Govt plans Rs 622 cr to uplift primitive tribal groups

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government has prepared a Rs 662 crore plan to bring 13 primitive tribal groups (PTGs) on the verge of extinction in 12 districts in the state to the mainstream.

The five main components of the plan include beneficiary capacity building and empowerment, livelihood enhancement, community infrastructure, strengthening pristine culture and tradition, official sources said today.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has cleared the proposal mooted by the ST and SC Development department, the sources said.

"The members of PTGs immediately require raise in family income through improved productivity of land, income generating activities, wage earning, food and nutrition security," Program Director, Odisha Tribal Empowerment and Livelihood Programme Susanta Nanda, said.

The plan would be implemented over eight years with the initial phase to take over three years which could be extended by another five years, the sources said.

The primitive tribal groups living in the state were Birhor, Bando Paraja, Didayi, Dongaria Kandh, Juang, Kharia, Kutia Khandh, Lanjia Soura, Lodha, Mankidia, Paudi Bhuyan, Soura and Chuktia Bhunjia.

The primitive tribal groups comprised only 82,417 heads in 19373 households, spread over 20 blocks in 12 districts, according to the 2001 census.

The plan also included connectivity, supply of drinking water, health and sanitation, better housing facilities and raising the level of literacy, the sources added.