Several deputations meet Minister, raise issues of tribal community
Jammu: Minister for Food, Civil Supplies, Consumer Affairs (FCS & CA) and Tribal Affairs, Chowdhary Zulfkar Ali today said that the Jammu & Kashmir Government is committed to bring Tribal Policy to effectively address the socio- economic issues of tribal population of the state.
The Minister was interacting with deputations of tribal community from Kathua, Samba, Jammu and Rajouri, who called on the Minister at his official residence to highlight their issues.
The deputations projected their demands pertaining to basic amenities and other day to day problems being faced by the community. They demanded well organized policy for boosting and marketing of Milk production in Kathua and protection of graveyards.
Responding to the demands, the Minister assured prompt action for resolving their genuine concerns.
Ch Zulfkar Ali said that the state government is committed to provide justice to tribal community which is evident from the fact that Former Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed created a separate Tribal Ministry for its welfare.
The Government is planning to rehabilitate all nomads by bringing a Permanent Rehabilitation Policy for them, the Minister informed. He said the Tribal Policy would yield great results as under it the community will receive focused attention for the first time.
Terming creation of Tribal Department as historic decision since 1947, Ch Zulfkar Ali said that this department has done tremendous work for the Tribal during the last 3 years. He said that government is constructing Eklvya Model Residential Schools in the districts Anantnag, Kulgam, Doda, Kishtwar, Rajouri, Kargil and Poonch where ST students will be provided free of cost education, lodging and boarding facilities. He said each EMRS would have intake capacity of 480 students with equal strength of boys and girls.
Listing other initiatives, the Minister said that the Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti recently held a review meeting of the department and took significant decision in the interest of the community.
He further added that there are several projects in pipeline that will play a decisive role in the welfare of the tribal community.
Ch Zulfkar Ali added that the tribal department is managing the affairs of 23 G&B Hostels including 17 boys and 6 girls with intake capacity of 2125 students. “The Government has started construction of 20 more G&B Hostels for which an amount of Rs. 26.02 core has been released during the current financial year”, he said.
Terming education as game changer, Minister said that six hostels are being converted into residential schools in Kupwara, Bandipora, Kathua, Poonch and Doda for which an amount of Rs 12.50 crore has been released. He further informed that the department is going to sponsor 20 meritorious ST students for IAS/KAS coaching and it has received 220 applications. He added that for up-gradation and strengthening of sports infrastructure in ST/G&B Hostel, an amount of Rs. 3 crore has been spent through J&K Sports Council in the State. He added that 34 new e-class rooms are being constructing in 17 Cluster Tribal Model Villages for which an amount of Rs. 85.00 lakhs has been released.
The Minister said that 11 Cluster Tribal Model Villages have been sanctioned for 11 districts during the year 2016-17 and 6 during 2017-18 for 3 other districts for development of basic activities like road connectivity, drinking water facilities, power, skill development, agriculture, horticulture and animal husbandry to fill critical gaps in infrastructure.
Stressing on proper marketing of Milk, the Minister said that the government has approved two villages as Milk Villages at Agri, Rajouri and Sangerwani , Pulwama and established Milk Bulk Cooling Plant at village Rakh Barotian ,Vijaypur, Samba.
“125 Milk Collection units will be established in Rajouri, Samba, Kathua and Jammu districts which will provide job opportunities to 125 Tribal Youth”, he added.
About other initiatives, the Minister informed that a Tribal Research Institute State is coming up at Khimber, while Govt is proposing to establish Sheep units in every district of the State for boosting Sheep rearing.
(With inputs from KNS)