It was the turn of minister of state for tribal development rajendra gavit to address the weekly janta darbaar of the congress party in Mumbai. However, does it make any sense that the minister attempted to hear and address issues of the tribal community sitting in a posh AC office in South Mumbai? After all, who would expect one of the poorest communities of the state to come to Mumbai with their woes? Logically, no one would but looks like the congress did.
50% of the 36.15 lakh families living below poverty line in the state hail from tribal communities. The tribal communities form 9% of the state population and the budgetary allocation on the schemes meant for them is expected to be 9% of the state budget. However, so far the state has not allocated more than 3% of the total budget for them. And even this 3% has not been utilized for the welfare of the tribal completely in the last 10 years. A more serious allegation is that the money meant for the community does not reach the actual beneficiaries. The corruption level, according to the activists working for the welfare of the tribals, is highest among the departments dealing with the tribal schemes. This means that the challenge before the state tribal welfare department is a huge one. It’s also the reason why the congress party’s weekly janta darbaar was an important one because it was the turn of state minister for tribal welfare, rajendra gavit to address the woes of tribal people at the janta darbaar. However, the attempt of the congress on this one was a miserable failure. To begin with the janta darbaar received a very poor response. There were only 30 applications concerning the issues of the tribal communities that were handed over to the minister that too not by tribal people. After the futile attempt of holding a janta darbaar for the tribal people, NMTV dy. Editor Sana Warsia caught up with the minister of state for tribal development. In our exclusive interview with rajendra gavit we brought up all the issues that pose a challenge to the state tribal welfare dept. It was rather unfortunate that rajendra gavit had no choice but to agree that the state has failed to reach out to tribals in the state and do justice for their development and welfare.
Right from prime minister Dr. Manmohan Singh to upa chairperson Sonia Gandhi and even top leaders of the democratic front government, all agree that the only way to deal with the naxalites and maosists issue in the nation is ensuring that the tribal communities become a part of the progress and development the nation is boasting about. However, mahasrashtra state has failed to ensure progress and development reaches out the tribal communities. Rajendra gavit accepted that many youth tribals chose the wrong path due to lack of support from the state and society. Ask him what’s the solution and rajendra gavit says that when they enhance progress plans of the irrigation and education sectors, will it benefit the adivasis.
The tribal communities are the oldest communities of our nation. The knowledge that the tribes possess about mangroves, natural resources, ayurveda and herbs is something that one might not even find in books. They are the living legacies of the rich heritage of the nation. Yet, their rights are violated and they way in which, their land is being reclaimed, their very existence is under danger today. Rajendra gavit says that the state is framing laws so that this heritage of our country is preserved.
To say the congress had organized the janta darbaar for the tribal community this week but it was meaningless to sit in a posh air conditioned office in south Mumbai to do so. Perhaps had the minister bothered to take the janta darbaar amidst tribal communities and spoken to real tribal people, heard their issues and attempted to address them, it would have made some sense. With cameraperson raju sharma, Sana Warsia for NMTV News.