Odisha Bytes Impact: CMO Removes Tweet On SEBC With Dangaria Kandha Photo

Bhubaneswar: In a corrective step, Odisha Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) on Thursday removed a tweet, which was termed erroneous and misleading by tribal leaders.

The tweet pertaining to a decision of the state Cabinet was deleted from the official twitter handle of the CMO within 12 hours of a news circulated by Odisha Bytes on Wednesday.

On the April 24, the state Cabinet had decided to include 22 castes/communities in the list of Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC). The Cabinet approved an ordinance for Amendment of the Odisha State Commission for Backward Classes (OSCBC) Act, 1993 to enable the government to implement this.

Following the Cabinet decision, a tweet was posted by the CMO  which had a picture of a Dangaria Khanda woman together with the the move to include 22 castes in SEBC list in the state.

The twitter post triggered a row with tribal leaders raising questions over CMO’s tweet. They sought to know as to why a Dangaria Khanda’s photo featured in the post about SEBC.

Experts and tribal leaders pointed out that Dangaria Kandhas, known for their unique traditions and culture, are among the 62 different tribal groups living in Odisha. Dangaria Kandhas, a Particularly Vulnerable Tribe Group (PVTG), live in the terrains of Niyamagiri hill ranges in Rayagada and Kalahandi district. Members of this community speak Kui language, while their dress and behavior are different from others, they said.

Strongly opposing the development, General Secretary of Kui Samaj Samannwaya Samiti, Lambodar Kanhar had described the tweet as misleading and demanded its immediate removal.

Following the removal of the tweet, the senior tribal leader expressed his gratitude to the CMO and Odisha Bytes.

Earlier, he had said that the government should correct the error immediately. Dangaria Kandhas are tribals and belong to PVTG, not SEBCs, he had said, adding that the manner in which a Dangaria Kandha’s photo has been posted amounted to an insult to all the tribals.

Kanhar had also warned that if the government failed to correct the mistake, tribals would launch a state-wide agitation.

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