Tribals Faced Neglect, Discrimination For 70 Years: LG

‘Never Before Have Tribal Community Prospects Been As Bright As They Are Today’

Pulwama– Accusing the successive governments of neglecting and discriminating the tribal community of Jammu and Kashmir for 70 years, the Union Territory Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha said on Monday that his administration has removed divisive, discriminatory policies and have made all sections of community effective partners in the process of development.

Sinha made these remarks while inaugurating 5 projects including Model Tribal Transit Residential School, Girl Hostel, and laid foundation stone for 18 other projects for the welfare of Tribal Community in the district here on Monday, an official spokesperson said.

He said that the tribal population of Pulwama witnessed inauguration of projects worth Rs 11.47 Cr, and laying of foundation stones for new projects worth Rs 39.86 Cr aimed at development and welfare in tribal areas.

According to the spokesperson, the LG said that the projects worth more than Rs 51 crore are testimony to our commitment of Social Justice and Equality.

Sinha, he said, underscored that sustained attention is being paid to ensure that quality education is brought within the reach of people who were long deprived of their rights.

“New hostels, smart classes and record number of scholarships for tribal students will open the doors of economic prosperity and all-round development,” the LG said.

“Between 1976-2020, only 26 hostels were established for tribal students, while 37 new hostels will be added by 2023. In the last 21 months, steps have been taken to ensure empowerment of all marginalized & weaker groups,” he added.

Noting that the Tribal Community in J&K was neglected and discriminated against since independence, the LG, as per the spokesperson said that never before have tribal community prospects been as bright as they are today.

“Forest Rights Act, PM Van Dhan Yojna, SHGs, Healthcare, Transport Facility, Hostels, Tourist Village, Skill Development, and every initiative has been aimed at ensuring progress of J&K in an equitable, fair and just manner,” Sinha said, adding that his government is making all efforts to enhance the sources of livelihood for the tribal population.

“UT administration is setting up 100 Van Dhan Kendras in Jammu and Kashmir so that the tribal community can get the right price for the valuable products sourced from the forests,” he said.

According to the spokesperson, the LG also announced the creation of 1500 Van Dhan Self Help Groups in the UT to make women of the tribal community financially independent. He said an amount of Rs 15 crores has also been made available.

On ensuring access to quality and affordable education for the children of tribal community, the LG, as per the spokesperson said that the UT administration has reviewed the scholarships of the students at various levels and hiked the same across the board in line with the contemporary realities.

He said that for students associated with the seasonal schools, children up to middle school were still being given an annual scholarship of Rs 450 to 675. A committee was formed to examine this, and now this scholarship is being increased to Rs 2400 annually, which will directly benefit about 34,000 students.

Similarly, he said, the review of scholarship in higher education had not been done from 2012 onwards, and technical courses and post-graduate students also got only 30 thousand rupees annual scholarship.

“This is also being increased to Rs 60 to 80 thousand annually, which will benefit 12,000 youths of the tribal community,” he added.

The spokesperson further said that the LG recalled his pledge to set up 100 smart schools in tribal areas in November last year and said that in March this year, the task of converting all 100 schools into smart schools has been completed, which include six such schools in Pulwama that now possess same state-of-the-art facilities as available in the schools of big cities.

“The Tribal Affairs Department in association with the District Administration is also developing a Cluster Tribal Model Village in Pulwama at a cost of Rs 10 crore,” Sinha said.

As per the spokesperson, the LG appreciated the efforts of Tribal Affairs Department for completing the construction of this Transit Residential School in Goripora at a cost of Rs.6.68 crores in record time.

Sinha, he said, also stated that another such residential school is being built in Shopian and apart from education facilities, both these residential schools will also have medical facility, sports facility, library, food and other facilities.

“In order to provide equal rights to girls in the field of education, the government has also established 100-bedded hostels for the girls of tribal community at a cost of Rs.3.06 crores,” the LG added.

According to the spokesperson, the LG observed that the UT administration will give new energy and momentum to the process of social development in Jammu and Kashmir by connecting the neglected Tribal Community with the mainstream.

Sinha, he said, expressed gratitude to Prime Minister and said that it was only because of his efforts that nine seats of the UT assembly have been reserved for the tribal community, which in true sense reflects a step taken towards empowering them politically.

“The rights of weaker sections enshrined in constitution were denied for 70 long years; benefits of development were not allowed to reach the last man in the queue. By removing divisive, discriminatory policies, we have made all sections of the community effective partners in the process of development,” the LG added.

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