No caste certificate, no admission: Why Chhattisgarh’s displaced Adivasi children can’t go to school - Pratyush Deep

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published Published on Jan 16, 2023   modified Modified on Jan 18, 2023

Their lack of documentation means they struggle to enrol in schools and colleges in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana

- Newslaundry

Tribal youth displaced from Chhattisgarh are finding it difficult to enrol in schools and colleges in AP and Telangana because of the difficulty in obtaining caste certificates, Newslaundry reports. Primary schooling isn’t a problem because even remote hamlets have primary schools up to Class 5. However, to study further, they have to enrol in residential schools for adivasis, where they are asked for caste certificates. Applications for these certificates are often rejected. In their home state they are recognised as belonging to the Muria tribe. In Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, they aren’t.

In the third of a three-part series on the problems faced by displaced adivasis, Newslaundry has cited an Andhra Pradesh government official as saying that although there are clear guidelines for issuing ST certificates to migrant tribes the procedure involves verification by the gram sabha and this is where things get stuck. An official in Telangana's Integrated Tribal Development Agency told Newslaundry that "Caste certificate is just an excuse not to study. They are not interested in studying".

Displaced Adivasis from Chhattisgarh told Newslaundry that they faced resentment from local Adivasis. The worry is that if the displaced Adivasis get caste certificates, they will also become STs, implying “competition” for jobs and other government benefits. 

In 2005 the Salwa Judum’s rampage had taken over Adivasi villages in Bastar, forcing adivasis to flee south. It is estimated that 55,000 tribals made their way to  Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. In 2009, the district collector of then Khammam in undivided Andhra Pradesh, filed a report with the National Human Rights Commission, saying 16,024 displaced Adivasis from Chhattisgarh had settled in that district alone. Of this, 6,204 were children. Around 4,025 were of school-going age, but only 2,241 had enrolled in schools. 

Click here to read part 3 on adivasi youth and education

Click here to read part 2 on whether displaced tribal communities can return to Chhattisgarh

Click here to read part 1 on how displaced adivasis in AP and Telangana lack basic rights

Pratyush Deep, Newslaundry, 16 January, 2023,

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