The current situation of the Nomadic and De-notified tribes is a consequence of decade long social, economic and political neglect. This situation is not expected to change unless these communities are permitted to develop and realize their fundamental rights. By permission we mean the society at large embracing these communities without any discrimination plus, the political parties and governments recognizing the existence of them.
VSSM actively lobbies for change in various legislations and policies so as to make them more specific and sensitive towards the special needs of NT and DNTs. The learning and outcomes of our experiments at grassroots support our arguments for demanding change in certain inadequate government policies.
A confident claim that our efforts of sensitizing the fellow citizens and policymakers on the chronic issues of the NT-DNTs have resulted into the policymakers taking note of the existence of these vast chunk of population and mentioning them at every relevant platform, documents and widening the reach of many of the welfare schemes designed for marginalized communities of this country.
The first breakthrough came Chief Minister of our state recognizing the fact that the large populations of Nomadic and De-notified Tribes have never been counted in the censuses. This was following a public program organized by VSSM in the year 2006 to bring to the notice of the authorities the existence of these communities in our state and country. After the end of the daylong program the government took note of the demands and from the next day 5 crore Gujaraties became 5.5 crore Gujaraties.
The collective efforts of various voluntary organizations' of the country including VSSM, working on the Rights of Nomads resulted in to introduction of regulation that mandatescalculating the homeless population in the Census of India.
The State’s Ex. Chief Election Commissioner Shri. Vinod Babbar’s sensitive approach and directives to his team and district Collectors lead to issuance of Voter’s ID cards to 20,000 individuals from NT-DNTs in one and half year. This number has risen to a total 60,000 individuals so far.
A regulation making NT-DNTs eligible for receiving benefits under the Manav Garima Scheme with just voters ID card as a supporting document. The family needs to be listed in the BPL list of the village but since most of these communities are not part of any revenue village their names do not appear in the BPL list. The continuous lobbying by VSSM has resulted into this ordinance.
VSSM’s advocacy with the State Food and Civil Supply Department to make the process of acquiring Antyodya Ration Cards, NT-DNT friendly has resulted into issuance of a directive by the Joint Secretary of Food and Civil Supplies Department. The directive mentions that if the applicant from NT-DNT community has Voters ID card, she/he will not require any other documents to support their application and the Antyoday Ration Card should be issued to the family.
Similarly the society at large is also becoming increasingly sensitive towards the plight of these communities. VSSM is trying to reach out to the privileged class of our society by sharing platform and engaging in a dialogue with them. A major breakthrough came when ShriMorariBapu came forward to do a Ramkatha for the cause these communities. The result of these Ramkatha has been the struggles of NT-DNTs getting noticed at a wider level including the government and bureaucracy.