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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Tribal students trek 28 km for Education and woman lodges complaint after 40 years.

There are crimes – one needs to lodge a complaint with Police.  Often the Law Enforcing Authorities are blamed and criticized for not concluding the cases in time and for not being responsive – it is easy to criticize.  With the kind of population explosion and increasing crime rate, the Police are outnumbered and out-beaten in technology.  

Understand that Indian Penal Code does not prescribe a time limit for loading complaint against many crimes and that is perhaps a benevolent measure to ensure the victims are able to seek justice immediately they come to know of their hapless position without drawing a reference to the time of the offence committed. – and sometimes people ridicule systems, as read from this news in ‘New Indian Express’ Chennai Edition of date.

Before that there is another news [in TOI] of Tribal kids trekking  28km to demand a teacher.  The newspaper report states that about thirty students of a school in the heart of the Bargur forests met district collector Dr V K Shanmugham on Monday to make a passionate appeal: ‘Ensure teachers attend the school so they could acquire education and hope for a better life. Despite being enrolled in school,the children have remained illiterate as there are no teachers to conduct classes.’.   The teachers posted at the school do not show up because of the difficult travel. The government school at Kathirimalai,about 70km from Erode, has more than 70 students and most of them say they have never seen a teacher in their school. Kathirimalai is a village on the Eastern Ghats, inhabited by the Soliga tribals. Access to the village involves a 28km walk through dense forests. The teachers find the long walk on a daily basis is too difficult and so they refrain from conducting classes altogether. The students trekked 28km before catching a bus to Erode on Monday.

According to Tamil Nadu Pazhamkudi Makkal Sangam leader Kadambur K Ramasamy, who accompanied the children to the collectorate, the village is devoid of even basic facilities, including roads,drinking water, hospital facilities and electricity.  It is stated that  students had seen the headmistress of the school way back in 2006.After she resigned, a new headmistress was appointed but she has never set foot in the school. No academic activity takes place in the school and the cook deputed to prepare the noon meal refuses to turn up. The school gets adequate funds to feed the children thrice a day,but even the funds remain unutilized. A corpus of Rs 13 lakh allotted to upgrade the school also remains unutilized.
A couple of decades ago, immediately after the news would be ‘the announcement regarding those missing’ – the TV would describe of children, of old persons – missing providing details of those missing including the colour of dress worn and would provide contact details. Slowly, this was replaced with the contact address of Police Station only for obvious reasons.   Police Officials used to state that this was ‘an exercise close to futility – and too difficult’ tantamount to searching the proverbial black cat in dark room.   Have also heard that there is no specific legal provision for registering a case based on a complaint about missing person.  The Police generally would register a First Information Report saying “man/women/girl/boy missing” and  the courts do accept these FIRs.

There are multiple reasons for these ‘missing cases of aged persons’ including walking out due to frustration, depression, anger, forgetting whom they are and more.  There have been instances of such persons being traced after several years at places of religious importance.  Sadly in some instances - missing persons could be found dead under suspicious circumstances or even murdered have come to light.

Express News Agency reports of a  complaint about a woman who went missing 40 years ago was lodged with the City Police by her daughter, in Chenai on Monday – 27th Aug 2012. Sources said that the complaint was filed so that the daughter could establish the legal heir connection and avail the terminal benefits entitled to the kin of an employee of Chennai Corporation, who died in service.

Quoting Police the report states that  A Arockia Mary (43), daughter of the missing woman, in her complaint, stated that her mother Nagamma was 31 when she went missing on March 21, 1973. Nagamma, who was married to Jesudoss (a Chennai Corporation employee), was said to have been mentally deranged and prone to fits. A week after she went missing, the search operation by the relatives was given up.  Arockia Mary, who was three years old when her mother went missing, wasn’t aware of her mother’s plight. She was brought up by her maternal uncle.  Sources said Arockia Mary, presently working in the Chennai Corporation, had applied for the terminal benefits entitled to the family after Jesudoss’s death. Police said that they would issue a not-traceable certificate which can be used by the family. If Arockia Mary’s efforts are fruitful, she will receive about `4 lakh, which includes the pension arrears and a monthly pension of Rs.3,500. Another woman who had reportedly lived with Jesudoss after Nagamma went missing, has also claimed Jesudoss’s terminal benefits.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.

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