New Delhi: The lives of our tribal brethren has always been one that has been close to Nature. Living in her lap since centuries, and their survival and sustenance dependent on Nature and her bounties, it is not surprising that environment is a major part of the identity of our tribals. On the occasion of the World Environment Day on June 5, 2021, tribal members of Van Dhan Vikas Kendras across the country launched a drive to plant more trees. One such example was from the state of Maharashtra where the tribal members of VDVKC Adivasi Eakatmik Samajik Sanstha, Shahapur planted 10,000 giloy plants in this drive that took place at Mokhavane and Kharid villages.
To do its bit, TRIFED also had organised a VC under the Chairmanship of Shri Pravir Krishna, Managing Director, TRIFED. Attended by all the different regional offices of TRIFED, this was an interesting session wherein the attendees were made aware of the symbiotic and close relationship between tribals and nature and how preserving the identity of tribals is a must while sustaining nature and conserving the environment. The support of the tribal brothers and sisters to conserve the environment is a must.
TRIFED, as the nodal agency for empowerment of tribals, has put in place several outstanding initiatives to improve the lives of these people. The Van Dhan Vikas Yojana, implemented by TRIFED, is one such programme for value addition, branding & marketing of Minor Forest Produces by establishing Van Dhan Kendras to facilitate creation of sustainable livelihoods for the forest-based tribes. The scheme aims to empower tribals by providing them support in terms of financial capital, training, mentoring, etc. in order to expand their business and enhance earnings.
The Van Dhan Yojana, a component of the The ‘Mechanism for Marketing of Minor Forest Produce (MFP) through Minimum Support Price (MSP) & Development of Value Chain for MFP’ Scheme, has emerged as a major source of employment for local tribals in the recent past. It is a perfect example of tribal entrepreneurship and demonstrates how cluster development and value addition can help members earn significantly higher income.
A typical Van Dhan Vikas Kendra includes 20 tribal members. 15 such Van Dhan Vikas Kendras form 1 Van Dhan Vikas Kendra cluster. The Van Dhan Vikas Kendra Clusters provide the Van Dhan Vikas Kendras economies of scale, livelihood and market-linkages, as well as entrepreneurship opportunities to nearly 6.67 lakh Tribal forest gatherers in 23 states and 2 UTs. The success of the programme can be gauged from the fact that already 50 lakh tribals have been impacted by the Van Dhan start-ups programme up until now.
Improving the livelihoods of the tribal population and bettering the lives of the underprivileged and beleaguered tribals has been the mission of TRIFED, the Ministry of Tribal Affairs. It is hoped that in the coming days more and more success stories arising from the Van Dhan Yojana initiative which fosters Vocal For Local and an Atmanirbhar Bharat will come to the fore and also lead to optimising the income and livelihoods of tribal people and finally a transformation of their lives.