August 9, 2018
Bangla Govt ensuring all-round development of Adivasis
The Trinamool Congress Government created the Tribal Development Department to bring about the comprehensive development of the various tribal communities in Bangla.
In this article, let us look at some of the major developments that have taken place till now:
Development/Cultural Boards and Advisory Council
- Six boards – Mayel Lyang Lepcha Development Board, Tamang Development and Cultural Board, Sherpa Cultural Board, Bhutia Development Board, Limboo Development Board and Adivasi Development and Cultural Board – were constituted for the welfare and development of these six communities.
- During the last three years, around Rs 348.32 crore has been sanctioned to these boards for important developmental activities like construction of 8,900 environment-friendly houses and 3,987 toilets, 38 jhora improvement schemes for drinking water, planting of around 80,000 trees and instituting of more than 1,000 individual-benefitting programmes.
- Despite the fact that Bangla is not a Schedule V State, the Tribes Advisory Council has been reconstituted and given a meaningful role to play in various aspects of tribal development. Since the reconstitution, six meetings have been held under the chairpersonship of the Chief Minister and follow-up actions were taken up.
Old-age pension and social security
- Old-age pension of Rs 1,000 per month is provided to scheduled tribe below poverty line (BPL) beneficiaries on attaining 60 years of age. The quota has gradually been increased by more than 21,000 during the last seven years to currently cover almost 1.5 lakh people.
- A new scheme, Social Security Scheme, was instituted for kendu leaf collectors in FY 2014-15. Under this scheme, during the last three years, 34,743 collectors have been registered. Of them, 447 eligible beneficiaries received benefits to the tune of Rs 2.26 crore.
- To ensure employment in the lean season, during the last seven years, more than Rs 17 crore was disbursed from the State Plan fund to create nearly 9.5 lakh person-days for kendu leaf collectors.
- Community pattas for ‘Jaher Than’ are being distributed, and installation of fencing around 323 Thans has been completed.
- The Forest Rights Act, 2006 has been translated into Santhali and Kurukh, and distributed to all concerned. During last seven years, 45,818 Individual Rights, 738 Community Rights and 64 Community Forest Resource Rights were distributed among forest dwellers. Formalising of forest pattas has already been taken up and 8,583 pattas have been formalised through the issuance of Record of Rights.
Promotion of indigenous languages
- A trilingual (Santhali-English-Bengali) Santhali dictionary has been published by the Paschimbanga Santhali Academy for promoting the Santhali language in the State.
- A booklet has been published in Bengali, Santhali and Hindi for the dissemination of information on schemes and programmes on tribal development.
- A language primer has been published in Kurukh (Tolong Siki is the script of the Kurukh language) by the Cultural Research Institute. Kurukh is spoken by the Oraon community (population – 6,43,510) and is one of the endangered languages of the world.
- To recognise the importance of different languages spoken in the State, Kurukh has been conferred the status of an official language by amending the West Bengal Official Languages Act, 1961.
- Construction of ICDS centres in tribal-dominated areas in convergence with MGNREGA has been prioritised. During the last two years, Rs 57.12 crore has been released for the construction of 1,123 ICDS centres.
- A pilot project for the screening of tribal people suffering from sickle cell disease was taken up by the department in 2014-15. After that, a wider study covering 4 lakh samples was approved at a cost of Rs 25 crore. This epidemiological study is being conducted by the Institute of Haematology & Transfusion Medicine, Calcutta Medical College.
Thus we see that the Tribal Development Department is bringing about an all-round development of the tribal population of the State. Through various schemes and programmes, development is happening at a fast pace.