Chhattisgarh initiates a slew of measures for welfare of tribals

Chhattisgarh initiates a slew of measures for welfare of tribals

By OUR CORRESPONDENT | Raipur | 10 September, 2016
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Raman Singh at the Saksham Vidyalaya at Dantewada.
Chief Minister Raman Singh has recently unveiled an ambitious 11-point programme for the welfare of the 42 communities of tribals who reside in Chhattisgarh.
Tribal welfare forms the main thrust of the progressive policies of the Raman Singh government. The total population of the state is 2 crore 55 lakh, out of which tribes are in 78,22,000 (31%). Forty-two communities of tribals reside in Chhattisgarh. The Baigas, Kamar, Pahadi Korba, Birhor, Bhunjias, Pandos and Abhujmadiyas are the Primitive Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTG) declared by the Union government, and reside in the state. The state government is committed to the socio-economic-educational development of Adivasis. Authorities protect their cultural sensibilities against exploitation and atrocities. There has been a continuous rise in educated sections among tribals. The quality of education of tribal youths is rapidly improving.

Several schemes have been implemented for educating Adivasis — scholarships, hostels and ashrams and Ekalavya boarding schools. Jawahar Utkarsh Yojana, Mukhyamantri Bal Bavishya Suraksha Yojana, Aryabhatt Vanijya and Vigyan Vikas Kendra, Yuva Career Nirman Yojana, Tribal Youth Hostel Yojana are some of the other schemes in operation for the welfare of Adivasis. The “Swami Vivekanad Gurukul Unnayan Yojana” operates for the overall development of Scheduled Tribe and Scheduled Caste boys and girls. Thirteen sports complexes have been established for the benefit of Scheduled Tribes. A sports complex for girls is being established at Jagdalpur. Thirteen Ekalavya Model Residential Schools are operating and about 3,750 students are studying in these schools. Boarding, food and educational facilities are provided free of cost. They are also trained on computers.

11-Point programme

Chief Minister Raman Singh has formulated a 11-point programme for the overall development of seven Primitive Vulnerable Tribal Groups in Chhattisgarh. As per the Baseline Survey-2005, there are about 1,94,0701 Special Backward Scheduled Tribes’ population (44, 331 families). A new census is underway by the Tribal Research and Training Centre.

The 11-point programme includes: 1. Housing facilities; 2. Drinking water provision; 3. Electrification of villages; 4. Medical check-up; 5. Provision of Food Security; 6. Nutritious food to 0-6 year age-group infants and pregnant women and lactating mothers; 7. Development of skills; 8. Social security; 9. Distribution of Forest Rights Pattas; 10. Distribution of Caste and Domicile certificates; 11. Distribution of blankets, umbrellas and radios for increasing awareness of information level. The 11-point programme would be implemented in mission mode.

Procurement of minor forest produce at MSP

The fixation of the minimum support price (MSP) for seven kinds of minor forest produce in the tribal-populated areas of Chhattisgarh is a unique innovation of CM Raman Singh. The villagers there have begun to reap well-deserved profits of their hard work. This minor forest produce includes sal seeds, harra, tamarind, chiraunji, mahua seed, kusmi lac, and rangini lac. Under this scheme of the Union Tribal Affairs Ministry, procurement of minor forest produce at support price is being done through the Chhattisgarh government’s State Minor Forest Produce Marketing and Development Cooperative Union. From 2014-15 to 2016-17, a total of 3,95,000 quintals of minor forest produce were procured under the scheme and nearly Rs 81 crore 50 lakh were paid to collectors of minor forest produce. The MSP for minor forest produce has been fixed as follows: sal seed Rs 10, Harra Rs 21, tamarind Rs 22, chiraunji Rs 100, mahua seed Rs 22, kusmi lac Rs 320, Rangini lac Rs 230 per kg. For procurement of these products at MSP, the Government of India bears 75% of the expenses and the state government bears 25%. Monitoring of the procurement process is done by the Chief Secretary at the state level and by Coordination and Monitoring Committees at the district level.

Livelihood College Project

Chhattisgarh is the first state in the country to provide legal right to skill development to its youth of 18-45 age group. For this, the Right to Skill Development Act 2013 has been enacted. Livelihood Colleges have been set up where short-term training courses in various employment-oriented trades are available. This includes automotive repairing, mason, plumber, driver, electrician, fabrication, nursing, computer etc. Training course in stitching and embroidery is also available for women. The state’s first Livelihood College was established in 2011-12. Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited this college with Chief Minister Dr Raman Singh, during his Dantewada tour on 9 May 2015. The Prime Minister was quite impressed with the employment-oriented training facilities being provided to youth in Livelihood Colleges.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Raman Singh at the Livelihood College at Dantewada.

Education City

Under this unique scheme, the state government has established an Education City on an area of 170 acres in Javanga village of South Bastar (Dantewada district) at a cost of Rs 100 crore. In the Education City, children of Naxal violence affected families are provided education facilities from primary school to higher secondary school, along with technical training and technical education. ITI and polytechnic have also been established in the Education City for technical training and education. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had visited the Education City on 9 May 2015 during his Bastar tour. The PM was impressed to see the education facilities there. The city also has Saksham School for specially-abled children. The Prime Minister also praised the use of modern technology in Saksham School in training and education of specially-abled children. He also observed the speech therapy and other training facilities available for speech and hearing impaired children in schools. It is the first school of Chhattisgarh where the facility of education in Braille script and library of books in Braille script is available. Physiotherapy facility is also available.

Vigyan Vikas Kendra Scheme

This scheme is functional in Durg. About 330 students belonging to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes are studying in graduation and post-graduation courses (science subjects). The main motto is to eliminate the shortage of Science and Maths teachers in high schools and higher secondary schools in the backward regions. This scheme is being implemented at Jagdalpur in 2016-2017 in which 500 students belonging to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes will be benefitted. In all, 100-seater Pre-Test Training Centers are operating under the Yuva Career Nirman Yojana at Jagdalpur , Bilaspur and Raipur. Coaching classes are held for students aspiring for railway, banking, SSC, State Public Service Commission and other competitive exams. A tribal youth hostel for Chhattisgarh youth has been established at New Delhi for students aspiring for Union Public Service Commission and other all-India competitive examinations. The Primitive Vulnerable Tribal Groups depend upon minor forest produce for their livelihood. Tribals have lived in forest regions for the past several generations. The Union government had given forest rights to tribals to earn their livelihood.

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