Gangtok, 18 May [IPR]:
Secretary, Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Government of India, Leena Nair reviewed the status of implementation of Tribal Development Programme and schemes in the North Eastern States including Sikkim in the review-cum-consultation meeting held in the capital today.
Setting the context for the meeting, Ms Nair stated that the Ministry has ensured systematic increase in the funding for Tribal Development and efficient monitoring for proper implementation and timely submission of Utilization Certificates.
She added that the Ministry now emphasizes more on frequent visits by officials to all the States to understand the situation on ground.
“This is the first time a review meeting of this kind is being held in the North East and we are happy to be here in Sikkim to deliberate on pertinent issues concerning Tribal Development. We have some issues and bottlenecks with regard to the implementation of the Forest Rights Act and the FCA, which have to be discussed and resolved. I look forward to fruitful deliberations ahead and wish that the outcomes of this meeting will be very positive,” she stated.
Emphasizing on the implementation of the Forest Rights Act (ACT) in the North Eastern States, the Secretary stressed that the Government of India is very serious about giving the FRA duly ensuring that all the legal processes are put into motion and complied with.
The meeting took stock of various issues like FRA and Forest Conservation Act implementation, scholarship schemes, NGO grants and use of traditional, conventional and social media to raise awareness about the schemes among the tribal population.
Likewise, discussion on Eklavya Model Residential School (EMRS) formed a major part of the discussions.
Each of the sessions was facilitated by Joint Secretaries of MoTA, Rajesh Aggarwal and Vinod Kumar Tiwari and other Ministry officials.
The meeting also saw sharing of success stories and suggestions by delegates from each of the States.
Earlier, Secretary, Social Justice, Empowerment & Welfare Department, Government of Sikkim, Sarala Rai, in her welcome address thanked the Secretary Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Government of India for choosing Sikkim as the venue for the Review cum Consultation Meeting.
She also touched upon some of the Tribal Development Schemes and programmes being implemented in the State of Sikkim.
The review cum consultation meeting was attended by Additional Chief Secretary, Government of Assam, Rajiv Kumar Bora, senior officers of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, officers from all the North Eastern States including Sikkim, and Principals of EMRS from the NE states.
Earlier in the day, Secretary, MoTA, Leena Nair inaugurated the Lepcha Primitive Girls Hostel at Burtuk. The multi-storied building is built at a cost of Rs. 2,43,56,000 and has a total floor area of 11649.37 sq. ft and can accommodate 108 students.
Completed in the year 2017, the hostel comprises of a dining area, entrance lobby, recreation room, warden’s room, two dormitories, multipurpose hall, and a library.