Bhubaneswar: Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) are the soul of our development process, and also reflect the mood of the people, said Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik at the inaugural session of the all India capacity building programme for tribal PRI members here today.
Speaking at the programme, Patnaik said that since independence, a number of steps have been taken to develop PRIs as a vibrant institution to fulfil the aspirations of people.
“I am sure, this capacity-building programme will go a long way in empowering the tribal PRI members to discharge their responsibilities more effectively,” he added wishing the endeavour all success.
The Chief Minister took the opportunity to highlight the various steps taken by the government for the socio-economic and educational empowerment of the tribal communities in a State which has a tribal population close to one crore
“As many as 6700 hostels and 1731 schools have been established to provide quality education to more than six lakh students. Mission Suvidya has been initiated to ensure quality standards in all the hostels thereby setting high benchmarks. Education opens the path of opportunities. So, our objective is to empower the tribals through education,” he pointed out.
Patnaik said Mission Jeebika has been successful in promoting livelihoods and already about 23,000 tribal households have been covered to provide sustainable economic upliftment.
The Chief Minister claimed that Odisha is the number one State in the country in implementation of the Forest Rights Act by giving titles to more than 4.36 lakh persons dwelling in forest areas.
He stated that the State government is committed to the promotion and preservation of tribal culture and heritage and added that the Special Development Councils set up by the government have been playing a critical role in this regard.
The ST & SC Development Department has planned to take up a series of programmes for over 30,000 Scheduled Tribe PRI members in a period of six to nine months. The programme aim at strengthening local self-government institutions in the tribal areas, and enrich the process of democratic decentralization.