Need for Cooperative Marketing and educational facilities – Bihar

Shoumojit Banerjee, The Hindu, PATNA, August 16, 2009

Bihar has a tribal population of about 20 lakh, informs Pramod Kumar Singh, State Convener, Hunger Free Bihar Campaign, but even now, government officials seem to think that the tribals are a miniscule 1 per cent.

The Fifth Schedule

The Fifth Schedule covers Tribal areas in nine States Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Orissa and Rajasthan. Under this, villages and panchayats having a tribal population of more than 50 per cent are notified as Scheduled Areas.

While this is true for other States, why hasnt it yet been put to effect in Bihars 14 districts where the population is most densely concentrated, argues Mr. Singh.

This induced miscalculation has deprived the States tribals of almost all of the Centres schemes. […]

Landless tribals in the State are of two types, namely those who do not have land for farming and ones who do not have land for housing/ shelter. While the government is obliged to grant a minimum of 4 decimal and a maximum of 12.5 decimal of Rayati (Privately owned) land to the tribal families, it has not done so as it does not have a record of landless tribals. […]

The 11th Five-year plan is equally nebulous about the clauses pertaining to the progress of Bihars tribals. For instance, it is just not clear whether there would be a separate hostel for SC, ST OBC children or whether they would all be accommodated together. Mr. Singh says that while there are tribal hostels in other States, Bihar does not have a single one. Besides, there are no secondary schools and colleges for tribal boys and girls, either. […]

Mr. Singh says that the State does not have a single Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED) building, which has severely impeded tribals development, due to which they are routinely exploited.

Source: The Hindu : States / Other States : Does Bihar know how many tribals live in the State?
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