If media reports on problems of tribals, we will act on it, says DC

Feb 24, 2018

Mysuru: Exhorting the mediato be the voice of the voiceless, deputy commissioner D Randeep on Friday said that the fourth estate too had a stake in sensitising officials and the public.
Randeep, who was at a seminar on ‘Role of Media in Empowerment of Tribals’ jointly organised by the district administration and the department of information and public relations at the zilla panchayat office, opined that social media should play a proactive role in empowerment of tribal communities.

“Media should work towards sensitising officials. When we see reports on hardships of tribal communities, we act on the problem,” he said.

Highlighting the need to give the right to vote to tribals, Randeep said, “Media should be vigilant in order to help tribals get essential documents such as Aadhaar, ration card and voter ID.”

Drawing from his personal experience as the district’s DC for more than a year, Raandeep pointed to the irony of how Mysuru was projected as a Heritage City, while only 40km away, the condition of tribals was miserable.

Social scientist Prof. Muzaffar Assadi, who delivered the keynote address, called for a paradigm shift in the manner that the media covered the tribal communities. “Empowerment of tribal communities must not be confined to just rehabilitating them. It is when their community rights, intellectual property rights are safeguarded that it can be said they are empowered. Tribal communities do not need agencies to speak for them, but media should be the catalyst to address their issues. If the media fails to throw light on the problems of tribal communities, they will go unnoticed,” said Prof. Assadi.

He opined that poverty of tribals was a result of government apathy. “When government schemes meant for the benefit of tribals are confined to records, they are bound to be marginalised. Media should focus on these aspects of tribal empowerment,” Assadi said.

Assadi said that he found the education of tribal children in languages they found hard to understand inexplicable. “During a visit to Haadi in Hunsur, I saw Shakespeare’s books in the library. Is it possible for them to understand such works?” he asked.

Assadi further noted the need for a tribal development index that could measure both the level of their empowerment, and happiness. “Tribals are those who are happy and satisfied even while in acute poverty,” he added.

Chairman of the Karnataka Media Academy M Siddaraju and director of the Karnataka State Tribal Research Centre, Professor TT Basavanagowda were present.