Friday, November 24, 2006

End Salva Judum, kids to tell Kalam on state anniversary

End Salva Judum, kids to tell Kalam on state anniversary

RAIPUR, NOVEMBER 6: Please stop Salva Judum” — a plea made by 12-year-old Soyam Sandhuri, a resident of Errabore Salva Judum camp. She wants to tell President APJ Abdul Kalam that Naxal violence should end and blames the government-initiated movement for driving her family out of their village.

While Chhattisgarh is celebrating the sixth anniversary of its creation, a group of 50 children from various Salva Judum camps, who are in Raipur to participate in the celebrations, hope that the President will listen to their woes.

Aas Manju, a 13-year-old from Errabore camp, wants to return to her village which the Naxalites allegedly burnt to the ground.

“We want this violence to stop. We can’t see our family members getting beaten up in front of us,” she added, refusing to elaborate on who is beating up people in

the camps.

The group of children will meet the President and hold a one-on-one talk arranged after the inauguration ceremony of Purkhoti Muktangan, a site being built to promote Chhattisgarh’s culture and handicrafts. Only a few of these children can speak in Hindi and the rest can only speak in Gondi and Halbi, so a translator has been provided to aid the meet.

Most of these children seemed dissatisfied with the government’s provisions for sanitation and medical facilities in these camps; a few even dream of becoming doctors to serve their community at a later stage.

Jamuna Marham, a student of sixth standard, wants to become a doctor. She wants to ask the President to help establish a better school in the Errabore camp. She hasn’t forgotten that the school in her native village of Uritaga was destroyed a few months ago when the CRPF was using it for setting up a base and the Naxalites
attacked and destroyed it.

However, some of these children have decided to stick to basic necessities and the children from Beramgarh camp have decided to seek the President’s help in installation of a handpump in the camp.

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