Indian Tribal Communities: Development, Problems & Challenges: CS inaugurates three day national seminar; stresses need to address issues concerning tribals

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Port Blair, Feb. 07: The three day long National Seminar on ‘Indian Tribal Communities: Development, Problems and Challenges’ got underway in the auditorium of Anthropological Survey of India here today. The Chief Secretary, A & N Administration, Mr. Anindo Majumdar inaugurated the seminar as the chief guest. Dr. Mallika S Ghanti, Vice Chancellor, Kannada University, Hampi presided over the seminar, being organized by the Department of Anthropology & Kannada Language Studies, Vidyaranya, Kannada University, Hampi, Karnataka in collaboration with Department of Tribal Welfare, Govt. of Karnataka, Bengaluru, Akhila Bharatiya Adivasi Vikasa Parishad, Andaman & Nicobar and Anthropological Survey of India, Kolkata.
Inaugurating the seminar, the Chief Secretary said that the subject for the seminar has been the topic of discussion at various forums for many reasons. It demands serious attention towards tribal people for their overall development in the field of education, health and economic activities. There is need to address the issues concerning them and to protect their interest. They must also be involved in the forefront of development, he said mentioning that developments have been taking place at the cost of the tribals, in different parts of the world.
Stating that the Islands has indigenous tribes such as Sentinelese, Jarawa, Great Andamanese, Onges, Shompen and Nicobarese, the Chief Secretary said that policies have been formulated for the protection of these tribes and the Administration is striving to implement those policies. However, Sentinelese are yet to be contacted as they are hostile in nature for the very reason that they are protecting themselves from interference by outsiders. However, efforts are on towards the socio-economic development of the other tribes, he said, highlighting the tribal welfare activities of the Administration. “In the past few years, lot of attentions have been given to the tribal issues and we have now better understanding of the community”, he said.
The Chief Secretary appreciated the organizers of the seminar and expressed hope that it will see fruitful discussions, which will help in formulating plans for the tribal communities.
Earlier, the chief guest and other dignitaries lit a ritual oil lamp, to inaugurate the seminar.
In his keynote address, the Advisor, Social Welfare Department, Bangalore, Dr. E Venkataiah highlighted Karnataka Government’s activities for the welfare of the tribal communities in the State. He underlined the need for earmarking fund in proportion of the tribal population and the Government budget, so that all issues concerning tribal communities could be addressed. States have to strive to address the issues concerning education, health and economy of the tribal communities, he said.
Later, a round table discussion was held, in which the participants of the seminar deliberated on the different issues that need to be focused for the welfare of the tribal communities. This was followed by two sessions, in which papers were presented on topics such as Tribal Language Transitions and Social, cultural and economic transitions of the tribal communities.
The Participants of the seminar are scheduled to conduct field work and visit tribal community places tomorrow.

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