The Ministry of Tribal Affairs is committed to overall development (including health and education) of the people belonging to Scheduled Tribes and to protect the rights of such people and preserve and promote tribal culture and heritage. The Ministry takes a gap filling role in the activities of various line ministries insofar as the welfare of the tribal population is concerned and implements a number of schemes through the State Governments/Union Territory Administrations or organizations recommended by the Multi-Disciplinary State Level Committee of the concerned State Government/UT Administration.
The capacity of tribal people to harness the fruits of development and to access various schemes for delivery of public goods and services has remained limited. The Integrated Tribal Development Agencies were the institutions assigned with the role to facilitate such access. But over the years, several scheme-specific bodies at District level became stronger whereas ITDAs/ITDPs have become weak or non-existent in most of the states. Similarly, Tribal Research Institutes have become weak in many states. This has reduced knowledge support to persons in charge of tribal development. Urban areas have seen increasing number of tribal people but there is no agency to look after their special problems. During the current year, the Ministry has taken up the strengthening of these institutions on priority and also to create new ones so that they can deliver goods and services more effectively. Under the existing scheme of SCA to TSP, Grants under Article 275(1) of the Constitution and the scheme of ‘Grant-in-Aid to Tribal Research Institutes’, the guidelines have been revised so that these institutions may be equipped with proper infrastructure, manpower and flexibility.
RECENT INITIATIVES TAKEN BY THE MINISTRY:
HEALTH & NUTRITION
Sickle Cell Anemia: A protocol for identification of Sickle Cell Hemoglobin in tribal students through a low cost “Turbidity Test” has been developed by ICMR.Training workshops organized by the Ministry to carry out these tests within this financial year. A card is being issued to each child on sickle cell status which would be used to counsel parents of sickle cell carriers not to marry other sickle cell carrier. The State of Gujarat has already completed more than 80% screening. Training workshops have been held in the states of Odisha, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Assam, Tripura, Mizoram, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh.
MALARIA: To reduce the incidences of Malaria amongst the tribal population, composite fish cultures in the ponds has been advocated. Using space technology mapping of existing ponds and potential ponds has been started and training workshops been held in all States/UTs with ST population. This prevents the breeding of mosquitoes.
Other initiatives include:
- Bring all pregnant mothers under immunization programme.
- A protocol for including Folic Acid, every Monday immediately after the afternoon meal has been put in place.
- To ensure regular intake of green leafy vegetables, kitchen gardens are encouraged. Traditional foods like minor millets, etc. are encouraged for cultivation and included as a part of the school meals.
- Habit of hygiene and sanitation, use of recyclable material amongst school children, reduction in generation of garbage.
- Circulars regarding hygiene and cleanliness were issued to the Tribal Welfare Departments of all states and union territories.
- Engagement of trained lady health workers as Warden/Asstt. Wardens in girls’ hostels.
- Suggestions obtained from citizens through MyGov.in platform on Low Literacy and High Dropout rates. Existing and potential dropouts are being targeted for suitable skill training with a livelihood focus.
- Involvement of Parents and community in the education of the ST children and in the school management.
- Role of Teachers expanded to include mentoring of students and counselling of students and parents.
- Utilising long summer vacation for Remedial coaching and vocational/skill development classes.
- Special coaching for English and Mathematics after class V and Mathematics and Science after class VII to overcome barriers in curriculum.
- Schools being positioned as nursery grounds for spotting and nurturing of natural talents of ST students for Academics, Sports, Traditional and Modern Skills etc.
- Expansion of Scope of Education for Tribal children to include sports, physical education, work education, vocational education, Tribal Art, painting, crafts, kitchen gardening, health, hygiene and nutrition, etc to make the school education useful and relevant for the children and tribal communities.
- Development of Bilingual Primers containing text both in regional and tribal languages but in local official script through Tribal Research Institutes (TRIs) and Sarva Siksha Abhiyan (SSA)
- School curriculum for ST children in the age group of 5-16 years is improved to make it contextually relevant and culturally appropriate for the local tribal culture.
- Long school vacation being synchronised with local tribal festival and harvest season.
- Construction of functional girl’s toilets to address hygiene, sanitation and dropout of girl’s students.
- Co-education Residential schools (200-300 student’s capacity) in block headquarters for quality education and physical safety.
- Promotion of traditional food (minor millet and greens) in school meals.
- School managements are empowered to engage teachers per class basis to overcome acute shortage.
- 100% screening of children for Sickle Cell Anemia Trait and counselling of parents.
- Engagement of trained lady health workers as Warden/Assistant Wardens in girls hostels
- Promotion of Education, in celebration and campaign mode. In collaboration with the states/UTs, local bodies and also with the All India Radio, Ministry is planning for wide publicity for admission, enrolment and education of Tribal children. Awareness drive in campaign and celebration mode is being designed targeting the Tribal children, parents, communities, teachers and school administration and will continue throughout the year.
VANBANDHU KALYAN YOJANA, a strategic process to converge resources to achieve desired outcomes through appropriate institutional mechanism, was launched on 28th October, 2014. This approach envisages comprehensive development of tribals by shifting the working character into a holistic approach rather than focusing on physical and financial achievements. This approach commensurate to the Gujarat Model for over all development of the tribal people with sustainability.
National Tribal Festival – Vanaj
The Ministry is providing a national platform for conservation and promotion of cultural heritage of the tribals. A national festival was organized from 13 – 18 February, 2015 in Delhi to showcase tribal art, craft, food, literature, medicines and also display and sale of tribal art and crafts. This would be an annual event to be held between second Friday and third Wednesday of February.
Ministry’s website www.tribal.nic.in has been awarded “Web Ratna Gold Icon 2014 Awards” for outstanding Content.
- In addition to the tech enabled trade information and information of the Ministry including its financials being kept in public domain through the Ministry’s website, continuous updation of website and use of social media through twitter (@tribalaffairsin) and facebook (Ministry of Tribal Affairs) have been undertaken.
- Launching of MFP net – for real time prices across various mandees (www.trifed.in).
- Linking Kisan Call Centre (1800-180-1551) with MFP Net to provide trade info of not only Minor Forest Produce, but also about agricultural products.
- Launching of e-commerce portal for sale of tribal crafts and produce collaboration withwww.snapdeal.com for online sale of tribal products by TRIFED.
- e-File Tracking System (for tracking files and correspondences), e-Samiksha (Real time Online Monitoring), PRAGATI (Public Grievances), AEBAS (Bio-metric Attendance System) my GOV (for seeking public views on various topics related to the Ministry), VLMS (VVIP Letter Monitoring System) are extensively used.
- All payments in the Ministry are made through electronic transfer.
- All procurements are made through tenders which are uploaded on the relevant portals.
- Livelihood activities which can provide regular, sustainable incomes have been supported and advocated e.g. promotion of Dairy Development through co-operatives and linking with Milk Federations would provide a range of veterinary services and regular income that has women participation. Similarly, backyard poultry can reach large number of households and help in providing protein and additional income.
- Composite fish culture is for both containing mosquito population, providing protein supplement and income to the family. Usage of Space Technology for mapping existing water bodies and developing potential through MGNREGS has been promoted. In addition, Horticulture, Floriculture, improved varieties of traditional minor millets advocated and supported. Minor millets are more nutritious than polished rice or maize and hence recommended for menu in schools also.