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Chenchus: Telangana’s forgotten tribal people సెప్టెంబర్ 29, 2014

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By Mohammed Shafeeq*
WARANGAL (Telangana):  ODISHA SUN TIMES  Monday, September 29, 2014

They live close to the town but are miles away from civilization, living in utter poverty and inhuman conditions. They are Chenchus, a primitive tribe, in two villages barely 45 km from this town in the heart of Telangana state.

source: tribal.info /pic credit-Sathya Mohan

source: tribal.info /pic credit-Sathya Mohan

The majority of the 57 families in Chenchu Colony, a tribal hamlet of Chennapur village, survive on rats, cats, dogs, squirrels and other animals they hunt. Similar are the conditions of 24 families of Bhavusinghpally village.

The fruits of development have not reached the Chenchus, a majority of whom never stepped out of their villages till this week when Telangana assembly Speaker S. Madhusudana Chary brought them to Warangal to take them around. Though this aboriginal tribe mostly lives in the forests of Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Odisha, the two Chenchu villages are located in the plain area.

Their ancestors are believed to have come from deep forests and settled down over a century ago.

Wretchedness is writ large on their faces. With no decent and proper roof available to them, the frail-looking men and women and their children are prone to many ailments. Some work as farm labourers in nearby villages but their earnings are not enough to make both ends meet. (మరింత…)

Medicos Demand Scrapping of One-year Rural Service Rule సెప్టెంబర్ 23, 2014

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HYDERABAD: Making one-year rural service mandatory for medical students after their post-graduation is far from a settled issue.

Ever since it was introduced in 2010, it has only increased the acrimony between students and medical department officials.

In an another fresh ultimatum issued to the government, the Telangana Junior Doctors’ Association (TJUDA) on Sunday demanded that the rule of one-year rural service by junior doctors be done away with forthwith. Instead, it suggested, the government should provide permanent jobs to medicos. (మరింత…)

Sense of alienation stalks tribals సెప్టెంబర్ 22, 2014

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Students are apprehensive as they’ve technically become non-locals

G. NAGARAJA  The Hindu, Kukkunuru (West Godavari Dist.), September 21, 2014

The Kukkunuru Tahasildar office with the name board showing its past affiliation to Telangana even after its merger with Andhra Pradesh. - Photo AVG Prasad

The Kukkunuru Tahasildar office with the name board showing its                                             past affiliation to Telangana even after its merger with AP .                                                                – Photo AVG Prasad

A feeling of alienation stalks people in villages under Kukkunuru, Velerupadu and Burgampad mandals, which became part of West Godavri district following the Andhra Pradesh State Reorganisation Act, 2014. Thursday’s gesture of the district administration to reach out to the ceded areas to build bridges with the people who earlier belonged to Telangana hardly helped in inculcating a sense of inclusiveness among them.

The feeling of alienation among them was palpable, mainly with their very existence coming under question in the backdrop of the Indira Sagar project.

Nativity issues in education and employment, lack of geographical homogeneity between the ceded areas and the rest of West Godavari district, poor connectivity and failure of the authorities in implementing welfare programmes make them alienated. “We have become nobody’s babies. We don’t have drinking water and no seed to raise cotton,” a tribal told Collector Katamneni Bhaskar at a function at Kukkunuru.

Threat of submergence

All villages in the ceded mandals are facing threat of submergence, thanks to the Polavaram project. Nothing tangible has come forth from the official machinery yet for provision of alternative lands and building R&R colonies for the project victims.

These merged areas are tucked away in a manner that one has to pass through the Telangana State through a stretch of nearly 50 km from Kukkunur on the Aswaraopet-Bhadrachalam road to enter the borders of West Godavari district near Jeelugumilli. Their gruelling bus journey to the ceded areas from the district headquarters has woken up the official machinery.

The bus that started from the District Collectorate with 35 district level officers representing various government departments at 7.30 a.m. one day reached Kukkunuru by 11.30 a.m. It is another one hour drive to Velerupadu from Kukkunuru.

Denial of opportunity

Students and unemployed youth fear denial of opportunities in education and employment since they technical became non-locals with their studies elsewhere in Telangana after the merger of the villages with Andhra Pradesh. The welfare schemes such as employment generation under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act and distribution of titles for forest lands under enjoyment by tribals under the Forest Rights Act failed to trickle into these remote areas due to the bifurcation hiccups.

Telangana Artist Forum seeks justice సెప్టెంబర్ 20, 2014

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The Hindu, Hyderabad, September 19, 2014

The Telangana Artist Forum (TAF) has regretted that in Andhra, Sri Venkateshwara, Yogi Vemana and Nagarjuna Universities, 85 per cent of the seats are reserved for local and 15 per cent for non-locals, while in sharp contrast, 64 per cent of seats in the Jawaharlal Nehru Architecture and Fine Arts University here, were given to students from Seemandhra.

Condemning the discrimination, they have decided to take the issue to the notice of the Chief Ministers of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana and also to the Education Ministers concerned.

On Thursday, they submitted a representation to the Vice-Chairman, Telangana State Council of Higher Education, Prof. Mallesh.

TAF Convenor Ramana Reddy demanded that counselling in the Jawaharlal Nehru Architecture and Fine Arts University be stopped, till justice is done to students from Telangana.

Since the College of Fine Arts was formed by the Nizam in 1933, over 80 per cent of the students were from Telangana and after it was merged with the Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University in 1972, regional reservations were introduced with 36 per cent for Telangana and the remaining for Seemandhra. The continuance of this age-old exploitation even after Telangana is formed is affecting the prospects of its students and is quashing their dreams of becoming artists and architects, Mr. Reddy said.

Andhra Pradesh takes control of seven mandals in Khammam సెప్టెంబర్ 4, 2014

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Deccan Chronicle, September 03, 2014
Khammam: Andhra Pradesh state on Tuesday began administration of the seven mandals in Khammam district that were transferred to it from Telangana for ease of construction of the Polavaram Irrigation Project. Collectors of West and East Godavari districts formally took over administration of the mandals.
The mandal revenue officers have been asked to send the demand drafts received from the dealers of fair price shops to the concerned collectorates. Kunavaram, VR Puram, Chintoor and Nellipaka mandals have come under the Rampachodaravaram revenue division in East Godavari district while Veleirpad, Burgumpahad and Kukkunoor mandals under the West Godavari district.
Rice and sugar, which was stocked in the godowns would be distributed to the people on behalf of the AP government. It is also decided to extend all other services like social pensions, education and revenue from the AP government.
As per the details, there were 2,000 employees working in various departments in these seven mandals. Nearly 80 per cent of the employees evinced interest to work in Telangana and the remaining preferred to continue in AP.
Bhadrachalam RDO Anjaiah said, “The employees’ transfer would be done in phased manner.”
Some 463 of the 673 teachers working in these mandals would be deputed in the vacant posts in Khammam district first.

Telangana AAP holding round-table on Polavaram సెప్టెంబర్ 2, 2014

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The Hindu, Hyderabad,  August 31, 2014

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Telangana, is supporting an alternative plan for Polavaram Project in a bid to avoid displacement of the tribal people in the region. The plan prepared by M. Dharma Rao, retired chief engineer of united Andhra Pradesh, was released on Saturday at a press meet organised by the party.

Salient features of the alternative plan include diversion of water from Sileru river into Yeleru river through a tunnel and diversion of water from Dummugudem anicut across the Godavari river through a tunnel to meet Krishna basin requirements. One of the proposals is also to balance reservoirs on hill streams such as Sokuleru to meet the exigencies of delta and other drinking water requirements.

Mr. Rao said that this plan was a win-win situation for all the sections of people in the Eastern Ghats as it would avoid submergence and consequent adverse effects. He said that this plan would ensure that nature is protected and displacement of people can be totally avoided.

The party members opposed the Polavaram project in the present form and will do everything possible to stop it. “The project is in total violation of every legislature in the country. Nowhere in the world did three lakh people get displaced because of an irrigation project. The matter is in Supreme Court and we are mobilising support countrywide on this issue,” said P.L. Visweshwar Rao, spokesperson, AAP (Telangana).

The party is holding a round-table meeting on September 6 at the Sundarayya Vignan Kendram and has invited political party representatives, civil society members and others to deliberate on this issue as well as on the increasing farmer suicides in the new state.

The party has also released the list of about 100 farmers who had died in Telangana since the formation of the TRS government. It demanded that the government to immediately waive off farmer loans as promised and provide Rs. 20,000 to each farmer to buy quality seeds, pesticides and fertilizer.

 

Can Telangana reassert itself with statehood? జూన్ 2, 2014

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Sajjad Shahid, TNN, June 1, 2014

Telangana is poised to regain its status as a distinct regional entity after a lapse of five centuries. The last time that the region asserted itself successfully under this identity was when Sultan Quli Qutub-ul Mulk, the Bahmani governor of Telangana, assumed de-facto control of his province at the close of the 15th century. Ruling from the citadel of Golconda, Sultan Quli and his successors held sway over the region for almost two centuries. The markers of regional identity nurtured during Qutub Shahi rule formed a cohesive corpus which has efficaciously faced challenges and survives despite repeated attempts to dilute its essence. (మరింత…)

Will stay put in Telangana: Chandrababu Naidu మే 30, 2014

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TNN, May 28, 2014

HYDERABAD: In a clear message to the TRS and Congress, TDP president and AP chief minister-elect N Chandrababu Naidu on Tuesday said that Hyderabad will be his headquarters until his party comes to power in Telangana in the 2019 elections.

Delivering his opening remarks at the ‘Mahanadu’, a two-day annual plenary marking party founder N T Rama Rao’s birth anniversary at Gandipet on the city outskirts, Naidu said, “It is the TDP’s duty to protect the interests of the Telugu people in both the states. While re-building Seemandhra, I will stay put in Hyderabad and ensure that the TDP comes to power in the next elections.”

Naidu’s assertion is a clear warning to the TRS and Congress that the TDP-BJP alliance is here to stay in Telangana. Predicted that it would be wiped out in the region in view of its ambiguous stance on the separate state demand, the TDP in alliance with the BJP bagged 14 of the 24 Assembly seats in the Greater Hyderabad region and is hoping to improve on its performance in the GHMC polls slated to be held in November.
(మరింత…)

Telangana Bidda, Youngest Female to Conquer Mt Everest మే 28, 2014

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The New Indian Express, May 26, 2014

HYDERABAD: Malavath Poorna, aged just 13 years and 11 months, from Nizamabad district became the youngest girl ever to conquer the Mt Everest when she reached the highest peak in the world at 6 a.m. Sunday.

On the 52nd day of her expedition, an excited Poorna ran the last 100 meters to create history. Sadhanapally Anand Kumar (18) from Khammam, who was accompanying her, followed in her footsteps 45 minutes later.  The duo, both students of the AP Social Welfare Residential Education Institutions’ Society (APSWREIS), belong to weaker sections. Poorna’s parents work as agriculture labourers, while Anand’s father is a cycle mechanic. Secretary of APSWREIS, RS Praveen Kumar told reporters, “The students’ achievement is a morale booster to all kids who are below the poverty line. Even the poorest will excel if given an opportunity.”

(మరింత…)

Regional parties win favour in divided Andhra Pradesh మే 27, 2014

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E. Venkatesu and K.C. Suri, The Hindu, May 25, 2014

Though the two states voted differently, the Congress lost ground in both

The results of the the Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha elections in Andhra Pradeshdismayed Congress leaders while at the same time frustrating the Yuvajana Sramika Ryotu Congress Party (YSRCP), a splinter group.

The extraordinary circumstances that prevailed in the State in the aftermath of the bifurcation combined with the overall anti-Congress mood of the electorate all over India to erode support for the Congress. The State, which sent the largest contingent of Congress MPs both in 2004 and 2009, decisively voted against it this time round, even as two regional parties, the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) in Andhra and the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) in Telangana, emerged victorious.

(మరింత…)