Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to inaugurate a Rs 24,000-crore initiative on 15 November in Jharkhand, on the occasion of 'Janjatiya Gaurav Divas', Indian Express reported.
This scheme, unveiled during the 2023-24 budget, aims at the comprehensive development of Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs). Targeting 75 PVTGs, it encompasses 11 interventions across nine ministries.
The strategic launch precedes Assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, both states with substantial tribal populations— 21.1 per cent in Madhya Pradesh and 30.6 per cent in Chhattisgarh according to the 2011 Census.
PVTGs, characterised by unique cultures, geographic isolation, and limited interaction with other communities, are the most vulnerable among tribal groups.
The scheme's objective is to provide essential services like roads, telecom connectivity, electricity, housing, clean water, sanitation, education, health, nutrition, and sustainable livelihood opportunities to their scattered and remote habitats.
Approximately 28 lakh people from 75 PVTGs, residing in 22,544 villages across 18 states and Union Territories, will benefit from this initiative. Certain scheme norms will be relaxed to include these remote habitations.
In addition to the 11 interventions, the scheme will saturate other government programs, such as PMJAY health insurance, Sickle Cell Disease Elimination, TB Elimination, childhood immunisation, PM Surakshit Matrutva, PM Matru Vandana Yojana, PM Poshan, and PM Jan Dhan Yojana.
This move aligns with the BJP's efforts to secure tribal votes in the upcoming elections, especially after the setback faced in 2018 in tribal-dominated areas of Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan.
The party has undertaken significant outreach initiatives, including the appointment of Droupadi Murmu as the first tribal woman President. Party leaders, including J P Nadda and Amit Shah, have actively visited tribal areas, while RSS-affiliated outfits have been working on community engagement and shaping a "Hindu identity" narrative among the tribal population.
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