Previous governments made fun of tribal traditions, we respect them: PM Modi in Gujarat

Published on Oct 21, 2022 12:00 AM IST

Laying the foundation for a slew of development projects in Tapi district of Gujarat on Thursday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi hit out at previous state governments for ignoring the interests of tribal people and said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had always given them priority

An unusual spell of rain in Delhi in early October this year has helped suppressed pollutants in the region and cleaned up the air. (Raj K Raj/HT Photo)
An unusual spell of rain in Delhi in early October this year has helped suppressed pollutants in the region and cleaned up the air. (Raj K Raj/HT Photo)

Laying the foundation for a slew of development projects in Tapi district of Gujarat on Thursday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi hit out at previous state governments for ignoring the interests of tribal people and said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had always given them priority.

Speaking at an event in the town of Vyara, the PM said there were political parties that had a history of making false promises to tribal people.

“While earlier governments made fun of tribal traditions, we on the other hand have respected the tribal traditions. Welfare of tribal communities is our foremost priority and wherever we have formed the government, we have given top priority to tribal welfare,” he said.

The development initiatives worth over 1,970 crore that the PM laid the foundation for include improvement of the road from Saputara to the Statue of Unity along with the construction of missing links, and water supply projects worth over 300 crore in Tapi and Narmada districts.

He added that the Gujarat government will spend more than 1 lakh crore on the second phase of the Vanbandhu Kalyan Yojana.The scheme was launched in 2007 with an allocation of 15,000 crore for the development of tribal areas in the state.

Lauding the scheme, the PM said it was conceived and implemented to fulfil every basic need and aspiration of the tribal communities in Gujarat. “Today, we are seeing that many daughters from Tapi and other adjoining tribal districts are going to school and college here. Now, many sons and daughters of tribal society are studying science, becoming doctors and engineers” he said.

He noted that around 20-25 years ago, there were very few schools in the entire tribal belt from Umargam to Ambaji and barely enough facilities to study science. The Prime Minister also added that under the Mission School of Excellence which he inaugurated on Wednesday, 4,000 schools in tribal talukas will be modernised.

Praising the efforts taken by the government under the Wadi Yojana, the Prime Minister said that while it was once difficult to grow and buy millet-maize in tribal areas, “Today, cashew is cultivated in tribal areas along with fruits like mango, guava and lemon.”

Through the Wadi Yojana, tribal farmers were given assistance to cultivate fruits, teak, bamboo on barren land, he said.

He recalled that late President Dr Abdul Kalam had come to review the scheme in Valsad district and had praised the project.

According to the PM, more than 10,000 schools bad been built in the state’s tribal areas in the last two decades.

“The number of Eklavya schools has also increased manifold.For our tribal children, we made special arrangements for education and also gave financial help to study abroad”, he said.

The Prime Minister also listed the benefits of bringing transparency in sports through campaigns like Khelo India and providing new growth opportunities for children from tribal areas.

“Our resolve is to make the tribal society completely free from problems of malnutrition. That’s why the central government has started a huge ‘Poshan Abhiyan’ through which thousands of rupees are being given to help mothers eat nutritious food during pregnancy,” he added.

Congress state spokersperson Manish Doshi did not respond to calls for comment.

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