THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Amidst concerns about the deplorable condition of tribal communities, the Kerala government has said that it would carry out a 'socio-economic survey' among them this year.
The core objective of the survey, being carried out after a gap of 10 years, is to audit the impact of various schemes and projects implemented by the government for the welfare of the tribal communities.
Based on the survey inputs, the authorities would work out strategies and schemes to bring the backward group to the mainstream by filling the gaps in their development. The CPI(M)-led LDF government is drawing up the survey programme in the wake of reports that the benefits of various schemes are not reaching among the targeted groups.
The survey assumes significance in the wake of the lynching of a tribal youth in Attappady, one of the most backward tribal settlements in the state, recently for allegedly stealing food articles from a shop.
The incident had triggered widespread protest across the state and also brought the attention of the society towards the living condition of tribals even after successive governments working out various schemes for their welfare.
The announcement of the survey was made by the minister for SC/ST Welfare AK Balan in the recently concluded Assembly session as a written reply. He said the government was aiming a comprehensive development of the tribal communities without affecting their ethic culture and lifestyle.
The SC/ST Development Department has been implementing several welfare programmes in tribal hamlets in the sectors of education, health, housing, land, employment, skill development and so on based on the findings of a similar socio-economic survey in 2008, he said.
'Hamlet development programme', 'Additional tribal sub-plan', 'Ambedkar settlement development project' were some of the schemes initiated by the government.
"Steps are being taken to conduct a socio-economic survey this year to evaluate the development in tribal communities due to the interventions of the government," the minister said.
Balan also said even though the tribal community comes to around 1.45 per cent of the state's total population, 2.83 of the total plan outlay has been earmarked for their welfare.
According to the 2001 census, the Scheduled Tribe population in Kerala is around 3,64,189. While Wayanad has the highest number of tribals (1,36,062), Idukki (50,973) comes second and Palakkad (39,665) in the third position.