Census (2011) India has 15 million Nomads, i.e. about 7% of the total population of India. The British Government branded Nomads as criminals and others following suit have always looked down upon them as criminals and still persist with the same narrow and despicable attitude. At present, the higher castes and classes have fully exploited this miserable, helpless and pathetic situation of the Nomads for their own selfish purposes and to proudly enjoy the superiority complex without having the least of humane ethics. Bearing and shouldering all these sufferings and problems, it was sought necessary and essential to integrate all the sectors of Nomads and unite them for a common and noble cause of development of Nomads, TENT( The Empowerment Centre of Nomads & Tribes) is founded in May 19, 2003, by a member of Nomad community and entrusted the responsibility and duty of planning and project executions to the Secretary, who is also a Nomadic woman and let out the administration and field work to a team of Nomadic Youth as they will not be new to observe and study the life style of Nomads. The foremost issues taken into hands of TENT are to find solutions of the issues and challenges of Nomadic people; such as extreme poverty, ignorance of world outside, early age marriage, homeless & migratory life, illiteracy, superstitions, unemployment, lack of unity and political leadership, lack of social ethics and harassment by the local people and Police department, problems in educating Nomadic children, unawareness of Human Rights and Law & Order, unknown provisions of Indian Constitution etc.
Track Record Of Tent Society
Since inception till today TENT is concentrating on socio cultural educational economic developments of Nomads of Tamilnadu on the following parameters: Special trainings on Human Rights and constitutional provisions for men and women. Measures taken to illegal police custody of Nomads booking false cases against them. Steps taken for safeguarding Nomadic women from atrocities and sexual abuse. Conducted Short term job oriented training for girls and women of Nomadic community. Diverting Nomadic children from begging and child labour to School education. Establishing care taking homes by providing food, education and health care in clusters. Moving the government departments for issuance of Community Certificates, Voters’ ID Cards, Family ration cards, free house plots and its registration documents besides demanding for a separate welfare commission under separate Ministry to take care of Nomads which should also reserve minimum 5% of the quota for employment of Nomads. Further it was demanded for Special hostels for the Nomadic students and special seat allocation for Nomads in all Parliament and Legislative Assembly status to represent Nomads. TENT could enjoy positive results on a few of the above with the support of NHRF Funds. Due to their administrative restrictions NHRF felt inability to continue financial support to TENT which made to be stuck on the half way of the progressive movement.
Future Aiming Vision Of Tent Society
TENT is still in the cradle on its vision and mission to reach its people, and still longing to travel to achieve its goal. TENT could do a lot as planned for the social development of the Nomads of the target areas. But those are the beginnings of a long journey to empower and enhance Nomads to stand straight in the society with value and credit backed by education and communal etiquette. Nomads came to know now where they are, what they miss and what they have to regain as Indian citizens and nation’s Human beings as of the other high caste and class people. TENT plans to educate the Nomadic youth both girls and boys to make them fit to earn for their family. Impart job oriented trainings to the Nomadic Women for self employment to suit to the present trend. Wish to transform the Nomadic men to learn and understand the professions which can feed them leaving their very old traditional professions. It is true to this day that government could not reach the hamlets of Nomads to serve and save the poor people as no one is there to represent them, hence became the slaves of the high caste community and clan, the people who own the nation mythically.