Monday, January 01, 2018

struggle to get the Bharthari community name updated on the official list of NT/DNT communities in Gujarat

Maniben Bharthari telling Mittalben about the flood
situation in 2015 in Banaskantha
“Ben, please do something to ensure our community’s name enters the official list…. Maheshbhai tried so hard to get us plots but, the officials simply refused by saying our community is not on the list of nomadic communities. But Ben, you were saying that we are on the list so how come the officials refused, why is our community still excluded?”

The Bharthari of Banaskantha, Patan and Mehsana survive under abject poverty. They earn their living by singing cradlesongs to the newborns, play the one string Ravan-hatta and make do with the alms they received.

The Banaskantha floods of 2015 were devastating for the homeless families like Bharthari who stayed in makeshift shanties in the banks of the village lake.

Recently, I happen to meet Maniben Bharthari, who had lost all her belongings to the floods. “There was no question of saving our belongings. We barely managed to save our Rationcards, Voter ID cards, raise our hands over the head and walk out of the flood waters. (she describes us how they managed to save their precious documents).

Maniben stays in a shanty and was dreaming of a house, the Bharthari have been included in the official list and they were to receive residential plots. Obtaining the plots would require caste certificate but, when the families reached the government office they found their community missing. The government has added this community to the list but the online update is yet to be happen. Hence, the applications were not accepted and the entire process once again got delayed…..

We have written to the government in this regard. Hopefully there is a solution soon….  

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