Tribal Welfare in India: Initiatives and Obstacles

Tribal Welfare in India: Initiatives and Obstacles

Question: Tribal areas of the nation require special governance initiatives to catch up with the rest of the nation. Discuss the initiatives and obstacles in the path of tribal welfare in India.


• Overall development of persons belonging to the ST is carried out through the Ministry of Tribal Affairs

• The aim of this ministry is to protect the rights of tribal persons and promote as well as preserve tribal culture and heritage

• Integrated Tribal Development Agencies have been constituted to facilitate access of tribal persons to resources

Health and Nutrition

• Protocol for identification of sickle cell haemoglobin in tribal students has been developed by the ICMR and it is being used for securing healthcare needs of tribal persons

• Malaria incidence reduction through composite fish culture in ponds to prevent breeding of mosquitoes has also been initiated

• All pregnant mothers in tribal areas have been brought under immunisation programme

• Regular intake of green vegetables is encouraged through kitchen gardens

• Recycling and sanitation were stressed upon

• Trained lady health workers were assigned as wardens, assistant wardens in girl’s hostels


• Suggestions from citizens were obtained through MyGov platform on how to combat low literacy and high dropout rates

• Parents and community involvement in the education of ST children was encouraged

• Remedial coaching, special coaching and vocational educational classes were put in place

• Schools have been positioned as grounds for spotting and utilising natural talent of ST students

• The scope of education for tribal children was expanded to include sports, PE, work education, vocational education, tribal art, painting crafts, kitchen gardening and more
• Bilingual primers in regional and tribal languages have been developed through Tribal Research Institutes for promoting the local script and language Improvements have been made to school curriculum for ST children as well

• Local tribal festivals are being held to create awareness about culture

• Promotion of traditional food in school meals is also a step for conserving the cultural heritage of tribal areas

• School management have engaged teachers per class basis to overcome acute shortage
Cultural Initiatives

Vanbandhu Kalyan Yojana

• This is a strategic process for converting resources to desired outcomes through relevant institutional mechanism

• The plan aims at sustainable development of tribal areas

• The National Tribal festival called Vanaj has also been organised for conservation and promotion of cultural heritage of tribals


• Tech enabled trade information and is being kept in public domain for consultation

• Launching of MFP net for real time prices across mandis is also in place

• Kisan Call Centre has been linked with MFP net to provide trade information of minor forest produce and agricultural products as well

• Launching of e-commerce portal for sale of tribal crafts and produce collaboration with Snapdeal for only sale of tribal products by TRIFED

• Other e-Governance initiatives include the following:

- e-File Tracking System (for tracking files and correspondences),
- e-Samiksha (Real time Online Monitoring),
- PRAGATI (Public Grievances),
- AEBAS (Bio-metric Attendance System)
- My GOV (for seeking public views on various topics related to the Ministry), VLMS (VVIP Letter Monitoring System)

• Payments in Ministry are made through electronic transfer


• Livelihood activities which can offer timely, regular, sustainable incomes have been supported and promoted

• For example: Promotion of Dairy Development via co-operatives and linking with Milk Federations would offer a range of veterinary services and regular income for women in tribal areas


• ITDAs and ITDPs have become weak or non existent in many states as have Tribal Research Institutes

• This has reduced knowledge support to persons in charge of tribal development

• While tribal people have migrated to urban areas, there is no agency to look after their problems in particular

• Militancy is a big problem in this area as well. The most recent attack on army personnel in Manipur was by NSCN and ULFA militants. The law and order of the states needs to be looked into

• AFSPA is also a contentious issue in several tribal areas

• LWE is on the rise in tribal areas

• Programmes and policies for tribal welfare have to be better implemented

Facts and Stats

• The Ministry of Tribal Affairs was established in 1999 following the bifurcation of Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment

• It aims at integrated social and economic development of STs

• Prior to formation of the ministry, tribal affairs was handled by the following

a. Division of the Ministry of Home Affairs named as ‘Tribal Division’ since independence to September, 1985.

b. Ministry of Welfare: From September 1985 to May 1998.

c. Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment from May 1998 to September 1999

• Ministry of Tribal Affairs is the nodal body for policy planning and coordination of programmes for ST development
Post your comment