Modi Government to Launch Rs 15,000-Crore Mission: Providing Drinking Water to 4G for Vulnerable Tribal Groups

By NAYAN SING

In a monumental endeavor, the Modi government is poised to embark on a mission worth Rs 15,000 crore aimed at delivering essential infrastructure to an estimated 28 lakh vulnerable tribal population in 18 states and Union territories. This transformative mission encompasses critical initiatives, from ensuring access to clean drinking water to providing 4G network connectivity. ThePrint has gathered exclusive insights into this ambitious endeavor.

File photo of tribals participating in a fair organised to celebrate Holi at Veerpur in Madhya Pradesh’s Sehore district.

Empowering Vulnerable Tribal Groups

The Union Ministry of Tribal Affairs is currently in the process of submitting a proposal for the Pradhan Mantri Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs) Mission to the Union Cabinet for approval. This mission, first announced by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the budget for the current year, seeks to address the fundamental needs of particularly vulnerable tribal groups.

A Multifaceted Approach

The mission comprises a comprehensive approach, encompassing 11 key interventions. These interventions include the provision of housing, healthcare facilities, water supply, road connectivity, 4G and mobile network access, electrification of houses, education, anganwadi centers, multipurpose facilities, livelihood opportunities, and focused development of 60 aspirational PVTG blocks.

Prioritizing Vulnerable Tribal Groups

Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs) represent some of the most marginalized communities within India’s Scheduled Tribes. These groups often inhabit isolated, remote, and challenging terrains. Currently, there are 75 notified PVTGs across the nation.

Progress and Approval

The mission has already received approval from the Expenditure Finance Committee, a vital step towards its realization. The proposed budget of Rs 15,000 crore will be allocated over a period of three years to ensure the efficient provision of essential services.

Extensive Outreach

The mission will cover approximately 22,000 PVTG habitations and villages spread across 18 states and Union Territories, including regions like Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, and Jharkhand. Notably, poll-bound states such as Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh have a significant PVTG population.

Coordinated Implementation

To ensure the effective and timely implementation of these measures, the Ministry of Tribal Affairs has collaborated with other ministries. These collaborations will play a pivotal role in facilitating the 11 interventions outlined in the mission.

Addressing Critical Gaps

Many PVTG habitations/villages currently do not meet the criteria for the implementation of existing government schemes. The government is therefore considering amendments to these norms to ensure comprehensive coverage.

Bridging the Connectivity Divide

In addition to infrastructure enhancements, the mission will address the digital divide by providing mobile network connectivity and 4G access to 3,000 PVTG villages currently lacking such connectivity.

Mapping Progress

The Ministry of Tribal Affairs is using the PM Gati Shakti National Master Plan platform to map social and infrastructure developments in tribal areas. This initiative aims to create an integrated plan for infrastructure connectivity projects.

A Unified Vision

The government recognized the need for a dedicated scheme for PVTGs due to inconsistent development efforts by individual states. By centralizing these efforts under the PM PVTGs Mission, the government aims to ensure uniform and impactful development for these marginalized communities.

Conclusion

The launch of the Rs 15,000-crore mission signals a significant step towards empowering and improving the quality of life for particularly vulnerable tribal groups. By addressing fundamental needs such as clean drinking water, healthcare, education, and digital connectivity, this mission aims to bring about positive change and inclusivity for these marginalized communities.

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