New Delhi: The Vice President of India Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu delivered the “First Foundation Day Lecture of the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST)” here today. The theme of the Foundation Day lecture was “Constitution and Tribes”. NCST was set up on 19th February, 2004 through Constitution (89th Amendment) Act. The Commission in its 109th meeting held on 31st December, 2018 decided to celebrate the day in a befitting manner. Union Minister for Tribal Affairs Shri Jual Oram, Chairman of NCST Shri Nand Kumar Sai, Vice Chairman of NCST Smt. Anusiya Uike and Secretary, NCST Shri A.K. Singh and other dignitaries were present.
While delivering the Foundation Day lecture, the Vice President asked that we shall first have to give up this hubris of considering tribes backward. Every tribe has a rich and living cultural tradition and we must respect them. He said it not only social courtesy to respect their cultural traditions but it is also our Constitutional obligation. He said as we are looking for ways of sustainable development, these groups can teach us lessons in sustainable development.
He said that every tribal community world over, worships nature in it’s different forms. Their methods of worship may be different, but their belief in the Nature remains one and firm. There can’t be a better example of Unity in Diversity.
Shri Naidu cautioned that in the name of protecting their cultural identity, we must not isolate them from the national mainstream. Their youth should have voice and opportunity to express their aspirations and expectations. Only then our commitment for ‘Sabka , Sabka Vikas’ will be fulfilled. In this context, the Vice President also referred to several steps taken by the Government for the financial inclusion like Jan Dhan, MUDRA, Stand up India.
He also suggested that the Governor’s Reports on Tribal areas should be placed before the Parliament and appropriate Parliamentary Committee should examine them.
Remembering former Prime Minister Shri Atal Behari Vajpayee, the Vice President recalled that it was Atal ji who established a separate Ministry for Tribal Affairs and formed a separate National Commission for Scheduled Tribes, to address their issues effectively and expeditiously. He said Atal ji not only started Connectivity Revolution in the country but he also had the courage behind Operation Shakti at Pokhran.
On this occasion, the Vice President presented the “NCST Leadership Awards” which were conferred for significant and exemplary services towards Scheduled Tribes in the country. The awards will be presented in the form of a citation, a medal along with an “Uttriya” and were given in 3 categories i.e. (i) Educational Institutions/ Universities, (ii) Public Sector Undertakings/Banks and (iii) Public Service rendered by an Individual, NGO or Civil Society. This year, the first award were conferred on the followings:
Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences, Bhubaneswar: In recognition of their significant contribution towards education of tribal children in Odisha and neighbouring states from kindergarten to post graduate level.
Central Coalfields Ltd., Ranchi: In recognition of their significant contribution in the field of sport promotion among Scheduled Tribe children in Jharkhand.
Dr. Pronob Kumar Sircar, Tribal Welfare Officer in Andaman Adim Janjati Vikas Samiti (AAJVS): In recognition of his significant contribution towards Particularly Vulnerable Tribes Groups i.e. Oonges, Shompens, Andamanese and Jarwas in Andaman and Nicobar Islands
Shri Jual Oram in his address praised the efforts of Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee for his efforts in creating the M/o Tribal Affairs with a Cabinet Minister of the newly created Ministry in 1999 and the Constitution of NCST in 2004. He said that the present government is also giving priority for starting different projects in tribal areas across the country.
Shri Nand Kumar Sai in his address dwelt upon the various programme and activities of NCST for the welfare and betterment of persons of Scheduled Tribes. Shri Anusuiya Uike presented vote of thanks.
As the nation commemorates “150 years of the Mahatma Gandhi”, NCST is celebrating fifteen years of its constitution. On this occasion, the Commission brought out a book titled “Janjatiya Swadhinta Sangram” in Hindi. The book, which was released by the Vice President, brings out the little unknown facets of the freedom struggle of tribal people in the country. The book highlights the contribution of tribal uprising against british regime during freedom struggle. It includes articles on Shaheed Veer Buddhu Bhagat, Bhagwan Birsa Munda, Tilka Manjhi, Sidhu Kanhu, Bhumkal Gundadhur, Krantiveer Surendra Sai, Kunwar Raghunath Shah, Vidrohi Tantya Bheel, Amar Shaheed Veer Narayan Singh, Param Balidani Govind Guru and Janjati Veerangana Maharani Durgawati. It is an effort of the Commission to bring out the invaluable contribution and valour of tribal leadership in the freedom struggle of India.
As it is tradition to have a cultural programme in any tribal function, the Foundation Day celebration also showcased the rich tribal cultural heritage in the form of ‘Maweshi Bhil Dance from Gujarat and Rajasthan’. At the same time, a visual exhibition on the Particular Vulnerable Tribal Groups of India was presented by Anthropological Survey of India on the sidelines of Foundation Day Celebration.