NEW DELHI: Union Tribal Affairs Minister Jual Oram today said that due to Maoist threat, he could not visit till now some tribal blocks, where the Centre's Van Bandhu Kalyan Yojana was launched in 2014.
"I honestly admit that I could not visit all the 10 blocks because of left-wing extremism. I was advised not to go to these region due to security reasons," Oram said, inaugurating a conference of state tribal welfare ministers, principal secretaries and secretaries here.
The Van Bandhu Kalyan Yojana was launched on pilot basis in one block each of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Gujarat in 2014. The central government gives Rs10 crore to each block for tribal development.
Oram said he wasn't satisfied with the performance of his ministry and that it should have done "much better" work. The government is planning to rope in MPs and MLAs for proper implementation of tribal schemes and projects, he added.
"The government initiated specific interventions in the form of Eklavya Model Residential Schools, Ashram Schools. Besides provision of hostels for ST boys and girls across the country have contributed in raising the level of education among them...yet needs improvement to cope up with the modern needs of the market," the minister said.
"The dropout (rate) among ST students has been the matter of concern for us and needs to be dealt with persuasive efforts. Dearth of teachers in these schools especially in the streams of Science, Math and English needs due attention," he said.
Oram said his Ministry flagged the mapping of sickle cell anemia among tribals and workshops were organised in this regard in several states. He said that in remote and left-wing affected areas where the outreach of government agencies is limited, it is desirable to join hands with NGOs.
"ST farmers should be trained in allied occupations such as dairy, horticulture, floricultur e, fisheries, poultry with backward and forward linkages to increase their sustainable income," he said. Oram said Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the First National Tribal Carnival, to be held in Delhi from April 29 till May 02. It will showcase and promote various facets of tribal culture on a large scale, he said.