Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi today handed over land allotment letters to the tribals of five districts of south Gujarat in Vansda, entitling them to cultivate on forest land. Addressing huge mass gathered at Vansda, Mr. Modi said now tribals will not get cheated by the middleman as the state government has provided land, water and electricity facilities to the tribal farmers.
The state government has begun campaign of giving land cultivation rights to the tribals under Forest Right Act-2006. Chief Minister Narendra Modi today handed over land allocation letters to more than 15,000 tribals, total 95,206 acre forest land amounting Rs. 1,425 crore at Vansda of Navsari district.
Large number of tribals from Navsari, Surat, Tapi, Valsad and Dang districts of south Gujarat today gathered in the event- Tribal Rights and Empowerment- jointly organized by Tribal Development and Forest Department in Vansda.
With the commitment of economic and social empowerment of tribals, Chief Minister Narendra Modi distributed cheques of Rs. 12.90 crore under the various schemes of forest department to 715 beneficiaries.
Claims of individual and collective succession rights of 61,974 tribals on total 6.41 lack acre have been granted under Forest Right Act. Tribals and Dalits account 22% in the total population of the state. The state government has implemented human welfare programme and has begun mission to empower this 22% of population, adding them to the mainstream of development, Mr. Modi added.
Tribals were struggling for rights of cultivation of forest land since many of their generations but the present government willingly used the satellite technology of BISAG, locating the right beneficiaries and giving them their rights, the chief minister said.
Mr Modi said, “The state government made a fresh deliberation and granted 22,000 new claims so that the tribal framers need not have to bow before any of the politician or government functionaries’.
Under Forest Right Act 2006, the government has provided land cultivation rights to the tribals so that the middlemen and wasted interests could not snatch their lands. Chief Minister Narendra Modi has approved package of Rs. 40,000 crore for five years under Vanbandhu Kalyan Yojna for the development of tribals.
It is Gujarat government’s priority to take tribals in development process. The state has taken various initiatives on this direction ranging from encouraging girl child education to higher education and technical education among tirbals, he said.
Gujarat Government has set up 95 Science Stream higher secondary schools in tribal regions, ITIs, Engineering, Nursing and Agriculture colleges in every talukas. The former governments did not provide any budget under tribal head, against that this government has provided budget of Rs. 15,000 crore under Vanbandhu Kalyan Package. By the time of the completion of the scheme tenure the government made an expenditure of Rs. 17,000 under this package. And for next five years the government has increased this package to Rs. 40,000 crore. With this budget the infrastructural facilities will take shape in tribal sector with much more rapid pace. The 108 emergency services saved the lives of tribal pregnant mothers and children. The 108 had saved lives of poor tribals on the instances of snake bite, Mr. Modi said.
He said that our government showed a path for tribals to be partner in nation building by empowering them. For the first time after independence it was the non-congress government of former prime minister Mr. Atal Bihari Vajpayeeji which formed a separate ministry for tribals. Congress has merely deceived tribals for vote-bank.
The State Tribal Development Department and Forest Environment Minister Mr. Ganpatsinh Vasawa gave outline of the budged which Mr. Modi allotted for tribal development. The farmers living in eastern tribal sector of South Gujarat have now turned to improved farming due to state government’s stimulus policy.
The Deputy Speaker of State Assembly Mr. Mangubhai Patel lauded such an event which has been organized for the tribal empowerment. He said that Mr. Modi had struggled with central government for giving tribals the rights of forest land. “As a result of his efforts the tribals of Vansda are getting their rights today”, he added saying that it is surely a happy and pride moment for the beneficiaries.
The MP of Rajya Sabha Mr. Bharatsinh Parmar and former minister & former MP Mr. Kanjibhai Patel described the atmosphere on the event as that of Diwali.
In his welcome speech Mr. Agarwal, Principal Secretary to Tribal Development Department gave outline of the programme. The beneficiaries acquainted those on present their improved financial condition due to the forestation initiatives of the government and the cultivation rights given to them by the state government.