(a) whether the Government is aware that a large number of Tribals in the country live below the poverty level;

(b) if so, the details thereof and the reasons therefor;

(c) the details of various existing Central Government schemes to alleviate poverty in these sections of the society;

(d) whether the Government proposes to make new policies, so that the tribals can overcome their economic/social deprivation; and

(e) if so, the details thereof and if not, the reasons therefor?

Answer given by the minister


(a) & (b):The estimates of poverty ratio among social groups including Scheduled Tribes, for the years 2004-05 and 2011-12, as worked out by the erstwhile Planning Commission as per the Tendulkar Methodology are given below:

  Estimates of Poverty Ratio among Social Groups   Social Group	         	Rural 			        Urban  			2004-05		2011-12		2004-05		2011-12  Scheduled Tribes	62.3		45.3		35.5		24.1  Scheduled Castes	53.5		31.5		40.6		21.7  Other Backward Classes	39.8		22.6		30.6		15.4  Others 			27.1		15.5		16.1		8.2  All Population		41.8		25.7		25.7		13.7  
Note-The poverty ratios among the social groups are estimated from the percentage distribution of persons of the respective social groups as obtained from the large sample survey consumer expenditure data of the NSS and the poverty line for all population.

Various socio-economic factors, including low literacy levels, high drop-out rates, poor health status, unemployment, poor living conditions and amenities etc., are some of the reasons for poverty among Scheduled Tribes.

(c) to (e): Government has adopted multi-pronged approach to increase average income and alleviate poverty of tribals by providing employment opportunities. Ministry of Tribal Affairs under its Special Area Programme of Special Central Assistance to Tribal Sub-Plan (SCA to TSP) and other Central Sector / Centrally

Sponsored schemes provides funds as an additive to the State Plan for economic development of tribals in the States covering skill development and employment-cum-income generation activities. During the current financial year, the Ministry has impressed upon the State Governments for promotion of need based integrated livelihood initiatives such as Dairy development with State cooperative, horticulture, floriculture, vegetable production, apiculture, sericulture, fisheries, backyard poultries etc. without in any way disturbing the traditional agricultural practices, in order to create enabling environment for tribals to earn their livelihood at doorsteps and increase employment opportunities.

Besides these, Government has also taken other steps to provide employment to tribal population. Some of the major initiatives are enlisted below:-

(i) Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) guaranteeing 150 days wage employment to ST households living in forest area who have got pattas under the Forest Right Act 2006.

(ii) National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM) which aims at creating efficient and effective institutional platforms of the rural poor enabling them to increase household income through sustainable livelihood enhancements and improved access to financial services.

(iii) Bharat Rural Livelihood Foundation (BRLF) to facilitate and upscale civil society action in partnership with Government for transforming livelihoods and lives of rural households, with an emphasis on women, particularly in the Central Indian Tribal Region.

The Ministry of Tribal Affairs is also running the following schemes/programmes to improve the educational and living standards of Scheduled Tribes across the country.

(i) Scheme of Construction of Hostels for ST Girls and Boys

(ii) Scheme of Establishment of Ashram Schools in Tribal Sub-Plan Areas

(iii) Post-Matric Scholarship for ST students

(iv) Upgradation of Merit

(v) Pre-Matric Scholarship for ST students studying in classes IX & X.

(vi) Rajiv Gandhi National Fellowship for STs

(vii) Scheme of National Overseas Scholarship for STs

(viii) Top Class Education for ST students

(ix) Grants in aid to Voluntary Organisations working for the welfare of STs

(x) Coaching for Scheduled Tribes

(xi) Strengthening Education among Scheduled Tribe Girls in Low Literacy Districts

(xii) Vocational Training in Tribal Areas

(xiii) Development of Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs)

(xiv) Grants-in-Aid to State Tribal Development Cooperative Corporations (STDCCs) for Minor Forest Produce (MFP) Operations

(xv) Mechanism for Marketing of Minor Forest Produce (MFP) through Minimum Support Price (MSP) and Development of Value Chain for MFP as a measure of social safety for MFP gatherers,

(xvi) Grants under Article 275(1) of the Constitution of India

(xvii) Market Development of Tribal Products/Produce (Grants in aid to Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India Limited (TRIFED)

(xviii) A new scheme called `Van Bandhu Kalyan Yojana` has been launched recently.

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