Bhubaneswar: Union Tribal Affairs Minister Shri Arjun Munda launched the “Programme for Capacity Building of Scheduled Tribe Representatives in Local Self Governments” at a programme in Bhubhaneswar (Odisha) today. He also launched “1000 Spring Initiatives” and an online portal on GIS-based Spring Atlas with hydrological and chemical properties of the Springs on the occasion. The Chief Minister of Odisha Shri Navin Patnaik and Smt. Renuka Singh Saruta, Minister of State for Tribal Affairs also graced the occasion.
A short documentary film on FRA in Odisha (Odisha’s Journey in FRA) and FRA Atlas of Odisha were also released. Inaugural session was followed by Technical Session, which comprised of Tribal Development Paradigms, Alienation of Tribal Land, Van Dhan Vikas Kendra and Innovation of Tribal Development.
Addressing on the occasion, Shri Arjun Munda said that ‘1000 Springs Initiative’ aims at improving access to safe and adequate water for the tribal communities living in difficult and inaccessible part of rural areas in the country. It is an integrated solution around natural springs. It includes provision of infrastructure for piped water supply for drinking; provision of water for irrigation; community-led total sanitation initiatives; and provision for water for backyard nutrition gardens, generating sustainable livelihood opportunities for the tribal people. He hoped that the learning and suggestions coming out of the consultation will be used for further expansion of the project.
He said that online portal on GIS-based Spring Atlas has been developed to make these data easily accessible from an online platform. Presently, data of more than 170 springs have been uploaded on the Spring Atlas.
Shri Munda said that the Capacity Building initiative is aimed at empowering tribal PRI representatives by enhancing their decision making capabilities at local government level. Among other issues concerning tribal development, it also focusses on constitutional and legal provisions that protect and promote the rights and welfare of the tribal population. The programme will ensure greater participation of ST PRIs representatives in planning, execution and monitoring of government policies and programmes. Their better participation in the development process would ensure better prioritization of the tribal development agenda.
Springs are natural sources of groundwater discharge and have been used extensively in the mountainous regions across the world, including India. However, in the central and eastern Indian belt with more than 75% tribal population, it remains largely unrecognized and under-utilized. The initiative will help in harnessing the potential of perennial springs’ water to address natural scarcity of water in tribal areas.
Under this initiative, more than 70 young tribal youths from the rural belt of three districts of Odisha namely, Kalahandi, Khandamal and Gajapati have been trained as barefoot hydro geologists by combining traditional and scientific knowledge for identification and mapping of springs, and undertaking rejuvenation and protection measures in their habitations.
A Capacity Building initiative is being launched for elected representatives to PRIs from among STs by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs. This initiative is aimed at empowering tribal PRI representatives by enhancing their decision making capabilities at local government level. The capacity building programme, among other issues concerning tribal development, will also focus on constitutional and legal provisions that protect and promote the rights and welfare of the tribal population. The programme will ensure greater participation of ST PRIs representatives in planning, execution and monitoring of government policies and programmes. Their better participation in the development process would ensure better prioritization of the tribal development agenda.
The capacity building of PRI representatives, who directly participate in the development initiatives at local government level, can be of great help in bridging the development gaps among communities and regions. This will help in effective and better implementation of various developmental and welfare programmes and substantially improve the expected outcomes.
As a precursor to launching this initiative, the Ministry held consultations with various stakeholders over the last few months. A workshop was organized on “Development of Module for Capacity Building of elected PRI Representatives belonging to Scheduled Tribes” on 23rd December last year in New Delhi. The workshop was attended by the representatives of State Tribal Research & Development Institutes, State Institutes of Rural Development, Administrative Training Institutes, Kerala Institute of Local Administration and National Institute of Public Cooperation & Child Development of the Ministry of Women & Child Development.
An interaction with various stake holders, including PRI representatives belonging to Scheduled Tribes, Civil Society Organizations, and officials from forest department was also held to arrive at a suitable framework for the capacity building programme.
The module for capacity building programme has been developed in conjunction with United Nations Development Programme for the purpose. This module will be translated to the local languages for imparting training. Facilitators from within the tribal communities will be involved in the Capacity Building process so that information sought to be conveyed can be better done in the local idiom. The methodology of capacity building will include audio-visual aids, role play and a workshop approach. The Capacity Building Programme will be implemented in a cascading mode for better coverage and faster implementation. The programme will commence with the Training of Master Trainers followed by training of facilitators. It will be implemented in a thematic manner by prioritizing themes for the capacity building of PRI Representatives, which are required for the community. The programme will be implemented by State governments through respective SIRD&PR and TRIs