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January 23, 2018
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Lambada teachers return to schools at some placesTribal people however resolve to continue with their boycott

The over 45-day imbroglio related with Lambada teachers being ‘disallowed’ to attend duty in schools by Adivasis in erstwhile composite Adilabad district was broken in the new year.

As many as 24 teachers attended school at five places in Adilabad district on Tuesday raising hope of more of them returning to duty soon in other districts as well.

‘No yielding to pressure’

Kumram Bheem Asifabad district however presented a different picture where at a meeting of six Rai Centres of Raj Gond aboriginal people at Marlavai in Jainoor mandal it was resolved to continue with boycott of Lambada teachers and withdraw their children from the schools in case of pressure from the government.

Lambada teachers were not allowed to attend duties since November 15 last year by Adivasi villagers at many places in Adilabad, KB Asifabad, Mancherial and Nirmal districts following the rift that surfaced between the ethnic people and the Lambada plains tribe in August 2017.

Nearly 170 schools, including Tribal Welfare Ashram Schools and Primary Schools, were affected by the boycott involving nearly 450 Lambada teachers by Adivasi villagers since November.

The latter accused the former of ignoring studies of their children (aboriginal pupils) which had put them at a lot of disadvantage in terms of development over the last 40 years.

Main demand

The Adivasis’ main demand however is removal of the Lambada tribe from the list of Scheduled Tribe.

They allege that the process to include the latter in the list was incomplete. It was apparent that the government was worried over the derailment of education as studies were hit partially in the 56 Ashram Schools and 131 primary schools, the latter being closed due to non- availability of teachers during this period.

The breakthrough

The Collectors of Adilabad KB Asifabad and Mancherial held continuous consultations with Adivasi Rai Centres and achieved the breakthrough at Keslapur and Mutnoor in Indervelli mandal and in Bazarhatnoor, Boath and Jatarla eventually. At Marlavai, the sarmedis or chiefs of the Asifabad, Daboli, Lendijala, Jhari, Marlavai, Asifabad Division led by the Zilla Medi of chief of Rai Centres in erstwhile Adilabad district, Mesram Durgu, coordinator Kanaka Ambaji Rao and Patel of Marlavai — in addition to other community leaders — spoke against allowing Lambada teachers but voiced the opinion that they would be receptive to any move to depute non-tribal teachers at the affected schools.