By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, Feb 27: The All Santal Students’ Union (ASSU) staged a protest in support of their demand for ensuring socio-economic, political and academic rights, at Dispur Last Gate in the city today.
“We want the State Government to grant Scheduled Tribe (ST) status to the Santals, to include the tribe in the Scheduled Tribe list. The Santal tribe has a population of around 12 lakh in the state. They play an important role in stability of the State Government,” ASSU president Simon Kisku said. Kisku said that being a margilized community Santals are backward in social, education, economic and political aspects. The number of educated Santals and employees are very less. “We demand for the formation of a Santal Development Council like other councils so that the issues and problems of the Santal community can be addressed,” he said.
“We demand for the introduction of the Santali language at primary level from class 1 to 5 as a medium of instruction in the Santal-domited areas of Assam. Adequate posts and appointment of teachers for teaching Santali language in LP, ME and high schools have to be created.MIL status should be granted to the Santali language. Arrangements have to be made for printing and supply of Santali textbooks. We also demand for reservation of Santal students in medical and engineering colleges,” Kisku added.