Lieutenant Governor Shri Manoj Sinha inaugurated the National Tribal Festival at Srinagar, today.
In his address, the Lt Governor welcomed the members of tribal community from different states and UTs to Jammu Kashmir.
“National Tribal Festival celebrates the rich tribal cultural heritage and traditions. It aims to provide an opportunity to tribal artisans, entrepreneurs to promote their unique handicrafts, textiles, artworks and traditional products,” the Lt Governor said.
The Lt Governor reiterated the resolve of the UT Administration to fulfill the dreams of the poor, tribals and those who were deprived of their rights for decades.
“J&K Government is dedicated to serve the poor section of society. It is providing land to landless citizens who were ignored in the past. They are eligible under PMAY (G) and will soon have their own house. However, some influential people and their associates, who had grabbed state land, think that poor section should not utilize the government resources,” the Lt Governor said.
They must understand that such discriminatory system was abolished on 5th August 2019. Now we are marching ahead with one resolve and one aim that poorest of the poor, dalits, OBCs and tribal community have the first right on Government resources, he added.
As per Tribal Affairs Department, 40,000 PMAY houses to be allocated to eligible tribal community families. Government record suggests, out of these, around 8000 are landless. They cannot be deprived merely because some people do not want to see benefits reaching to underprivileged and tribals being empowered, the Lt Governor further said.
The Lt Governor lauded the significant contribution of the Tribal community in strengthening the spirit of cultural integration, and conservation and protection of natural resources.
“Tribal community has laid the strong foundation for the country to prosper. For centuries, the community acted as a bridge connecting our cultural ethos and conserving our biodiversity. Their determined contribution to the development process is a source of inspiration for all of us,” the Lt Governor said.
The Lt Governor also shared the efforts and initiatives of the government to empower the tribal youth and women and to give impetus to the socio-economic development of the tribal community.
We understand dreams of tribal youth and encouraging them every way possible so that they do not fall behind anyone in the age of accelerated change. Efforts are being made to ensure that every benefit is available to them, he said.
Today the doors of opportunity are opening up for tribal community. It is the prime objective of the government to provide equal opportunities to youth and women of tribal community, to ensure that economic and social justice reaches them and we make them partners in the system, the Lt Governor added.
He urged the people to buy the products made by the tribal community members. We will also direct the government departments to procure products made by Tribal artisans, he said.
The Lt Governor appreciated the artists of the tribal community from different states for showcasing the rich tribal culture and heritage through dance and music performances.
On the occasion, the Lt Governor launched various initiatives of Tribal Affairs Department including TRI Wool Web Portal and GIS Portal for Transhumance. He also rolled out Law 20 Coaching Scheme for Law students staying in Tribal Hostels.
The Lt Governor inspected the stalls installed by tribal artisans, and entrepreneurs and also handed over the smart tools to the beneficiaries.
Dr. Shahid Iqbal Choudhary, Secretary to the Government, Tribal Affairs Department gave a detailed briefing on the initiatives taken by the administration for the welfare of tribal community in J&K UT. He expressed gratitude to the Ministry of Tribal Affairs for the support.
The Tribal Affairs Department in collaboration with the Jodhpur-based Central Wool Development Board is launching several schemes for the families involved in sheep farming.
Under Law 20 Scheme, Law students staying in Tribal Hostels will be provided free of cost coaching for Prestigious Exams by the renowned coaching institute of the country.
The GIS Portal will help in tracking of the migratory tribal population.
Dr Naval Jit Kapoor, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Secretaries of various states; senior officers from Union Ministry, UT Administration and Police; members, artisans, entrepreneurs and students of tribal community were present on the occasion.