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Santal community at Panchhari living in perpetual darkness

Our Correspondent, Khagrachari

Milon Santal is the role model and the light of hope of illiterate Santal villagers of the Panchhari upazila.


Milon Mormu Santal is the most educated person, who crossed the bar of Secondary School Certificate (SSC), in the entire Santal community living at Panchhari upazila in Khagrachhari.
Now Milon is the role model and the light of hope of illiterate Santal villagers of the Panchhari upazila, said Kanungopara village Chief Gunu Santal Sham.
Gunu Santal added that the Santal people who has been living at Panchhari from 1950s have been deprived from basic rights and all kinds of modern facilities.
He said most of the members of the Santal community at Panchhari have been deprived of education for generations after generations.
During a visit at three villages—Baropara, Kanungopara and Santal para under Panchhari upazila, the correspondent found that the Santal people of the area are not only deprived form the education, they have been living under the poverty line, and even they are not familiar with the modern sanitation facilities.
Rutiu Santal said there are only two tube well for 200 families in the area, and most of the time santal people have to collect water from cannel or stream.
Misery goes limitless when the tube wells, which set up in lower part of the area, sink in the water during rainy season, he added.
As they have a very little access to safe water the people drink the water that they can manage and thus many of them frequently suffer from water borne diseases.
At least 10 people have died in last two years from diarrhoea and cholera at Panchhari upazila.
Babul Santal said they use holt and open places adjacent to the house as their toilet.
Biru Santal of village Baropara said there is no road for communication with the panchhari upazila headquarters.
‘’During rainy season it is very difficult for us to go to the town as there is no bridge over the Chenghi canal, which divided us from the Panchhari’’, he added.
Rutiu Shawntal said no santal ever gets a single VGF or VGP card or a ration card in the area.
Puspa Santal said “leaders came to us to want vote during election time but after election they completely forget us, and on one ever visits us to ask what we need.’’
“We have no representation even in the Union Parishad level”, he added.
Panchhari upazila Chairman Sarbottom Chakma claimed that he already asked Panchhari Union Parishad Chairmen and members to look after the Santal people specially.




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