26 July, Bhubaneswar
Odisha government Wednesday decided to establish Special Development Council (SDC) for nine tribal dominated districts of the state for the empowerment and equitable growth of the tribals.
The state Cabinet chaired by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik approved the proposal for establishment of the SDC at its meeting today. Talking to newsmen after the Cabinet meeting the Chief Minister described the cabinet decision as a landmark step and unique in the whole of the country. No other state has taken such a step for the development of the tribals, he said.
The SDC, Patnaik said will help preserve, honour and celebrate the unique cultural identity of every tribe while bringing about truly inclusive growth and work towards the empowerment of every tribe irrespective of the size of their population.
The SDC would be established in the districts of Mayurbhanj, Keonjhar, Sundergarh, Kandhamal, Gajapati, Koraput, Rayagada, Malkangiri and Nabarangpur districts. The composition of the Council will be notified by the government from time to time.
The Council shall take up cultural, educational and economic development in harmony with the unique identity and ethos of the people.
The Chief Minister said about Rs 1.5 crore will be allotted to each block under these councils and a total of Rs 175.50 crore will be spent per annum through these councils. The nine districts have 117 blocks. This is over and above the already existing schemes.
Patnaik said the government felt the need to establish the Councils as many small tribal groups do not get represented directly in higher decision making fora. The Councils will have representations from every tribe present in the district. They will have decision making powers and the financial resources to preserve, promote and develop their unique socio-cultural identities and their economic capacities.
The chief minister said as per the list prepared and published by the ministry of Law and Justice and republished by the Odisha Law department in June 2003 there are 62 tribes in Odisha who will be benefited by the establishment of the Special development Council.