“To empower tribal communities and to protect their rich tradition, the Modi Government is fully committed. For the welfare of the tribal communities, the Modi Government has enhanced provision in Union Budget by four times from Rs 22,000 crore to 88,000 crore. Stipend funds for tribal students has been increased from 978 crore to 2,726 crore. The number of Ekalavya Vidyalayas has been increased from 92 to 512,” stated BJP State general secretary Dr Lekhasri Samantsinghar at a press meet here.
She claimed that the Modi Government has opened 10 Freedom Fighters’ Museum for conservation of tribals’ culture and tradition. A special board has been set up for the welfare of nonscheduled, nomadic and half-nomadic population. Besides, the Modi Government has undertaken many schemes to strengthen the economic condition of the scheduled tribe (ST) people, which includes making of 117 aspirational districts.
She, however, expressed unhappiness saying that the Naveen Patnaik Government, despite getting adequate funds, has failed to provide supports to tribals in all sectors.
“With 24 percent of its population belonging to ST categories, Odisha is home to the largest percent of tribal population in the country. The State has 62 communities of tribals and 13 PVTG populations. It is disappointing that development has not reached many of the tribal villages,” rued Dr Samantsinghar.
She expressed anguish saying that 65 percent of tribal children are anaemic and malnourished in Odisha.
Citing NHFS-5 report, Dr Samantsinghar said 1,326 of 2,476 unreachable villagers have more than 50 percent of their population belonging ST category and these villages come under nine districts only. While the country’s fourth highest 624 ST atrocity cases were filed in 2020, conviction rate has remained zero after passing of a year, she said.
Alleging further that the Special Development Council, formed by the Odisha Government before 2019 election for tribals’ development, has now turned a forgotten body, the BJP leader expressed unhappiness saying that 21 tribal languages are now on the verge of extinction due to negligence of the State Government.
She again alleged that development has been affected in tribal-dominated mining areas as BJD leaders and activists have pocketed Rs 16,000 crore availed at SDC.
Among others, BJP State medical cell chief Dillip Mallick and deputy chief Sujit Kumar Das were present at the Press meet.