February 5, 2015 05:41 IST
Pointing out that several tribal practices and languages in the country were facing the threat of extinction, Union Minister for Tribal Affairs Jual Oram said the Centre will launch a scheme aimed at protecting tribal culture after the conclusion of the Budget session of Parliament.
Mr. Oram, who attended the 5th International Conference and Gathering of Elders at Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Ashram here on Wednesday, said there were 598 scheduled tribes in India, who spoke 432 languages and dialects, many of which did not have a script. “Unless efforts are made to conserve and protect them, they will become extinct soon,” Mr. Oram said.
Languages and practices
Speaking to reporters, Mr. Oram said the government had planned to protect languages as well as tribal practices as part of a scheme they were launching to protect the rich tribal culture of the country. There are several songs and dance programmes of the tribal people, which had not been documented. The proposed scheme will ensure that these practices are documented, he said.
Mr. Oram said the Centre will also launch a scheme to promote sports among the tribal people.
As the tribal youth excelled in sports, Mr. Oram said the government will provide necessary financial support for creating sports infrastructure for archery, kabaddi, football and hockey.21 outlets
He said the Tribal Co-operative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED), which helps in marketing tribal products, now had 21 outlets across the country. TRIFED, which made a turnover of Rs. 18 crore last year, also provides employment to 300 tribals, he said.
He said the government, which recently decided to fix minimum support price (MSP) for minor forest produce (MFP) that ensures that nobody purchases the products for less that the fixed MSP, has also integrated the information on MFP into the Kisan Call Centre.
“Anybody can obtain information about various MFPs in different places by calling the call centre,” he added.
Responding to a question on tribals being driven out of forestland, Mr. Oram said the Forest Regulation Act ensures the tribal people their right to livelihood if they are practicing the same occupation for 25 years. “Such people will be provided with ‘patta’. During my next visit to Karnataka, I will review how many people have been issued such pattas and how many are pending”, he said.
(Source The Hindu)