Under the charismatic leadership of Shri Narendra Modi, Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, the Government of India declared that 15th of November, the birth anniversary of Bhagwan Birsa Munda, will be celebrated as Jan Jatiya Gaurav Divas every year. This decision was a historic moment for the entire nation as JanJatiya Gaurav Divas symbolises the glorious tribal legacy, heritage, culture, and achievements of India, fuelled by the spirit of Aatmanirbhar Bharat and strengthening India’s position in the global forum. “In this Amrit Kaal of Independence, the country has resolved that it would provide a more significant and majestic identity to the tribal legacy traditions of India and its heroism stories,” our Prime Minister has remarked.
India is home to about 25% of the world’s ethnic population, making it a country with a diversified and rich cultural heritage and a large number of youthful tribal people. They are actively utilising the opportunities that are opening for them in fields like education, sports; with their dedication and commitment, they are also winning the renowned Padma Awards, and international recognition. Though endowed with natural talent, the tribals had to struggle for a long time because of sheer neglect and apathy towards them. But now things have finally changed for good under the leadership of our dynamic Prime Minister.
It is pertinent to note that Smt. Droupadi Murmu, the nation’s first tribal president is a wonderful illustration of the enormous potential of the nation’s Scheduled Tribes, and her appointment to this distinguished position demonstrates our government’s commitment to the tribal people.
The issues facing tribal people are being dealt with one by one during the eight years of Sushasan (good governance) of this government in a multifaceted manner. This has demonstrated the true meaning of the motto “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas, and Sabka Prayas.”
India has seen a paradigm shift towards a government that has a people-centric approach. The Prime Minister’s call for “Reform, Perform, Transform” has served as the guiding principle for the last eight years of the Government. To ensure the last-mile distribution of benefits and improve development results across the nation, pro-people policies and initiatives have been put into place. The programmes have placed a priority on enhancing infrastructure, expanding healthcare facilities, safeguarding farmers’ welfare, and defending the vulnerable. Additionally, India has made significant progress in growth, that is driven by youth and technology.
Speaking from personal experience, when I think about our glorious motherland at hundred years of Independence, I realise that it is vital to fully develop the tribal society, raise the living standards of all tribal people, address their pressing institutional issues, and integrate them into the mainstream of the society by valuing their cultural heritage.
The most crucial strategy for development advocated by our Prime Minister is holistic education, a potent tool that enables any community, class, or country to advance positively, make necessary reforms, and realise a successful future vision. The foundation of this administration’s policies is more focused on education while conserving traditional and cultural customs in order to preserve tribal heritage.
In tribal societies, it is necessary to encourage the tradition of educational advancement, particularly for young girls. Additionally, there have been challenges in affected areas by left-wing extremism to establish educational infrastructure. Our goal is to address these problems at the block level by providing tribal students with quality education so that they can attend the best Eklavya Model Residential Schools and take advantage of the five scholarship programmes we offer: Pre/Post Matric, National Fellowship, Top Class Scholarship, and National Overseas Scholarship.
Our Ministry has kept up with the most recent technologies, as the globe has transitioned to a digital era, in order to speed up tribal welfare and practise good governance. These efforts are becoming the cornerstone for advancing our tribal development programmes. They range from empowering tribal people digitally and upskilling them even in distant locations to helping them produce and sell their manufactured goods. In addition, our State Tribal Research Institutes, NGOs, Centers of Excellence, and other affiliated groups are concentrating on both the advancement of tribal life and culture as well as the anthropological components of it. These organisations have a crucial role to perform, and their research helps in the formulation of development plans.
The Vision for India@2047 is to achieve new heights of economic welfare, provide the greatest amenities in both cities and villages, and construct the most advanced infrastructure in the world. Giving momentum to this core element of Vision 2047, the Ministry of Tribal Affairs has prioritised sustainable livelihoods, income generation, education , health and the promotion of varied ethnic cultures of tribal people. As a result of our flagship programmes and initiatives, tribal people today feel more integrated into society. This Ministry is also attempting to preserve and nurture several tribal languages in India, and has been working with academic institutions and experts to develop primers in tribal languages.
I can say with pride that the Ministry’s work encompasses both the tangible and intangible aspects of life of tribal communities. Furthermore, in coordination with local governing entities, our programmes and policies are carried out locally with a national outlook.
In the long run, I see my country, India, as a leader in sustainable development, with a solid socio-economic foundation that offers a wide range of possibilities to all inhabitants. India is now slowly moving towards the goal of becoming a powerhouse where its voice will be heard clearly and where it will be a partner on an equal footing. Through a variety of development measures, we are embarking on this journey together to unlock India’s potential and build a prosperous, people-led nation.
Shri Arjun Munda is Minister of Tribal Affairs, Government of India