Education is the panacea for most challenges confronting the Scheduled Tribes, said speakers at a function, referring to the fact that welfare schemes by successive governments over six decades of Independence had failed to achieve the desired progress.

Those who addressed a packed audience at the Ravindra Bharathi here on Friday included Health Minister Kondru Murali Mohan, former DGP D.T. Naik and former IGP K. Jagannath Rao.

The function was organised by the Girijana Vidyarthi Samakhya (GVS) to mark the World Tribal Day.

Apart from underscoring the need for basic education, the Minister said political empowerment played a significant role in shaping their lives, in the face of stiff competition. He reminded them that their votes were vital in every election.

Mr. Naik said the need of the hour was unity and to work in unison to equip their children with the basic tools of education and provide them a firm footing to tackle life.

Also, a leadership base was needed and recalled the long-pending demand of tribal habitations (thaandas) being declared as individual panchayats. Once this was done, it would mean the beginning of political empowerment that would lead to social empowerment. Founder president of GVS V. Sankar Naik and others felicitated Mr. Murali Mohan and other dignitaries.

He regretted that Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy many other invitees were unable to attend, particularly the Tribal Welfare Minister P. Balaraju.

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