With the outlawed CPI (Maoist) targeting tribal youths living in dense forests and hills, Odisha government has asked departments to work out an integrated development plan for bridging critical gaps in infrastructure development and livelihood promotion of Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTG).
The PVTGs which have been the target of Maoists included Boihor, Mankidia, hill Khadia, Juanga, Lodha and Paudibhuyan, Soura, Kutia Kondha, Dongaria Kondha, Lanjia Soura, Bonda, Diyadi and Chuktia Bhunjia. They speak mostly the ethnic language with their own dialect.
Official sources said today 13 PVTGs out of 75 tribes identified in India live in the state. They mostly live in 541 habitations spread across 20 blocks of 12 districts.
"It has been found that there are many critical gaps in road connectivity, power and water supply to these areas. These areas need focused attention. Since the PVTGs lack in education and developmental activities, Maoists take advantage of it," a senior official said after attending a meeting presided over by Chief Secretary J K Mohapatra.
While asking the officials to take up welfare activities in the PVTG inhabited pockets, Mohapatra directed the department to integrate the land given to tribals under Forest Rights Act (FRA) and reflect it in their land holding status.
The meeting resolved to augment interventions in primary sectors through suitable non-farm and off-farm livelihood measures.
Mohapatra also directed officials to prioritise development of basic communication infrastructure for plying of Janani Express and mini transport vehicles.
The other objectives of the intervention will be infrastructure linkages for enhancement of livelihoods for 19,000 PVTG households and strengthening of community level institutions.
The Chief Secretary also asked the district level officials to work out specific projects and send it to the respective departments for examination of feasibility within a month while assuring that funds necessary for the purpose will be provided by the government.
He also emphasised that the women members from local community should be given priority for engagement in ICDS centres.