New Delhi: Union Minister for Home Affairs, Shri Amit Shah inaugurated the National Tribal Festival ‘Aadi Mahotsav’, in New Delhi today. Union Minister for Minority Affairs, Shri Arjun Munda also graced the occasion, among other dignitaries.
Addressing on the event, Shri Shah said that Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has seen a vision of the ‘Aadi Mahotsav’ and developing ‘Van Dhan Vikas Kendras’, to accelerate the development of tribal people across the country, who reside in 40% of its area and constitute 8% of its population. Over a thousand tribal artisans from 27 states are participating in the event. This platform is helping the tribal artisans, their handicrafts, culture, traditions and food to showcase them in front of the world. Such a platform not only proves to be a vital source of employment to lakhs of tribals, but also gives them recognition and instills a sense of pride and worthiness in them, he said.
Through this initiative, Home Minister said, Modi government is showing its commitment to safeguard tribal culture and ensure its development in a sustainable manner, as it believes in Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay’s philosophy of Antyodaya. Shri Shah said, “I want to assure crores of tribal brethren that the Narendra Modi government is committed to ensure sustainable development and improvement in standard of living of tribals, without disturbing their culture and traditions”. He further said that it was first time since independence that, under the government led by Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee, a separate Ministry was formed for the development of tribals. Such an important thing was neglected by governments in the past, he added.
Remembering Bhagwan Birsa Munda on his birth anniversary, Home Minister said that it was he who gave the first call of a revolution against the British rule in the ‘Ulgulan Andolan’. He was the person who showed new horizons to the tribal society with his revolutionary thoughts. In such a short life, he fought for the rights of the tribals and forest dwellers, which is why he came to be known as ‘Bhagwan’ among them. Talking about recognizing the immense contribution of tribals in fighting the British rule, Shri Shah said that Modi government has built museums worth over Rs. 180 crores across the country to preserve the contribution of tribal leaders in India’s freedom struggle.
Shri Shah called the tribals as the protectors of forests, which in turn are the lungs of the nation. The tribals are still attached to nature as well as maintain their centuries-old culture. Such a coexistence of nature with human culture is best exemplified by the tribal society. Tribals might not have the modern life of luxury and comfort, yet they have the gift of happiness that comes from staying in the lap of nature with harmony, he said. Shri Shah noted that in today’s times of climate change, when the whole world is seeing ill effects of global warming, it is the tribals who are a live example for the whole world of how humans can sustainability coexist with nature.
Talking about the schemes of Government of India that are benefiting tribal population, Shri Shah said that Narendra Modi government has given every household gas, electricity, free healthcare till Rs. 5 lakhs and houses with toilets, among others, which are the basic needs of the people. Talking about specific schemes about tribal development, he said that Modi government initiated the concept of the District Mineral Fund, under which proceeds of over Rs. 32000 crores, besides budgetary allocations, have been employed in the last 5 years for development of tribal areas, villages and people. Further, an audio-visual digital library consisting of over 10,000 tribal cultural events has been developed by this government to preserve and protect the tribal culture and traditions for future generations, he said.
Talking about the government’s push to increase penetration of education in tribal areas, Shri Shah talked about how Modi government has initiated the ‘Eklavya’ model and increased the funds of Tribal Research institutes across the country. He said that by the 75th year of India’s independence, 2022, each block would have a tribal school on Eklavya model. 465 schools have already been constructed, he added.
Observing how the earlier governments have neglected the development of the under privileged sections of the society and how privileged classes have cornered benefits of development, Home Minister said that tribals and dalits have never been the priority of any government earlier, but Modi government is a firm believer that the poor and underprivileged sections have the first right over the resources of the country before anyone else. This government truly believes in Prime Minister Modi’s vision of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’, he said.
Concluding his speech, Shri Shah assured the tribal people across the country that Narendra Modi government is standing like a rock behind the adivasis and would leave no stone unturned in the path of their development.