Chief Minister K. Rosaiah has said that the State Government is making all-out efforts for improving the standards of tribals' living who remain to be cut from the mainstream of society. He was speaking after inaugurating the College of Excellence (AP Tribal Welfare Gurukula Pratibha Junior College), set up at a cost of Rs.6.70 crores at Marikavalasa near here on Tuesday.

The Chief Minister listed the measures being undertaken by the government to provide equal opportunities to tribals so that they could have a fair share in the fruits of development. He reiterated that tribals were second to none when given equal opportunities.

Mr. Rosaiah said that three Colleges of Excellence -- one each in Visakhapatnam, Warangal and Sri Kalahasti -- and three Schools of Excellence -- one each in Parvathipuram, Bhadrachalam and Srisailam -- were set up for providing quality education to tribal students from Class 8{+t}{+h} to Intermediate. Special coaching was also being given to tribal students appearing for competitive examinations like IIT, AIEEE and EAMCET.

Expressing concern at the high dropout rate among girls, he said that a total of 102 Kasturi Ba Schools were started in the State to reverse the trend. He said that Girijan Cooperative Societies were formed to prevent their exploitation by middlemen who were buying their forest products at cheap rates and selling them at high rate in cities and towns. He recalled that AP was the first to start Integrated Tribal Development Agencies (ITDAs).

Obviously referring to Maoists, Mr. Rosaiah said it was unfortunate that some disruptive forces were creating hurdles in the path of development by foiling the measures of the State government to provide road connectivity and to develop communication facilities in the remote and hilly areas. He appealed to the tribals for their cooperation in this regard.

Appealing to doctors to stay in tribal areas, he said that special allowances and priority in PG admissions would be given to those who work in tribal areas.

Boon to tribals

Minister for Tribal Welfare P. Balaraju said that the Forest Rights Act was a boon to 55 lakh trials in the State. He recalled that the former Chief Minister, Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, and educationist Chukka Ramaiah were instrumental in setting up the Schools of Excellence.

Keywords: Tribal welfare

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