Assam to have 400 ‘Van Dhan Vikas Kendras’ soon

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Van Dhan National Award 2021-22 to TRISSAM ** Seven more Ekalavya Vidyalayas to come up in stateH

HT Bureau

Guwahati, Sept 12: Four hundred ‘Van Dhan Vikas Kendras’ will be set up in Assam to focus on livelihood creation for the tribal population in Assam.
This was disclosed by chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Sunday.
A typical ‘Van Dhan Vikas Kendra’ includes 20 tribal members and 15 such ‘Van Dhan Vikas Kendras’ form one ‘Van Dhan Vikas Kendra’ cluster.
‘Van Dhan Vikas Kendra’ clusters provide economies of scale, livelihood and market linkages, as well as entrepreneurship opportunities to the kendras.
After a meeting with Union Tribal Affairs minister Arjun Munda here, Sarma tweeted “Glad that @VanDhanSeVikas will set up 400 Van Dhan Vikas Kendras to promote tribal art & craft, providing livelihood impetus to our tribal population.”
The chief minister further said the Central government has also decided to set up seven more Ekalavya Vidyalayas as well as five Tribal Food Parks, TRIFOOD, in the state.
Talking to reporters after the meeting, Munda said his two-day visit, which began Sunday, is intended to review the progress of the tribal areas and the schemes implemented for the development of the tribal population of the state and the North East region, an official statement said.
The chief minister had met a TRIFED team in New Delhi in August to chalk out plans for expanding tribal development in the state and defining the steps for the way forward. These plans were also discussed during this meeting.
“There should be a development programme through which the entire Northeast region can progress. It has to be in a way that the entire region can be presented as a development model. The gateway to Northeast is Assam and this is a very important state,” Munda said.
He further said his ministry is trying to add value to the existing traditional system and lifestyle of the tribal people and taking the artisans and their work to the national and global levels.
“Van Dhan can be a game changer for promoting Tribal Livelihoods and enterprises in Assam while Ekalavya Vidyalayas will impart uniform and high quality education to tribal children. We are also trying to ensure that the children receive quality education and participate in the competitive exams. We want more and more candidates from the tribal areas to appear for the national level exams. The Ekalavya Model is in discussion as of now and we will further discuss these with the Centre,” said Munda.
The Tribal Affairs Ministry has awarded the Van Dhan National Award 2021-22 to TRISSAM of Assam in the category of Collaborative Initiative for co-branding in Van Dhan Yojana, which was formally presented by the Union minister to the chief minister at the meeting.
Assam has a substantial tribal population, with 33,08,570 forest dwellers who constitute 12.4 per cent of the total population, the statement added.
P&RD minister Ranjeet Kumar Dass, Agriculture minister Atul Bora, Handloom & Textiles minister UG Brahma, Environment & Forest minister Parimal Suklabaidya and Education minister Dr Ranoj Pegu, principal secretary to CM Samir Kumar Sinha and other senior officials of the Central and state government were present in the meeting.

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