The state government has appointed N D Agarwal, a retired Goa Civil Service officer, as an advisor for the purpose of preparing a report for inclusion of Dhangar-Gouly community from Goa in the list of Scheduled Tribe (ST) under Article 342 of the Constitution of India.
An order issued by the director of social welfare Umeshchandra Joshi stated that the appointment of Agarwal shall be for a period of six months or till the completion of process of inclusion of Dhangar-Gouly in the list of ST whichever is earlier, on consolidated honorarium of Rs 50,000 per month. Agarwal shall liaise with the Minister of Tribal Welfare of the government of India as well as the Registrar General of India to pursue the said matter.
Meanwhile, Deputy Chief Minister Chandrakant ‘Babu’ Kavlekar, a leader of Dhangar community, expressed happiness over the appointment of Agarwal as an advisor for preparing a report for the inclusion of Dhangar community in ST list.
“It was a long pending demand of the Dhangar community of Goa for the inclusion in the list of ST. Gawada, Kunbi and Velip were included in the list of Scheduled Tribe by the Central government in 2003. Unfortunately, the Dhangar community of Goa was left out from inclusion in the list of ST despite four communities fighting together for inclusion in ST list,” he said.
Kavlekar said that as an MLA he has been raising this issue in every assembly session for the last 17 years, however, for some or other reason it has been delayed.
“When I took over as the Deputy Chief Minister in the BJP government last year, I took up the matter with the Chief Minister Pramod Sawant. He was kind enough to direct the department concerned to speed up the process. Now, the government has appointed Agarwal as an advisor for the purpose, who will co-ordinate with the Union Ministry of Tribal Welfare and Registrar General of India,” he added.
This step of the state government would definitely help to get justice to the Dhangar community of Goa, he said.
“Earlier on four occasions, the Registrar General of India had raised queries over the report sent by the state government,” he added.