(On the occasion of announcing the Vanbandhu Kalyan Yojna Package in the Gujarat Legislative Assembly. February 27, 2007) Gujarat would complete five decades of journey of development in 2010. During this period, many parties came to the rule, and several plans were made.
And yet, much more is still to be done in terms of holistic development.
It is pointless to discuss how many plans were executed. Instead, there is an urgent need to achieve the goal of fulfilling Mahatma Gandhi’s dream and let the development reach the lowest of the low level of the society.
There are many classes in the society that need more attention and we ought to elevate them to the same level as that of the mainstream – developed section of the society.
The government aims at focusing on such classes and people.
In the eastern part – from Umargam to Ambaji, there are 43 sub-districts of schedule tribes.
The population of schedule tribe in state is approximately 75 lakhs, which is 15% of the total population.
The tribal section of the society has been the protector of our culture for centuries, the martyr in the Independence Movement, and the most hardworking section especially when it comes to the progress of the state.
This section has become aware about its involvement in the development.
They have learnt a lot from the experiences of the past sixty years.5
We have been witnessing the consequences of the plans and the promises since the last 60 years.
And we have to confess that following the Constitution in order to uplift the schedule tribe section is not enough.
We accept this inevitable truth, and aim to fulfil the dream of making the schedule tribe section participate actively in the journey of development.
We also wish that they get their right of development and achieve bright results.
There is a need to have an innovative functional method for the empowerment of the 15% tribal population, for the growth of their abilities so that they can take optimum advantage of the opportunities offered to them.
The present government’s result-oriented accomplishments and the qualitative improvement in the educational and economic progress programs is well-known to all. The development plan for the tribals started with, Adijati Peta Yojana, in 1974.
Since then till 2001 – which means during the period of 27 years, only ` 6500 crores have been spent.
On the other hand, the present government spent approximately ` 6000 crores only in five years – from 2002 to 2007.
This stark contrast is quite in plain sight. Apart from that, through the medium of, ‘Gujarat Pattern,’ Gujarat has achieved a noticeable success in the implementation of the Adijati Kalayaan model. Gujarat has always been the foremost in the country in giving the land on lease to the tribal farmers.
Moreover, the State Government is waiting for the Central Government’s approval of the proposal to provide 2236 hectares of land for the rest of the 3344 families.
It is certainly a matter of pride and satisfaction for the State Government. However, we are aiming even higher and want to work harder for the prosperity of the Adijati.
The State Government clearly believes that the development is inclusive of all sections of the society. It fosters all, and must spread across the nation.
In order to fulfill this approach, we aim to form a five-year plan for the holistic development of the tribals wherein we are planning to utilize the tribal package of ` 15000.
This package is going to be an historical event because Van Bandhu Kalyan Yojna:
Not Empty Promises but a Functional… 61 62 Social Harmony it would be more than the total expense made in the period of 32 years since 1974.
I am extremely proud to announce that “Van Bandhu Kalyan Yojna,” will make the dream of development true.
The Vision for the Tribals We have a definite vision for taking forward this “Van Bandhu Kalyan Yojna,” worth ` 15000 crores.
This includes the objectives such as doubling the income of all the tribal families, connecting them with the mainstream scheduled tribes, educating all the deserving tribal children, emphasizing the quality of education in line with the modern techniques, providing them with their own houses, facilities for a healthy life including pure water through pipelines, giving them water for farming and providing them guidance about modern farming methods by, ‘Vadi Yojna’ to increase the agricultural production.
Apart from that, we also aim to provide them with the infrastructural facilities such as roads, bus stops, and energy network.
We plan to work for the progress of the towns in the tribal areas so that they can be the role models for other nearby villages.
The government understands that this is a mammoth task and therefore I announce the ten objectives of the Chief Minister under the, ‘Van Bandhu Kalyan Package’. (1) Starting daily wages oriented program for five lakh families to increase the agricultural production, in addition to increasing animal husbandry, daily business and agricultural activities; giving quality training to tribal youngsters and enrolling them in new programs to improve their modern scientific knowledge and technical expertise; giving priority to families in, “Adivasi Kalyan Yojna,” where a woman is the only earning member of the family.
(2) Emphasizing the quality of education and higher education in tribal areas; starting middle school for science stream in tribal districts, giving admissions to 1000 selected tribal students in the best boarding schools and planning for their good education so that a talent pool for tribal students can be created; starting a boarding school like Navoday or Eklavya in tribal districts and providing quality equivalent to city schools; Establishing more than 100 hostels for engineering, nursing, ITI, polytechnics and other colleges in the tribal areas; starting traditional arts, science and commerce colleges in the rural areas.
(3) Speeding up financial progress in tribal areas by providing proper markets to tribal products, supporting traditional skills and identifying the use of area and traditional activities; making a cluster and have the approach of combined financial progress; giving one crore rupees annually to every sub-district; developing infrastructural facilities and enlisting people in activities that they are interested in; improving the quality of traditional tools and ensuring that a better yield is obtained from raw materials.
(4) Ensuring that tribal women and infants get the benefit of “Chiranjivi Yojna”; providing nutrition to pregnant women and children under the age of six; special health check-ups for tribal families; financial assistance for heart surgeries of tribal living below the poverty line; creating awareness about the treatment of diseases such as sickle cell anaemia and leptospirosis.
(5) Planning to provide houses to all tribal families during the next five-year plan.
(6) Providing clean and pure drinking water to all tribal families in the next five-year plan and providing drinking water through pipelines to at least 25 per cent tribal families.
(7) Emphasizing “Juth Yojna”; constructing check dams and watersheds; providing technical assistance and loans for drip irrigation facilities.
(8) Improving the quality of roads in rural areas; renovating the existing roads; connecting every area with a population of less than 250 to the roads.
(9) Free electrification of tribal families below poverty line; electrification of all sub-areas and promoting alternative energy sources such as solar energy.
(10) Financial and cultural development of 13 cities having large tribal populations; providing broadband connectivity to the main centres of sub-districts in the coming five years.
Van Bandhu Kalyan Yojna: Not Empty Promises but a Functional… 63 64 Social Harmony These changes for the development of tribes will be carried out as top priority under the Chief Minister’s Program.
The use of professional expertise and impartial independent monitoring will enable the scheme to be successful at district levels.
The development of tribal villages will be executed more effectively with the help of experts in local partnership.
Gujarat is becoming the trendsetter for tribal prosperity and setting an agenda for the entire nation.
Gujarat has taken the lead for enabling the tribal people to participate in the journey of progress.
It is our joint responsibility that the Chief Minister’s 10-point program for the, Van Bandhu Kalyan Yojna, should be the agenda of five crores Gujaratis rather than of the Chief Minister only.