'Education the only tool to bring tribals to the mainstream'

Average literacy rate only 53 pc- 38 pc among women, 61 pc among men

People working for the development of tribals in the country, on Friday, opined that education was the only powerful tool to bring them to the mainstream.

The experts shared their views during a two-day national workshop on ‘Participation of Scheduled Tribes in Indian Politics: Problems and Prospects’, organised by Karnataka State Tribal Research Institute at Administrative Training Institute (ATI) in the city.

Goa SC/ST Commission Chairman Anant Shirvoikar, who inaugurated the event, said that unless the tribals were strengthened with education, it was not possible for them to come to the mainstream. “Even though the people have talent, they are not finding proper platforms to exhibit them. Literacy rate is very low among the community people and thus they have failed to avail benefits from the government,” he added.

From the time India got independence, State and Central governments have been introducing a variety of schemes and are investing crores of rupees for strengthening the community people.

“Tribal people across the country should come together to demonstrate their power for economic and social development. The authorities concerned must resolve the issues facing the people and the governments should reach all the people to provide them benefits,” he said.

Karnataka Maharshi Valmiki Scheduled Tribe Development Corporation Managing Director (MD) K N Gangadhar said, the literacy rate among tribal people in the country was very low. The worst part is that only 38 per cent of women and 61 per cent of men are educated.

Over all, the community has only 53 per cent literacy rate. The country has 10 crore tribal population and Karnataka has 42 lakh, he said.

Even though the government has introduced many schemes, not many people are coming forward to utilise them due to lack of awareness. The corporation has provision to grant lands and other facilities to tribal people.

To prevent diversion of funds and to ensure spending of alloted funds for the schemes benefiting SC/ST people, the State government has introduced the Karnataka Scheduled Castes Sub-Plan and Tribal Sub-Plan (Planning, Allocation and Utilisation of Financial Resources) Bill, 2013, he pointed out.

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