The government is taking steps to enhance the production and marketing of forest produce of tribal communities and engaging with e-commerce players like Amazon and Flipkart to push their sales, Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said on Wednesday.
Mr. Pradhan also said that the tribal community will be the major beneficiary of the emphasis of the National Education Policy on the use of mother tongue or local language as the medium.
Briefing the media about the steps being taken by the government for the welfare of tribals, the minister said that financial allocations under centrally sponsored schemes have been increased significantly.
It was increased to ₹91,000 crore in 2022-23 from ₹19,437 crore in 2014-15, Mr. Pradhan said, adding funds are being pumped to open Eklavya Vidyalaya in the country to strengthen education ecosystem for them.
Mr. Pradhan added that about 10 lakh tribal beneficiaries are connected with Van Dhan Vikas Kendras through 55,000 self-help groups.
The objective of these centres is to ensure the availability of primary processing and value addition for forest produce, to provide employment for tribals and increase their income.
The government is taking steps "to increase production of their produce, improve packaging, branding, marketing," Mr. Pradhan said, adding, "we are using platforms like Amazon and Flipkart also for tribal products".
Further, Mr. Pradhan said that a National Tribal Research Institute (NTRI) was set up. Besides, all the basic facilities are being provided in villages having over 50% tribal population.
Tribal population will also be benefitted from the promotion of millets under the International Year of Millets 2023, Mr. Pradhan added.
"The government is committed for the overall empowerment of the tribals of India," the minister said.
Tribal community accounts for about 9% of the country's total population.