Committed to development of tribal communities: Manoj Sinha

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Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on Saturday said the development of tribal communities is one of their priorities and they will be getting rights over minor forest produce.

Sinha said this while addressing a delegation of Gujjar-Bakerwal and Gaddi-Sippi communities at the Raj Bhavan here.

Sinha said his administration is committed to make the development of tribal population a key element of the overall agenda.

With the commitment of social equality, we have taken a slew of decisions in the past a few months to bestow the due rights on all tribal communities of J-K, he added.

The development of Tribal communities of J-K is one of the top priorities of the government and for the first time in the history of J-K, we are going to roll out the handing over of rights under the Forest Rights Act from Monday, Sinha said.

Observing that full rights were not extended to tribals of J-K earlier, the Lt Governor said his administration has tried to bring development to them by implementing the Forest Rights Act.

The tribal communities will be getting rights over minor forest produce, he said.

The UT government in coordination with Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India Limited (TRIFED) will establish infrastructure for collection, value addition, packaging and distribution.

Further, to empower the youth and women, a cluster of 15 tribal SHGs will be established and Rs 15 lakh will be provided per group, he added.

To implement an overarching plan for the development of tribal communities, a two-month-long survey has been conducted for effective policy-making based on ground realities, he said.

The Lt Governor said the administration has decided to develop transit accommodations at eight places at an estimated cost of Rs 28 crore for accommodating seasonal transitory population besides provisions for medical camps, animal yards, veterinary care and adequate security.

The holding capacity and other requirements will be as per the assessments derived from the recent migratory population survey.

To provide better health care facilities and cater to the needs of the migratory population, the UT administration has come up with a tribal health plan, for which Rs 15 crore has been set aside, he said.

The government will create health sub-centre for static population and mobile medical care units for migratory population. It will be completely modern with good doctors and machinery and run with the collaboration of the National Health Mission, Health Department and the Tribal Affairs Department, he added.

On the issue of ensuring a sustainable livelihood for the youth, the Lt Governor announced the establishment of 1500 mini sheep farms, which will provide employment opportunities to 3,000 youngsters in this financial year.

The programme will not be a one-time initiative and every year 33 per cent new sheep farms will be established.

Sinha said under the Mission Youth, the process has been initiated to set up 16 milk villages to connect at least 2,000 youth to the dairy sector at a cost of Rs 16 crore besides providing training, branding, marketing and transport facilities.

The Lt Governor said the UT administration has decided to the link tribal youth with skill development programmes from among identified 300 skill sets.

Initially, 500 youngsters will be selected and trained in specialist courses like commercial pilot, robotics and management, he added.

Sinha said the administration has decided to build tribal tourist villages and in the first phase, 15 such villages will be selected and this work will be started with an amount of Rs 3 crore.

Apart from this, if any youth from the community wants to start tourism business, the government will provide them with training and an easy financial assistance of up to Rs 10 lakh.

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