Delhi does not have native tribal population nor does it reserve jobs and admissions for them but the national Capital gets money for the welfare of tribals from the Central government.
In a reply to an RTI application by this correspondent, the Tribal Affairs ministry said that it was providing funds to the Delhi government for welfare of tribals.
Data provided by the ministry for the last three financial year show that funds worth Rs80 lakh were given to the city government under its scheme of coaching for Scheduled Tribes.
The Centre's reservation policy for Scheduled Tribes is not applicable in Delhi because the city does not have any native tribals like majority of the states in India. Also, tribals cannot claim reservation benefit outside the state of their nativity.
In 2004, the Delhi High Court had dismissed a petition seeking reservation for tribals in the Delhi government and its sub-ordinate offices saying there was no Presidential notification declaring any tribe in Delhi.
In 2010, the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes had asked the Delhi government to reserve seats for tribals outside their original place of nativity, stirring the debate whether tribals should get reservation benefit in the Capital.
This raises a pertinent question. Why is the Delhi government seeking funds for coaching of tribals, who cannot claim reservation benefit in the state? Officials say the money is for those tribals who come to Delhi for educational purposes.
The RTI reply says the Centre is funding two projects in Delhi which is more than states such as Odisha, which has substantial tribal population. The Delhi government's website for welfare of Scheduled castes, tribes and minorities, however, does not indicate how the money has been spent for welfare of tribals in the 11th plan (2007-12). It makes it clear that the city government has a plan only for welfare of scheduled caste and minorities, not tribals.
Along with Delhi, the ministry's reply shows that the Central government has spent around Rs7 crore for coaching of tribal students across 13 states in India.
The maximum amount of money has been received by Tamil Nadu followed by Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh. Delhi falls in the fourth place.