In what could be termed as a huge loss for the tribal people of the country, prominent tribal leader Kamchinpau Zou, more popularly known as K Zou, passed away on Saturday at the national capital, New Delhi, after a prolonged illness and was buried on Easter Sunday at his home town Churachandpur in Manipur.
Following his demise, the All Tribal Students' Union Manipur (ATSUM) has deeply condoled the demise of K Zou.
The 57-year-old K Zou was the advisor of the All Tribal Students' Union Manipur (ATSUM), and the president of the All India Tribal Students' Association, (AITSA), Delhi till he breathed his last, apart from being a practicing Advocate in Delhi Courts (Addl Central Govt. Standing Counsel, Delhi), Human Right and social activist.
He was also the founding member of the National Students Union of India, Churachandpur District Unit (1984-85), Advisor of North East Students' Federation, Delhi (1989), Convenor of North Eastern Lawyers' Forum Delhi (2003), Coordinator of Forum of Minority Youth for Secularism, Delhi, Convenor of Mongoloid Peoples' Forum, Delhi, Convenor of Adivasi Sangarh Samiti, Delhi, Advisor of Manipur Students' Association, Delhi (1988), among many others.
Some of his major initiatives and achievements for the welfare of the tribal people are - the appointment of a liaison officer to look after the welfare of the SC / ST students at Delhi University for the first time in 1994; Enrolling employees/students from the North East region in the electoral roll of Delhi, with the cooperation of T N. Seshan, the then Chief Election Commission of India in 1994; Relaxation of 5 per cent marks from the existing 55 per cent for eligibility for appearing in the UGC-NET examination for SC/ST candidates in the year 1994; accomplishing the appointment of candidates from North East (Manipur) in the Post of Teaching for the first time at the University of Delhi in 1994; restoring reservation for STs in employment after it was done away with by the Government of Delhi in 1996.
He also approached LK Advani and other BJP leaders and submitted a proposal for the creation of a separate Ministry for Tribal Affairs, North East Region and National Commission for Scheduled Tribes in the year 1997, which was conceded and set up in the year 1999, 2001, 2004 respectively.
ATSUM expressed profound grief and sorrow at the demise of a devout human right and social activist and offered its deepest sympathy and heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family, near and dear ones.
It stated that the late K Zou was an author and a defender of tribal rights. He was a man of compassion and justice and devoted his service as a practicing advocate in Delhi Courts till he breathed his last. He was a social worker. In his deeds, in his conduct, commitment, and in his genuine concern for the tribal and marginalized communities, he emerged as a selfless leader of the tribal community. His contribution and work for the tribal community will always be remembered.
ATSUM also prayed for the comfort of the bereaved family and loved ones and the strength to tide over this great loss.
Meanwhile, many other tribal organizations including KSO-GHQ and its federating units also expressed heartfelt condolences over the demise of K Zou.