By Express News Service

BHOPAL: A week after Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched a series of tribal centric initiatives at the start of Janjatiya Gaurav Diwas (Tribal Pride Day) in Bhopal on November 15, the Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan travelled to tribal-dominated Mandla district of the state on Monday, November 22, for the completion of Janjatiya Gaurav Saptah week celebrations.

The week-long celebrations are being seen as a conscious effort by the BJP government in the state to reach out to tribals, who form around 22% of the state’s population and are politically crucial on 100 plus assembly seats, including 84 scheduled tribes reserved seats.

Attending the closing ceremony of Janjatiya Gourav Saptah at Ramnagar Mandla, he also dedicated and performed bhoomi-poojan of development works worth over Rs 600 crore.

He announced that tribals would be given the right to manage community forest, they would plant a forest and they would have the right over its wood and fruits. Under the Mukhyamantri Awasiya Bhu-Adhikar Yojna, residential land rights letters will be provided to them.

Chouhan also informed that the government is formulating a new excise policy, in which the tribal community will be able to make liquor traditionally from Mahua. The right to sell this heritage liquor will also be given to the tribals.

The CM further said that minor and false cases filed against tribals would be withdrawn. Sand will be provided free of cost to the tribal community for making houses under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana. “It is being considered to give the right to sell tendu leaves to the tribes from next year. This work will be done through forest committees.”

He also said that the loans given by private moneylenders by August 20, 2020, to the tribal community at higher interest rates would end. Four rural engineers will be appointed in every village, who will be from the tribal society. Tribal youths will be provided training for the recruitment in police and army. Water will be supplied to every household through taps.

“Water will be supplied through pipeline to 446 villages of Mandla district under Halon group water supply scheme worth Rs 613.30 crore. Water will be supplied to 182 villages through Narayanganj Bijadondi Group Water Supply Scheme. The Computer Skill Centre-cum-Library at Mandla will be named Raja Shankar Shah, Raghunath Shah Library. Women’s Polytechnic College Mandla will be named as Rani Phool Kunwar Polytechnic College. In Mandla district, one lakh bamboo saplings will be provided to the tribals to increase their income.”

He also announced the opening of a medical college in Mandla district, which would be named Raja Hriday Shah Medical College.

Host of facilities to be renamed after tribal hero Tantya Bheel

Chouhan announced that the Primary Health Centre, Manpur in Indore will be named as Tantya Bhil Health Centre. The Tantya Bhil temple located at Patalpani (Indore) will be renovated. The Patalpani Railway Station will be renamed as Tantya Bhil Railway Station, Bhanwarkuan road crossing in Indore would be named as Tantya Bhil Chauraha. Similarly, MR-10 Bus Stand, also in Indore will be named as Tantya Bhil Bus Stand.

As part of the saffron party’s tribal outreach efforts only, the Habibganj railway station (country’s first world-class railway station) in Bhopal was renamed after Bhopal’s last tribal queen Rani Kamlapati recently.

The CM also digitally launched Baiga Yojana from the platform. Under the scheme, door-to-door surveys of all the people of the most backward tribal Baiga community will be done and they will be given the benefit of all the related schemes of the government. He also released the book “Main Baiga Hoon” published on Baiga culture.

The CM also laid the foundation of the statues of tribal immortal martyrs Raja Shankar Shah and Raghunath Shah at Qila Ward Mandla on the concluding day of Janjatiya Gourav Saptah. He remembered and paid obeisance to Raja Shankar Shah and Raghunath Shah. The work of building the statue will be done at a cost of Rs 50 lakh.