Hakki Pikkis condemn apathy of politicians

International Karnataka Top Story

People from the Hakki Pikki tribe are stuck in Sudan, with no resources for food and water.

Members of the Hakki Pikki tribe stuck in Sudan said that they are unclear about their safety, as they are not receiving any help from the Indian government or the Sudanese government.

Sudan is in the midst of a civil war between the Sudanese army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF).

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) member Dr. Tejaswini Gowda said, “All Indians have been evacuated from Sudan by Saudi Arabia, through diplomacy talks.”

According to a report by Deccan Herald, over 91 foreign nationals have been evacuated from Sudan – which includes citizens of Kuwait, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Tunisia, Pakistan, India, Bulgaria, Bangladesh, the Philippines, Canada, and Burkina Faso.

But, there is no specific news about people of the Hakki Pikki tribe being evacuated from Sudan.

  • Ravindra talks about how their safety has been compromised in Sudan

Pavitra, a member of the Hakki Pikki tribe, whose brother-in-law, Ravindra is stuck in Sudan said, “We have spoken to the Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) A. Manjunath and he said that because they are busy with elections, they do not have the time to focus on this issue. We all have voter IDs, and Congress and BJP have come for their election campaign, yet there is no proper response from either of the parties, about how they plan to bring back our people safe from Sudan

While, Ravindra from Sudan said on a video call, “There are approximately 300 of us staying together in one building. The military people are observing us and we are hiding in water sumps when the firing starts.”

He added, “We are scared for our lives. We don’t have water or food and are drinking bathroom water for survival.”

Ravindra went to Sudan with his wife, 50 days ago, leaving his children behind with his sister-in-law. He has a hair-oil business there.

Uma, a member of the tribe, whose daughter Damini (22) is stuck in Sudan said, “Even for a selfish motive to receive votes, none of the political parties in Karnataka are helping our people.” 

Hakki Pikki is a semi-nomadic tribe who were bird-catchers in the past. In Kannada, Hakki means ‘bird’ and Pikki means ‘catchers’. A report said, “As per the last census conducted in 2011, the tribe has a population of 11,892 in Karnataka and is found particularly in Davangere, Mysuru, Kolar, Hassan, and Shivmogga districts.”

Pavitra also said, “Almost 130 people from this colony are in Sudan and extremely unsafe. They all travelled there because we saw a demand for the sale of hair oil there.”

Aiyshwarya Mahadev, General Secretary of the Congress in Karnataka said, “Congress is neither in power in the central government nor in the state and hence, it is the responsibility of the central government and Ministry of  External Affairs to assure that the people come back. 

She further said that Congress was the first to mention the situation about the Hakki Pikki tribe and requested the External Affairs minister to look into the issue, but it is actually the Saudi Government who has taken the steps. 

Dr. Harish Ramaswamy, Professor of Political Science said, “It is unfortunate what is happening with this tribe and that the political parties are responding this way. Sudan is always in a crisis and if Indians are travelling there for business, the government has to be more supportive. These tribes are entrepreneurs and that is a good development for them, which should be focused on and encouraged by the government.”

He added, “Many sociologists fail to recognize many castes especially tribes. This is why caste-based census can really help our society.”


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