Context: The Webinar under Know Your Scheme-Lecture Series on “Van Dhan Yojana: Learning For Post Covid-19” was organized recently by the Department of Science and Technology, Government of Rajasthan in association with Trifed.
- The COVID-19 pandemic has dealt a blow to the livelihoods of the poor and marginalized communities.
- The tribal gatherers are considered to be one of the worst affected in these trying times, since this is the peak season for harvesting Non-Timber Forest Produce (NTFP) in many regions.
- About 5 lakhs of tribal artisans of India make their living through handicraft & handlooms, engaged in Textile weaving, Metal Crafts, Home Décor, Jewellery, Block Printing, ornamental Painting etc.
- The biggest challenge for these tribal artisans is to market their products effectively and make more people aware of the top quality items they develop.
Initiatives taken by the government to assist tribals
- TRIBES India
- TRIFED has been playing an instrumental role by procuring tribal-made products and selling them to the masses in India and worldwide under the banner of TRIBES India.
- #GoTribal campaign
- It was launched by the Union Ministry of Tribal Affairs and TRIFED (Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India) in association with Amazon Global.
- It is opening up over 120 permanent outlets across the country (including airports), eCommerce platforms, exhibitions, organizing grand ‘Aadi Mahotsav.
- Aadi Mahotsav is a national tribal festival and a joint initiative of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs & TRIFED.
- It also goes for entering into tie-ups for providing training to the artisans for further capacity building, quality improvement, and market alignment.
- Minimum Support Price
- Over 50 lakhs tribals of India depend on forest produces, having inherent skills in forest produce harvesting.
- The need of the hour is to help them with their skills in Value addition and enabling them as Micro enterprises.
- Through Minimum Support Price, it is feasible to assure a revenue of Rs.20,000 to Rs.30,000 per person per year and through VanDhan Value addition Scheme, two to three times of the same.
- The Ministry of Tribal Affairs has also recently revised the Minimum Support Prices of NTFP items to provide much-needed relief to forest gatherers in these trying times.
- Non-timber forest products (NTFPs) are special, minor, alternative, and secondary forest products, are useful substances, materials, and/or commodities obtained from forests which do not require harvesting (logging) trees.
- VanDhan Yojana
- Until now, middlemen have been considered to be the key beneficiaries. However TheVanDhan Yojana aims at changing this scenario by increasing the share of tribal gatherers.
Van Dhan Scheme
The scheme has been launched by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs and TRIFED (Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India )
- Economic development of tribals involved in the collection of Minor Food Produces (MFPs) by helping them in optimum utilization of natural resources and providing them a sustainable livelihood.
- It also aims at building upon traditional knowledge and skillsets of tribals by adding technology & IT for value addition.
Key points :
- 10 Self Help Groups of 30 Tribal gatherers will be trained and provided with working capital to add value to the products collected from the forests.
- Setting-up of a tribal community owned Van Dhan Vikas Kendras in predominantly forested tribal districts.
- The SHGs can supply their stock after primary processing to State Implementing Agencies or can directly tie-up with a corporate secondary processor.
- Involvement of Corporates under the PPP model for creating secondary level value addition facility at the district level and tertiary level value addition facility at the state level.
- The PPP model will be based on utilising Private entrepreneur skills in processing and marketing of the produce.
- Central/ State Government will support by developing infrastructure and providing an enabling environment for undertaking value addition in a scientific and systematic manner.
- ‘Tech for Tribals’ initiative
- TRIFED is going forward with the ‘Tech for Tribals’ initiative by partnering with leading IITs and IIMs of the country along with the Ministry of MSME to form an Entrepreneurship Skill Development Program.
- Additionally, there is due focus on Digitization of dashboards, monitoring of VanDhan projects to streamline the flow of information, track progress, and enable quick submission of proposals under the scheme.
- Collaboration with #iStandWithHumanity Initiative
- TRIFED has collaborated with the Art of Living Foundation’s #iStandWithHumanity Initiative through a Stand With Tribal Families component in providing much-needed Ration Kits for the survival of the tribal community.
- Van Dhan Samajik Doori Jagrookta Abhiyaan
- TRIFED has initiated Van Dhan Samajik Doori Jagrookta Abhiyaan in association with UNICEF.
- Under the initiative tribals are being provided with crucial information regarding COVID-19 with several guidelines, nationwide and state-specific webinars, and instructions on safety measures to be followed.
The Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED)
- It is a national-level apex organization functioning under the administrative control of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs.
- TRIFED has its registered and Head Office located in New Delhi and has a network of 13 Regional Offices located at various places in the country.
- Activities of TRIFED are divided into 2 categories
- Minor Forest Produce(MFP) Development: MFP Development, Minimum Support Price for MFPs, R&D of MFPs
- Retail Marketing Development: It also involves Handicraft / Handloom Development Training.