NEW DELHI: The Ministry of Tribal Affairs is developing a database for tribal migrant workers returning to their home states in order to give a push to livelihood generation amid the COVID-19 outbreak and large-scale loss of livelihood of the workers.
“The Ministry of Tribal Affairs and the Ministry of Rural Development is developing a dedicated data bank of tribal migrant workers who are returning to their home states. This would be pan-India. The focus is currently on that,” Union Minister for Tribal Affairs Arjun Munda
The decision was communicated to states. However, the process to collate data from states has been challenging so far and the progress on it has been slow, said an official of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs.
Census 2011 data shows that 40.6 per cent Schedule Tribe (ST) population lived below poverty line in the country as against 20.5 per cent of the non-tribal population in the country.
“It is important to link the tribal way of life with the economy. Minor forest produce and herbal products would be given a push,” said Munda.
The objective of the database would also be to map out the economic needs that would arise with the return of tribal migrant workers in the districts with high tribal population.
“We will do a statistical testing and reasonable analysis and come out with a figure that is approachable. We are collating different information that we are getting and putting it through a statistical rigour. This would be for the gainful employment of the home-bound labour force which is in distress,” said Pravir Krishna, MD, Tribal Co-operative Marketing Development Federation of India.
“We are trying to set up an e-mart which will be a congregation where tribal people can come together. They would have direct access to sell the products on e-portals nationally and internationally. The biggest problem of tribal commerce is that access to market is limited,” said Krishna.
The focus would be on minor forest produce and marketing of products through the van dhan kendras in states.(THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS)