Initiatives for Tribal Welfare
Search 15th November 2017 http://www.newsonair.com/Main_Audio_Bulletins_Search.aspx
General Studies 2
- Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
- Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.
General Studies 2
- Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India.
A great freedom fighter belonging to the tribal community of Jharkhand, Bhagwan Birsa Munda’s 142nd birth anniversary was celebrated across several states. He fought against the might of the British Empire and has a place of pride in the Indian culture especially among the tribal communities.
The tribal welfare scenario in India
Ministry of Tribal Affairs was setup in 1999 to uplift tribal communities of India which is extremely marginalised simply because of their cultural practises and habitation in faraway areas thereby getting geopolitically excluded.
Some of the initiatives taken for their development are:
- Ministry has tribal institutes which are spread across the country in almost 11 predominant states. These institutes are engaged in the work of providing planning inputs to state government, conducting research and evaluation of studies, collection of data on tribal communities, capacity building of the stake holders etc.
- Education– Tribal education is the most important aspect for the development. Ministry has taken very prompt steps towards establishing schools in tribal areas especially girls school and they have scheme of eklavya model schools. A lot of girls’ hostels are set up in tribal dominated blocks and Ashrams are being set up to ensure that tribal children can go to school and later on pursue higher education.
- TRIFED– It is engaged in marketing development of tribal products and provides marketing support to the products made by tribals through a network of retail outlets.
- Since 1987, it has taken various activities such collection of MFP (Minor Forest Produce) also called as Non Timber Forest Produce, by insuring proper price for their product so that tribal who are aware of its real value and thereby are protected from the exploitation of the middlemen.
- Minor Forest Produce is main source of livelihood of tribal in the country. Recently the government initiated the fixing of the MSP of the Minor Forest Produce and its range. The tribal community needs to know MSP of particular Minor forest produce, for instance Sindupata will have a different MSP, Indri will have a different MSP, Bamboo and other products.
- For their awareness and educational purpose, Ministry of tribal affairs and TRIFED has organised national workshop by inviting top officials like Chief sectaries, Secretary Tribal Welfare and forest, MDs of state tribal federations and forest corporations so that prestigious scheme of government of India to ensure proper price for MFPs.
- There are 24 commodities identified for which there is national level committee which fixes the price taking into account how many manhour tribal is investing, how much he will be collecting and what will be his at least wages.
- 75% of the funds for the procurement will be provided by the government of India to the State government’s tribal welfare department and this department will provide 25% of the funds to the implementing agencies for the procurement.
- TRIFED showrooms with the name of TribesIndia have been established where 8 categories of handicrafts are being marketed like tribal textile, tribal jewelleries, tribal metal, can and bamboo TRIFED is intervening for their improvement of the livelihood of the tribal. TRIFED is importing training and capacity buildings thereby they up gradation of the skill so that they can make this products which are acceptable in the market.
- Vanbandhu Kalyan Yojana -aimed at the social economic empowerment of the tribal
- It aims at overall development of tribal people with an outcome-base approach by bringing tribal population of the country at par with other social groups and include them in overall progress of the nation.
Traditionally for a very long time, there was no recognition of the rights of forest dwellers. Traditional forest dwellers were recognised as the traditional owners of the land where they were residing for ages only through the Forest Rights Act of 2005. It was a very welcome step and lot of community rights, papers were given out to individual as well as community. Forest Rights Act recognised the traditional forest dwellers as the legitimate owners of the forest land but also for the very first time made conservation accountable as the old forest acts of India were designed to suit the British Empire.
Provisions of the Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996 or PESA in scheduled area was introduced where the Gram Panchayat has the authority and ownership to deal with forest, forest produces and various forest resources.
- Over 58 lakh people have applied and just about 14 lakh patas have been issued individually and just some more have been issued on the community level.
- Tribal community is facing nutrition and health issues. Sickle cell anaemia is one of the major diseases afflicting the tribal community in the country and a lot of effort is now been made to improve the health status of the tribal community. Independent researchers as well as researches by ICMR have shown that the schedule tribe community is generally at a lower level of health and nutrition.
- Most of the tribals live in single room houses and faced challenges in accessing potable drinking water, Sanitation and electricity access.
Today, there are all kinds of livelihood challenges for this particular sector about the livelihood integration because STs like to otherwise dwell in their own areas but now their children want to come out of the traditional forest dwelling region and experiment with all sorts of jobs like may be horticulture or diversified crop production, dairy development etc. It is crucial to ensure need based integrated livelihood initiated for tribal because employment opportunities for tribal are shrinking on account of the shrinking forest cover.
The government has taken up many schemes, many organisations and many teams are working for the development of the tribal which has made some achievements but yet many things need to be done especially in infrastructure facilities like road connectivity, electricity, water and education.
Connecting the dots:
- A lot has been said on tribal welfare and development. Now is the time for robust implementation of existing policies. Do you agree? Explain with reasons.