Describing the abrogation of Article 370 that bestowed special status on Jammu and Kashmir as a big achievement for the Narendra Modi government, Union Minister of State for Tribal Affairs Renuka Singh said that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India.
Addressing a gathering after inaugurating national tribal festival titled Aadi Mahotsav at Sanpra Resorts on Beach Road on Friday, she said the people of the Jammu and Kashmir were living in fear owing to cross-border infiltration and the governments decision was in tune with its motto of Sabka Sath, Sabka Vikas and Sabka Viswas.
The Aadi Mahotsav was also held in Ladakh from August 17 to 25 and a large number of people participated in it, she said.
Briefing on the welfare programmes introduced by the NDA government for the welfare of tribal people, Ms. Singh said the Centre has launched Van Dhan Kendras and 60,000 such centres would be opened across the country and each of them would get a fund of 45 lakh.
The tribal people will be provided with skill training, investment, markets and stocking facility for value addition of forest produces. Skills pertaining to handloom and handicrafts will also be honed, Ms. Singh said, adding that tribal handicrafts are now available in more than 190 countries as the government has forged several tie-ups with e-commerce companies.
Plans are afoot to organise tribal exhibitions at 24 places across the country during the year.
Funds for tribal varsity
Assuring that needs of tribal people such as drinking water, schools and hospitals would be met, she said. Funds will be granted for construction of buildings and other purposes to the Girijan University being set up in Andhra Pradesh, she said.
Around 160 artisans from 20 States are showcasing handloom products and handicrafts at the 10-day tribal festival, the fourth being organised by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, TRIFED and Tribes India, this year.
TRIFED Chairman Ramesh Chand Meena said tribal people would be empowered through formation of self-help groups which would be provided exposure to international markets. He said a programme would also be organised in Paderu constituency.
With the provision of minimum support price for forest produce, the Girijan Co-operative Corporation (GCC) is working wonders in the 11 mandals of the Agency, Paderu MLA K. Bhagyalakshmi said.
She sought the support of the Union government to ensure roads, bridges, drinking water and other basic amenities in tribal areas.
Former Minister Peddinti Jaganmohana Rao lauded the commitment of Ms. Singh for tribal development.
MLC P.V.N. Madhav, TRIFED Executive Director Sangita Mahendra and GCC Vice-Chairman and Managing Director T. Baburao Naidu participated in the programme.