Forced out of homeland for health, education

Source: The Assam Sentinel, 7 August 2010 (accessed: 10 August 2010).

ITANAGAR, Aug 7: Talk of abandoning homeland in search of basic human facilities. At least seven patients belonging to the Yobin community of Dawodi, rechristened Vijaynagar for obvious reasons, have permanently shifted to Miao to avail medical care! At least 238 Yobin students have also set up their bases in and around Miao for higher studies! It might be unthinkable of a life without schools and medical facilities in this era but these are bitter truths for the Yobins and Gorkhalis of Vijaynagar. Ironically, they have been living under government administration since 1962 after the Chaukan Pass Expedition.

Reportedly, for years now, people in Vijaynagar have not seen a doctor. A nurse substitute a doctor there, who too has nothing much to offer as the so-called medical center runs out of essential drugs faster than a leaking bucket.

“It is unfortunate but we have come to terms with the realities of life. Our sick brothers and sisters have been shifted to Miao for better health-care,” said a native. This, in the face that, Government of India’s much bragged about NRHM boasts of having taken basic health services to remotest villages of the country.

According to sources about 140 Yobin adults in Miao take care of the 238 young children in their education. Due to lack of government interventions in Vijaynagar circle, people are poor and are increasingly finding it difficult to pay for school fees. This condition is further worsened by the fact that Yobins are not counted as a scheduled tribe of Arunachal Pradesh. Without this status, Yobins do not enjoy the privileges offered by the state like the other tribes. For every basic facility, they have to pay like any other general category citizen.

Meanwhile, the series of reports on the plight of Yobins carried by this daily has begun to evoke response from various quarters. The North East Students’ Organization (NESO) became the first to make its stand official when its Secretary General Gumjum Haider voiced in support of the Yobins.

“Equal amount of facilities must be given to indigenous tribals like Yobins. If we have claimed their ancestral land as part of Arunachal then it is the state government’s responsibility to provide them with basic amenities too,” Haider said.

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