New Delhi: A team of Paroja Samaj of Kashipur block of Rayagada District, Odisha met the Union Minister for Tribal Affairs Hon’ble Jual Oram on 10.03.2016 at his New Delhi residence to regain their long standing right. The team was led by BJD Youth Leader and Human Rights Activist Mr. Sankar Prasad Duria and the team appraised the Union Minister about the pitiable conditions of the Jhodia community. Jhodia as a Synonym of Paroja and around 3 Lakh 75 thousand people of Paroja community are living mostly in the KORAPUT, NABARANGAPUR, RAYAGADA and KALAHANDI districts of southern Odisha. Jhodias were recognized as the Tribals by Government of India till 1997. But all of a sudden they have been excluded from the scheduled lists of Tribals. But, the sudden u-turn on their tribal status is not known to them till date. For the last seventeen years several communications have been made to the Government of Odisha as well as to the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Government of India for the inclusion of “JHODIA” as synonym of “PAROJA” notified as in the Scheduled Tribe lists at Serial No. 55 of Odisha and there was a broad based ethnic status study submitted on the JHODIA/ JHODIA PAROJA community by the Government of Odisha covering 7 study villages of JHODIA/ JHODIA PAROJA spread over 5 blocks of 4 Districts namely Koraput, Rayagada, Nabarangapur & Kalahandi of Southern Odisha (Letter No. 21112/SSD BBSR, dated 17th May 2010 of the Principal Secretary to Government of Odisha) but, so far as no action has been taken in this regard by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Government of India till today. As a result of which the whole “JHODIA” community above One Lakh people are deprived of getting all the benefits under Scheduled Tribe status in terms of Education & Employment etc. Finally, the distressed Jhodia community came with an expectation and urged the Union Minister for the inclusion of “JHODIA” as synonym of “PAROJA” notified as in the Scheduled Tribe lists at Serial No. 55. In reply, the Union Minister assured them immediate actions in this regard. The same demand for tribal status has also been put forth to Union Minister for Petroleum & Natural Gas Hon’ble Dharmendra Pradhan and got similar kind of assurance from him also. . The Paroja Samaj President Sri Makaranda Muduli, Social Activist Smt. Sumani Jhodia, BJP State Executive Sri Kaliram Majhi, Social Activist Sri Bhimadhar Khillo and other members of Paroja Samaj Smt. Ghasen Jhodia, Sri Loknath Jhodia, Sri Arjun Jhodia, Sri Rabin Kumar Jhodia were present in the team.