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December 3, 2013

WB CM launches new department for Tribal Welfare

WB CM launches new department for Tribal Welfare

The Chief Minister of West Bengal launched a new department for the welfare of the tribal people in the state. The CM herself will be in charge of the department. The inauguration was marked by cultural performances of various tribal groups, distribution of honours and certificates to outstanding tribal artists and students and the launch of Somoyer Sathi, a booklet for the time bound delivery of public services.

Excerpts from the Chief Minister's Speech:
Welcome one and all. I welcome all my brothers and sisters from the tribal community. You will be pleased to know that we have set up a new department for Tribal welfare. Representatives from Tribal community requested me to set up this department. I will be personally be in charge of the department. We will soon hold a meeting of the newly formed development council for this department.

Today, on behalf of the State Govt. we have felicitated the stalwarts from the tribal community. Those felicitated included poets, litterateurs and others who have preserved the tribal culture and heritage. Nobody had ever thought of honouring their contribution. It is our privilege that we have in our midst such talented people; we feel honoured after recognising their work.

We want our tribal students to move forward in life, study. We are giving merit scholarships to 1 lakh tribal students. We have distributed around 40,000 cycles to tribal girl students. Residential schools are being built up for students. Insttitutions like Raghunath Murmu School, Ekalavya School have already been set up. Birsa Munda Academy, Santhali Academy are also coming up. We have constituted a development board for Terai-Dooars region, and a separate Lepcha Development Board. We will carry out more developmental work in the coming days for our tribal brothers and sisters.

We want our tribal communities to shine in every sphere. State Government has made reservations for the tribal students in higher educational institutions, without affecting the general category. There will be no dearth of money if you want to pursue higher education. Government has set up special training courses for you. If there is need, we will arrange for special coaching centres for you. You have been neglected for too long. Come forward. We want you to lead in different fields.

We are giving house-building grants through Geetanjali Housing scheme; you will also receive financial help for proper sanitation system in your homes. You can get your caste certificates within one month.

Today we have released a booklet called Samayer Sathi, to provide public services in a time bound manner. From now government officers have to provide services within a specific time period; now you need not wait for a long time to receive your ration card, birth, death or other certificates, licenses etc. If you do not get the service within the stipulated time, you may complain to the authorities and the government will take steps to punish the offender. We are here to serve people. No public service should be delayed for political or any other reason.

We are not in the habit of delaying any work that is because we love to do the work. There are many people who get harassed by officials who do not do their work in a time-bound manner. This will not be tolerated. It is necessary to evaluate all the requests that are coming through.

My tribal brothers and sister, we have already added courses in Alchiki in the school curriculum. We will do anything necessary for the upliftment of Tamang and Buddhist communities in the Hills. Dhorte parle dhoro, lorte parle loro, korte parle koro ar na parle amadeder korte dao; steer clear of politics in case of development of people. I believe that tribal people have the first right over forests. Let me know what else we can do for you. God bless you all.