Those in the Scheduled Tribes category could be brought to the mainstream only through educational uplift, Minister for Scheduled Tribes and Youth Affairs P.K. Jayalakshmi has said. Inaugurating the All-Kerala Mannan Sabha at Kovilmala near here on Tuesday, the Minister said that lack of educational facilities for tribal children had created economic backwardness and the government is keen on providing them higher education. They should be brought to the mainstream without harming the cultural inheritance of different tribal communities. Each category of Scheduled Tribes has its own unique cultural and social inheritance, she said. The government focuses to implement development projects in the tribal settlement areas without harming the cultural life of the people. The development scheme could help in building a harmonious society and the rich cultural heritage should be protected, she said.
The customs followed by each tribal community are different though there is a link between them in the broader perspective. The trust formed by the Mannan community could be emulated by other Scheduled Tribe categories too.
The Minister said that the tribal communities in the district faced various problems including lack of infrastructure facilities. She could personally see the problems being faced by the tribal people in Munnar and Vattavada. She said she would make sure basic facilities were available in these areas.
P.T. Thomas, M P, delivered the keynote address and Kovilmala tribal king Raman Rajamannan welcomed the Minister. Earlier, inaugurating the development seminar of the Kanchiyar grama panchayat, the Minister said that local bodies should focus on building infrastructure. The local bodies have been given the power to spend 40 per cent of the local fund for infrastructure building with the aim to create basic facilities at the village level. This will eliminate the main impediment of shortage of funds for basic infrastructure building, she said. While implementing the development projects, local bodies should ensure the benefits reach the grassroots level.