ST & SC Populace Never Neglected By Odisha Govt: Minister

**Bhubaneswar:** In reply to the adjournment motion titled “STs & SCs Neglected in Odisha” moved by Congress Chief Whip Tara Prasad Bahinipati, ST & SC Development Minister Ramesh Majhi today informed the House that the State Government has been alert and implementing schemes and programmes for the development of the communities belonging to the Scheduled Tribe (ST) and Scheduled Caste (SC).

The Minister apprised the House that Odisha PVTG Empowerment and Livelihood Improvement Programme – OPELIP is being implemented in the 17 micro projects of 12 districts.

He also informed that Odisha has earned a major place in the country for implementing the Forest Rights Act meant for these people as the State Government has till date given away over 4.20 lakh land pattas and about 6.25 lakh acres of land to the benefeciaries.

The Minister also stated that the State Government has implemented ‘Akankshya’ Yojana meant for the tribal students pursuing higher education in the urban pockets. Accordingly, hostels have been built for their lodging and boarding.

The State Government has also implemented ‘Anwesha’ programme since 2015-16 in order to impart high quality education to the ST & SC students. Accordingly, the Government is bearing the total expenses of 19,000 such students (school fees, uniform, text books, hostel fees, etc) in the 142 best English medium schools of 17 districts in the State.

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