Govt takes up intervention programme to grant better lives to tribal groups
Kolkata: The state Tribal Development department has undertaken a special intervention programme for the development of vulnerable tribal groups like Shabar (Lodha), Birhore and Toto.The department has conducted a survey following the instruction of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. According to the 2011 census, Shabar population in the state is around 40,000, of whom 18,000 reside in Jhargram. There are 1,500 Totos who stay in Madarihat-Birpara block of Alipurduar, while there are 365 Birhores who live in the Ayodhya Hills of Purulia. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe Tribal Development department has provided a special budget of Rs 12.90 crore in the current fiscal for implementation of the schemes. These are likely to enhance their livelihood opportunities, arrest migration and improve social habits. It has been decided that new dwelling houses under Bangla Awas Yojana will be constructed, while the houses that are in bad shape will be repaired or renovated. The state government will also conduct a special drive to provide drinking water in the tribal habitations. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedSelf-Help Groups (SHG) will be set up to provide better livelihood. Cattle and goat rearing, backyard poultry, horticulture and floriculture, orchard and kitchen gardening will be encouraged. Tribal department officials, along with the local Gram Panchayats, will visit the areas to encourage the beneficiaries and make them aware of the various schemes that are being taken up by the state government. Agriculture will be boosted by improving the irrigation system. Special emphasis will be given on the traditional handicraft products and attempts will be made to give them skill training and design development. Artisan clusters will be developed and soft loans will be given to the artisans under various subsidy schemes. It may be mentioned that supply of rice at Rs 2 a kilo by the state government has helped the tribal people enormously. The people are now getting two square meals a day. Awareness campaigns will be launched about the schemes taken up by the state government and how they are going to benefit them.