MEMBERS OF the Dhangar (shepherd) community Friday resorted to day-long ‘Dhol Bajao, Sarkar Jagao’ (beat drums to awaken the government) protests across the state seeking reservation under Scheduled Tribe (ST) category.
The community has been fighting for reservation under the ST category in Maharashtra for over two decades. On Friday, protests were held across Pandharpur, Thane, Sangli, Satara, Aurangabad, Ahmednagar and Nagpur.
At Pandharpur, in Solapur district, MLC Gopichand Padalkar led the protest. “We want to wake up the Maha Vikas Aghadi government by using drum beats. The government, which had assured ST reservation to the Dhangars, has failed to live its promise,” Padalkar said.
He criticised the coalition government for completely ignoring the community’s demand and problems in last 10 months. “The protest is to highlight the step-motherly treatment given by government to Dhangars.”
Earlier, the community members had alleged the state government was not showing the same concern to provide them reservation as compared to Marathas.
Dhangar leader Dr Vikas Mahatme, who led the protest in Thane district, said the community members have presented a memorandum to the district collector listing their demands. “Our main demand is a reservation for Dhangars under ST category. We also want the government to sanction various welfare schemes for Dhangars worth Rs 1,000 crore,” he said.
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