Oldest, smallest tribe in N Bengal tribe facing extinction
Siliguri (PTI): Claimed to be the oldest and smallest tribe of North Bengal, Dhimal, numbering 170 families, is facing extinction in the face of alleged apathy from the authorities.
According to the last census, the tribe comprised of 170 families with 947 members, concentrated in an area of Maniram Gram Panchayat in Naxalbari block here.
A Dhimal leader Garjan Mullick, who recently led a three-member team and submitted a memorandum to the SDO (Siliguri) said that most Dhimals were not issued voter-I cards and ration cards. He also said that there is no electricity in their area.
He said since Dhimal youths had left for other parts of the country and had shown disinterest in returning home, the birth rate had gone down, which was a threat to the existence of the tribe.
The traditional means of livelihood, fishing and agriculture were no longer attractive to youths, he said.
Bora Mullick, a 56-year-old tribal said though government officials had visited tribesmen in the past, nothing was done for them.