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Two ministries join hands to promote livelihood opportunities among tribal women SHGs

The collaboration between MoRD and MoTA is part of such collaborative mechanism, which will go a long way in socio-economic development of STs across the country and strengthen Schedule Tribe Component mechanism

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Two ministries of Government of India, Tribal Affairs (MoTA) and Rural Development (MoRD) signed a joint communication recently for leveraging each other’s strengths to propel the rural economy and jointly promote sustainable livelihood opportunities among tribal women self-help-groups (SHGs) under National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM). 

Features of joint communication
The Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana- National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM) implemented by the Ministry of Rural Development has built an extensive network of women-led self-help groups (SHGs) in India, including 8.9 lakh ST SHGs. The programme provides institutional supports, livelihood services, access to credit and market through its SHGs. Similarly, the Ministry of Tribal Affairs provides grants to the states based on prefixed criteria through a number of initiatives, Ministry of Tribal Affairs has said.

According to MoTA, since the initiatives of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs and objectives of DAY-NRLM deeply complement each other, the ministries have decided to come together to improve the economic opportunities available to tribal women. To take this convergence initiative forward, the series of activities will be carried out by both the ministries to synergise the efforts to fetch tangible results.

Activities by Ministry of Rural Development will include identification and mapping of tribal women SHG members and their individual livelihood assets; mapping of common tribal community assets; development of comprehensive proposal for the economic development of Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs) through the strengthening of their traditional livelihood and occupations; convergence of Gram Panchayat Development Plan (GPDPs) and Conservation-cum-Development (CCD) plan of OVTG habitations; assistance of SHGs to identify tribal households for enrolment under Van Dhan Yojana; and capacity building and credit access support to tribal communities through SHGs.

Activities by Ministry of Tribal Affairs will include: planning support to State Rural Livelihoods Mission (SRLM) to finalise the State Annual Action Plan and inclusion of the plan in its Livelihood Annual Action Plan; promotion of livelihood opportunities among women identified by SRLM through avenues such as mess management, outsourcing works of Eklavya Model Residential Schools (EMRS) schools like housekeeping, cleaning and other activities in the EMRSs and ashram schools; augmenting the creation of individual as well as common livelihood assets as per beneficiaries identified by SRLM; implementing proposals for PVTG in coordination with the SRLM; inclusion of tribal SHGs and PG with majority of members from tribal households in Van Dhan Yojana and providing marketing support to produces from SHGs and PGs through its marketing network.

Ministry of Tribal Affairs is the nodal ministry for the welfare of tribals.  At the same time, there are 37 other ministries, who have to spend assigned percentage of their budget as per mechanism designed by NITI Aayog, under Tribal sub-Plan or Schedule Tribe Component (STC) for welfare of tribals. The total Central budget under STC component during FY 2020-21 is Rs. 51,000 crore and MoTA is monitoring such expenditure, the ministry has said.

As per STC mechanism, MoRD is spending about Rs. 20000 crore on tribal welfare in three main schemes namely Pradhan Mantri AwasYojana (PMAY) which has STC component of Rs 4,700 crore, National Rural Livelihood Mission-STC Component of Rs 1,284 crore and rest of expenditure is under MNREGA, which is a demand based scheme. Both MoTA and MoRD have developed an IT system and has developed mechanism to share data amongst themselves.  On the basis of data of Anatodya Mission provided by MoRD, MoTA has done infrastructural gap analysis of 11.7 lakh villages with population more than 50 percent. The present collaboration between MoRD and MoTA is part of such collaborative mechanism, which will go a long way in socio-economic development of STs across the country and strengthen STC mechanism. There is vast scope of expanding such mechanism with other ministries like Agriculture, Health, Education, MSME and Food Processing to achieve real objective of STC mechanism, Ministry of Tribal Affairs has informed.

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