Strengthening Panchayati Raj Institutes And Atmanirbhar Tribal Farmers

The Union Minister of Tribal Affairs, Shri Arjun Mundalaunchedtwo Centers of Excellence for Tribal Welfare in a collaboration between Ministry of Tribal Affairs (MoTA) and Art of Living (AoL) through video conference here today.Gurudev Sri Sri Ravishankar, Art of Living graced the occasion. Minister of State for Tribal Affairs Smt. Renuka Singh Saruta, Secretary, MoTA Shri Deepak Khandekar and Js Shri Navaljit Kapoor were also present.

Addressing on the occasion, Shri Arjun Munda said that it is a very praiseworthy initiative of Art of Living (AoL) to launch two Centres of Excellence in partnership with MoTA– first CoE in the field of training tribal farmers in Aurangabad district of Maharashtra on sustainable natural farming based on Go-Adharith farming techniques; and second CoEin the field of ‘Strengthening PRIs’ in 5 districts covering 30 Gram Panchayats and 150 villages of Jharkhand. The Union government is fully committed to the welfare of tribal people of our country. Shri Munda said that a large amount of funds to the tune of more than Rs. 2 lakh crore is allocated exclusively for tribal development across the country.

Giving details, the Tribal Affairs Minister said that with the active participation of volunteers of Art of Living, the purpose of tribal welfare will be served. It will be a step towards fulfilling the Prime Minister’s dream of Aatmnirbhar Bharat. He hoped that this work will be accomplished very soon and more and more people and institutions will get involved with such move. The tribal people are completely devoted to protect the nature and save the environment, the Minister elaborated.

Shri Arjun Munda explained that strengthening of tribal Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs)will also help to educate them about their constitutional rights. He hoped that this will empower the PRIs in matters relating to decision making and development of their community.

Smt. Renuka Singh Saruta in her address said that the Ministry of Tribal Affairs is running many programs for the welfare of tribals. The Ministry is working in collaboration with many NGOs and social organizations who are also doing a commendable job in this field. Art of Living has a vast network of volunteers who will make this program successful.

Gurudev Sri SriRavishankar in his address opined that we have to learn a lot from tribal people as they are very responsible towards cleanliness and conservation of environment. He dwelt upon the experience of running AoL School in Ghatashila, Jharkhand where skill development has been incorporated in educational curriculum. AoL is running 750 schools all over India. He emphasized that Dental Hygiene and Mental Hygiene both are very necessary in our villages. He assured that the volunteers of AoL will wholeheartedly work to make these tribal welfare schemes successful.

Secretary, MoTA, Shri Deepak Khandekar appreciated the already ongoing efforts of AoL in tribal areas. MoTA and AoL partnership will further help to expand these welfare activities, he added.SmtYatinder Prasad, JS (FA) conveyed vote of thanks to dignitaries.

The first initiative ‘Strengthening PRIs’ will be launched in 5 districts covering 30 Gram Panchayats and 150 villages of Jharkhand, in creating awareness among elected representatives of PRI about various Tribal Acts and Rulesand different welfare schemes available for these tribals and help them getting access to these schemes. The model is designed to create the youth volunteers among the tribal youths by giving them personality development training, instilling the sense of social responsibility among them and thereby creating the tribal leaders who will work for their community in spreading this awareness.

The second is about training 10000 tribal farmers in Aurangabad District of Maharashtra on sustainable natural farming based on Go-Adharith farming techniques. Farmers will be helped in getting the Organic certification and the marketing opportunities will be made available to them to make each of them Atmanirbhar Tribal Farmers.