The Centre has decided to launch Governance and Accelerated Livelihood Security (GOALS) in four Maoist- affected districts of Odisha for empowerment of tribals.
The project, to be implemented by the Union Rural Development Ministry in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), will be started in Malkangiri, Koraput, Nuapada and Kalahandi districts.
This was stated by Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh in a letter to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday. GOALS is a new initiative to be launched by the Centre in 12 districts of three Naxalite-affected states __ Odisha, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand. “I believe this is an important initiative which will facilitate improved access to services and entitlement and ensure sustainable and commercially viable enterprises, particularly for the women and youths of these backward areas,” Ramesh said. The five-year project will have a budget of `70 crore. Ramesh said under the new scheme, 100 collective agriculture and forest-based enterprises owned and operated by women and tribal youths will be established. Besides, access will be extended to one lakh tribal households to financial products and services for one lakh households in the three States under the scheme, he said.
Ramesh said technical training will be provided to 30,000 tribal youths in market- related skills and durable assets will be created through Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Programme (MGNREGP) in 200 gram panchayats.
Stating that an analysis of skill gaps and demand will be undertaken in six of these districts soon, Ramesh said steps will be taken to raise awareness on entitlements and grievance redressal machanism among two million people in the three States. The scheme includes market feasibility studies and sub-sector analysis of non-timber forest products (NTFPs) and agri-based livelihood. “I look forward to your suggestions and support in successful implementation of the project,” Ramesh wrote to Naveen.