JAMMU: Secretary, Tribal Affairs Department, Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary today chaired a meeting of officers to finalise the plan and prioritise initiatives for cluster area approach based interventions aimed at time-bound measurable outcomes.
Director Tribal Affairs, Director Finance , Addl Secretary, Secretary, Advisory Board, Jt Director Planning and other officers were present.
In a major initiative the department is focusing on establishment of Model Residential Schools for which an amount of Rs 30 Cr has been earmarked in the budget. Six Model Schools are being made operational with hired / temporary accommodation meanwhile executing agencies have been directed to complete the construction work in next two years. Selection process for staff has been initiated through National Testing Agency, Nodal Principals appointed through education department and notification for selection of students is under consideration. Deputy Commissioners as chairpersons of district level committee have been entrusted for equipping the temporary accommodation.
Modernisation of hostels managed by the department is another key focus area for which budget of Rs 10 Cr has been earmarked to upgrade furniture, classrooms and accommodation facilities. Each hostel will be provided library, gymnasium, smart class room and sports clubs among other facilities. Department also approved Rs 50 Lakh for providing multipurpose vehicles to 10 hostels in Phase-I for catering and management needs.
Dr Shahid asked the department to notify scheme for tribal youth for their constructive engagement in various livelihood initiatives. Opening of libraries, sports clubs, literary and cultural centres are among the opportunities to be offered to youth for which funding will be made available to the department through a competitive process. In livestock husbandry and farming sectors the department is switching over to formulation of Self-Help Groups to be provided financial support and insurance. Each self-help group comprised of 10 farmers will be provided Rs 5 Lakh revolving fund and insurance of livestock. Department will conduct skill development certificate course for selected SHGs before funding to be provided.
Women cooperatives and self-help groups among the scheduled tribes shall be provided financial support on priority and specialised skill development courses will be offered to women entrepreneurs in rural areas based on their area of interest.
Meanwhile, proposal has also been sought for providing replacement of livestock lost in accidents and mishaps not covered under SDRF. The aim is to provide relief and Livelihood support to families losing their livestock to various road accidents or calamities (not covered under SDRF) during their annual migration to higher reaches.
In order to ensure the benefits of Government’s welfare schemes reach to the tribal communities in rural areas the Directorate of Tribal Affairs will be seeking proposals from youth groups , registered NGOs , Panchayats and other stakeholders for organising awareness camps about schemes , legal rights and also focusing on education and health related initiatives.
Apart from welfare schemes the department has sought proposal for providing potable drinking water supply , power supply and improved road connectivity in tribal areas. Saturation model is being adopted to pick up blocks with highest tribal population for key amenities and also providing special attention to geographically disadvantaged areas for special needs related to socio-economic and developmental needs.