On Tawadkar’s allegations against Govind Gaude, SHGs and Tribal association say Speakers school also participated and won medals in the events
CANACONA: Exposing Speaker Ramesh Tawadkar’s anti-Adivasi agenda and strongly condemning accusations of fraud and misappropriation of Arts & Culture department funds, NGO’s and self-help goups have sought immediate apology from Sarpancha’s of Shristhal and Khotigao and their team within 10 days or face protests and legal actions for defaming them.
The NGO’s and Self-Help groups however, thanked Chief Minister Dr. Pramod Sawant and Minister for Arts & Culture Govind Gaude for helping ST people and particularly Adivasi women immensely to protect and bring out the hidden talents of lok-sanskruti and kala (Art) amongst the rural populace.
Khotigao village ex-Sarpanch and Chairman of Parvati Parivar (Yedda-Khotigao) Daya Gaonkar addressing media on behalf of all the NGO’s and Self-Help Groups at a press-conference came down heavily on the serious and wild allegations of fraud and misappropriation of Art & Culture Department funds by the Sarpanchas of Khotigao (Anandu Dessai) and Shristhal (Sejal Gaonkar and their team (consisting of few panch members), and the role played by Canacona MLA and Speaker Ramesh Tawadkar to defame the ST community, particularly ST Womenfolks.
“Tawadkar is doing everything to undermine the good works being done by Chief minister Dr. Pramod Sawant and Minister of Art & Culture Govind Gaude and project the government headed by Dr. Sawant in bad light,” they said.
They alleged that Tawadkar hates his own community, and more particularly doesn’t want adivasi (ST) Mahila (women) to come–up in their life.
“Sarpanch’s of Khotigao and Shristhal and their team has made very serious allegations naming 12-13 NGO’s and Self-Help Groups of siphoning–off money from the Arts & Culture department without conducting any programs. This is clearly false and fake as except for one program at Shristhal Panchayat area (a new date is sought due to unavoidable circumstances), all the programs and activities mentioned by these sarpanch and panch members (had the full but ill-knowledge) are conducted truthfully and in full of public view and knowledge, in whatever possible best manner,” the SHGs said.
Canacona MLA and Speaker Ramesh Tawadkar is the architect of such defamation to take a political revenge against Minister for Art & Culture Govind Gaude, they said.
“Just for your knowledge quoting one-incident as an example, you’ ll be surprised as to how these Sarpancha’s taking MLA into confidence have been harassing us, particularly Adivasi women. It was on 19th Aug 2023, Adivasi Mahila Manch held a program at Govt High School Khotigao and soon after, the Khotigao Sarpanch and a panch complained to the MLA, and MLA reportedly complained to Education department that some illegal activities are taking place in Khotigao High School,” they said adding, “These Adivasi Mahila manch has conducted a cultural program, donated some furniture to the school, and teachers were felicitated for the achievement of 100% results in SSC examination, besides ;Shravan-Khali’ program was conducted in the same school. Shortly, ADEI was sent for investigation into the complaint of illegal activities, but the ADEI went satisfied on learning about the various programs held.” They continued saying that what is painful to the Sarpanch and MLA here is the cause of one annual program we as Parvati –Parivar holds which is attended by 1000-1500 tribal people.
“The ward panch in the press conference stated that no such program is held which is just about 500 metres away from his house, then how will he and the Sarpanch know of programs attended by 300-400 people?” they asked
In sports activities, Balram School run by Speaker Ramesh Tawadkar who is also making allegations against us has participated and were Winners (trophy)in Boys category and Runners-Up in Girls category, the SHGs said questioning and then how does he (Tawadkar) still says programs did not took place?
“|We are going to take legal action, and we all will lead protests against these sarpanch’s and their team if a public apology doesn’t come within 10 days,” they said.
Tribal Welfare Centre Chairman Devidas Gaonkar, threatened to file a defamation case against the both Sarpanch’s and their team for showing one of the prestigious NGO is bad light to the public, if a public apology doesn’t come within 10 days..
Adivasi Mahila manch president Prachita Velip, said when the programs were done publicly in School hall, how can the panch say it is not held?