
Over 2,000 members of the Tatma community from 16 districts have gathered for the convention, which was inaugurated by Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) of the Indian state of Bihar, Rabindra Kumar Tati.

According to Rajkumar Das Tatma, spokesperson for the convention, 400 representatives and 25 observers are participating in the program.

He also informed that the convention would take decisions concerning the problems of identity, expansion of the community organization and reservations for them on the basis of their population size.

The Tatma work mainly as laborers and farm hands in the Tarai.