Kumram Bheem Asifabad: Veerendra Sha Athram, descendant of erstwhile Raj Gond king, who had ruled over Chandaghar in Maharashtra, met British anthropologist and documentary filmmaker Michael Yorke at Edulapahad village of Thiryani mandal on Saturday evening.
He discussed several issues pertaning to aboriginal tribals with Yorke, who was also student of the famous Christoph von Fürer Haimendorf.
Veerendra, son of Chandra Sha and grandson of Yadav Sha, a Raj Gond king of the neighboring State told ‘Telangana Today’ that he had come to meet Yorke to highlight challenges faced by ethnic tribes across the country. He said the aboriginal tribals were leading a pathetic life.
Veerendra lamented that certain voluntary organisation were not committed to uplifting the ethnic tribes, even though they were claiming to do so. He said successive Union governments also failed to utilise funds for transforming the lives of tribals and creating basic amenities in their habitations, though making budgetary allocations in a financial year.
Yorke recorded the concerns of Veerendra and assured him to bring the issues to the notice of top authorities of State Tribal Welfare Department. He tried to find out socio economic conditions of various tribes inhabiting in Maharashtra and surrounding States. Expressing concern over the dire straits of aboriginal tribals, he felt the government should take steps to bring about a change in their lives, besides protecting their culture and traditions.
Earlier, Yorke and his wife Valery met family members of Vedma Ramu, a renowned player of Kikri, a traditional musical instrument of Adivasis. Members of Thotti or Birdhu Gond, a particularly vulnerable tribal group (PVTG), also spoke to Yorke and submitted petitions to him. They sought cultivable land, 2BHK homes and better health facilities, besides organising Ramu’s birth anniversary as a State festival.
On Sunday, the anthropologist concluded his six-day tour to erstwhile Adilabad. He had attended the famous Nagoba Jatara at Keslapur village in Indervelli mandal. He also met his old friends in Ginnedhar, Sungapur, Gudipet, Edulapahad and Rompelli villages in Thiryani mandal where he had stayed for carrying a research project on aboriginal tribals in 1976-78.