Social activists and civil society movements can play a bigger role by helping the tribal community to closely monitor the process and ensure that their genuine demands have been met, the workshop observed.
Inaugurating the workshop, policy researcher John Samuel said a public vigil over budget preparation is a must as that only can prevent the process of marginalisation happening among the tribal communities, especially those in Attappady.
“The adivasi communities in Attappady have been displaced from the natural and traditional habitat and also from their their livelihood over the last five decades. This is partly due new settlers in the area who outnumber the tribal communities and also due to some government development projects.
The need is constant public vigil,” Mr. Samuel said.
Dr S. Jamal, a State-level resource person of People’s Plan Campaign, led the introductory session and stressed that tribal representatives in the local bodies must be given training to make the budgeting process accountable and answerable to the tribal people.
Adivasi youth leaders and elected reprsentatives of the panchayats who attended the discussions said the Attappady experience so far was that of officials preparing the budget without even taking into consideration the proposals of elected representatives.
Agali grama panchayat president Sreelakshmi Sreekumar, activists Rajendra Prasad and K. A Ramu led the discussions at the workshop.