‘No improvement in lot of tribal people'

Tribal people in India, even after more than six decades of Independence, still occupied a marginalised and backward space in society. Their contributions and sufferings were not duly recognised by the mainstream due to their voiceless nature in particular, said Raj Kumar Sen, former president of the Indian Economic Association (IEA) here on Saturday.

Prof. Sen was speaking at a national seminar on ‘Challenges of Tribal Development in the Era of post – globalisation' being organised by the IEA, COATS and District Administration of Koraput.

There had been some convergence with the passage of time and rapid progress of communication and technology, the government too had adopted both constitutional and administrative steps from time to time. However all the negative symptoms related to the tribal development had accentuated substantially since the inception of globalisation in India officially since 1991 and had accelerated with the inclusion of India in the WTO in 1995. It was also clear from the experiences during the last two decades that globalisation had strong and distinct likes and dislikes and such characteristics had worked against the tribal people further. The situation had worsened still further due to the truncated nature of the current globalisation, where labour was not globalised and India had her comparative advantage in the sphere of unskilled labour, he added.

According to Prof. Sen, in the changed world situation after the global meltdown, a radical shift in the prevailing philosophy that ‘the government had no business in business' was observed and the market leaders were approaching the government for their survival. The State must come forward to give the globalisation its urgently required human face by giving relief to the adversely affected sections such as tribal people in the post-globalisation era. This was definitely a challenge to the ‘neo-liberal development paradigm and opportunity for the Indian people to correct the course of action before it was too late, he said.

Highlighting the rise in the growth rate of the Indian economy in the post-globalisation era, Sudhakar Panda, member, Farmers' Commission, said that this growth had no relation to the improvement of the poverty situation in the country. The government had been satisfied by making people happy by offering schemes such as supply of essential commodities like rice at a subsidised price even though they were known to be short-term measures. Among others Dilip Kumar , Jt. Secretary(North) ,IEA , Jhina Hikaka , MLA , Poonam Guha ,Sub-Collector ,Koraput and P.C.Mahapatra , director , COATS spoke . Scholars and researchers from Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Nagaland and Orissa attended the two-day-long programme.

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