Since its formation, ATP is working for the development of arunthathiyar community. Today, ATP has grown into an organization that strives to bring forth the struggles of arunthathiyar community. ATP is working in the midst of the people with branches spread across in various villages and town of Tamil Nadu. Its significant achievements to date are:
(3%) Inner Reservation for Arunthathiyars:
The occupation of Arunthathiyars in Tamil Nadu Government remain in total of 100% as manual scavengers in corporation and municipalities. Other predominant occupation of the community is either to be a cobbler in sides of the streets or as enslaved bonded labourers in agricultural fields. To break this cycle of institutionalization various Arunthathiyar organizations have struggled for special schemes and reservations from the government for the past 25 years. The efforts did not bear fruit until ATPs efforts since 2007.
PATH TREADED BY ATP TO ACHIEVE INNER RESERVATION:
1. Starting from the year 2007 to 2008 ATP had organized various struggles, forums and has conducted 22 conferences in various districts of Tamil Nadu. Where in some of the political leaders participated in support of the efforts, which attracted the attention of the government. The highlight being the participation of CPI(M) state general secretary Mr. N. Varadarajan, PMK president Mr. G. K. Mani, General Secretary of PMK Mrs. Balasundari, CPI(M) member of the state body Mr. P. Sampath, CPI MLA Mr. Nanmaaran, CPI MP Mr. Subarayan, Kangayam Indian National Congress (INC) MLA Mr. Vidiyal Sekar, Modakuruchi (INC) MLA Mr. R. M. Palanisamy, Bavani PMK MLA Mr. Ramanathan, Erode CPI Mr. Stalin Gunasekaran, Erode CPI(M) District Secretary Mr. Marimuthu, DMK minister Mrs. Geetha Jeevan, Mr. Kolathoormani, the president of Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam and its General Secretary Mr.K. Ramakrishnan.
2. On 12th June 2007, ATP along with CPI(M) organized a mass rally (aprox.30,000 people participated) in Chennai. (VIEW RALLY) This event was a turning point in the fight for inner reservation. It enabled the oppurtunity for Mr. Athiyamaan to meet and discuss the issue of inner reservation with the Hon. Chief Minister Kalaignar Karunanidhi, facilitated through Mr. N. Varadarajan of CPI(M) (VIEW GALLERY).
3. The Chief Minister promised to consider the issue and in the following year on 23rd January 2008 the Hon' TN Governer's address in the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly included inner reservation for arunthathiyars in Item #53 (READ SPEECH - ENGLISH, TAMIL).
4. Later Chief Minister Karunanidhi scheduled an all party meeting regarding the inner reservation issue on 12th March 2008 and a special invitation was sent to Mr. Athiyamaan to participate in the meet. (READ LETTER) Prior to the meeting Mr. Athiymaan met all the political party leaders such as CPI(M) state general secretary Mr. N. Varadarajan, PMK Founder Dr. Ramadoss, PMK President Mr. G. K. Mani, CPI leader Mr. Nallakannu, Dravida Kazhagam General Secretary Dr. K. Veeramani, DMDK leader Mr. Vijayakanth, TMMK leaders and AISMK, AIADMK offices to gather the support for inner reservation for arunthathiyars.
5. 27 political parties participated in the all party meeting held on 12th March 2008. All political parties present in the meeting supported inner reservation for arunthathiyars. Further, when the chief minisiter proposed for a 2.35% inner reservation based on 2001 Indian government census, Mr. Athiyamaan objected and demanded a 6% inner reservation. Hence the chief minister appointed a one man commission headed by Hon. Chief Justice Mr. Janarthanan for its recommendations, which became effective on 25th March 2008 (READ GOVERNMENT ORDER).
6. Mr. Athiyamaan along with office bearers of ATP met Hon. Chief Justice Mr. Janarthanan on 18th August 2008 and submitted an appeal (CLICK HERE TO READ). On 24th August 2008, ATP published a book based on the recommendations submitted to the commision titled "Arunthathiyargal agiya Naangal" (We the Arunthathiyars)
7. On 22nd November 2008 the one man commision headed by Hon. Chief Justice Mr. Janarthanan submited its recommendations for a 2.88% inner reservation for arunthathiyars. Following the low percentage recommendation, ATP convened a meeting under the auspices of Mr. Athiyamaan for all Tamil Nadu Arunthathiyar organzations in Chennai on 26th November 2008 to discuss the issue.
8. Aided by PMK leader G.K. Mani, all the leaders of various arunthathiyar organizations in Tamil Nadu along with Mr. Athiyamaan met the Chief Minister on 27th November 2008. As per the recommendation of the commission, chief minister Kalaignar Karunanidhi informed the leaders of the decision of alloting a 3% inner reservation for arunthathiyar community. Following which Mr. Athiyamaan thanked the Chief Minister for his sincere efforts in bringing up the inner reservation issue. Further he requested for a 6% reservation considering the social status and population of the arunthathiyar community. The chief minister asked them to accept the 3% reservation until further increase in the future.
9. On the same day (27th November 2008) the DMK government passed a resolution in principle for 3% inner reservation for arunthathiyar community. Furthermore to enable the resolution into law the government formed a committee headed by Minister Mr. K. Ponmudi.
10. In a step ahead on 21st December 2008 Mr. Athiyamaan submitted a petition to the chief minister's special cell, requesting to speed up the process of enactment of inner reservation into law (VIEW ACKNOWLEDGEMENT).
11. On 12th March 2009, the Tamil Nadu government gazzette published an extraordinary act to provide special reservation for arunthathiyars. (VIEW GAZETTE ARTICLE) The act came into effect from 29th April 2009 (VIEW G.O. MS No:50, NEWS). With a minor change in the act, G.O. MS No:61 dated 29th May 2009 was published.
Eventhough only few months have been passed since the issue of the act, the arunthathiyar community has tasted the benefits of the reservation. Scores of men and women of the community are registering their names in employment exchanges (VIEW NEWS). In education, only 17 seats was filled in medical (MBBS) seats last year but due to the inner reservation there has been 86 and above medical seats filled in 2009. In engineering (B.E.,) there were greater than 4000 seats occupied in 2009 compared to 681 seats in the year 2008. Similarly lecturer and proffesor vacancies in government colleges and teacher vaccancies in educational institutions have been filled. The exact figures are unknown. Since it is early to determine exact figures due to the recent development, ATP has approached proper channels to receive the statistical figures through the right to information act.
Fight for Inner Reservation in Central government and public sector for Arunthathiyars:
Currently ATP has started to fight for the inner reservation for Arunthathiyars in central government and public sectors, as given in Tamil Nadu. To this effect ATP had organized a demonstration in New Delhi at Janthar Manthar on 23rd November 2009.
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