- The Northeastern region is one of the most ethnically and linguistically diverse regions in the World, and each state takes pride in a range of cultures and traditions.
- The 2011 Census mentions 135 recognised scheduled tribes and 250 ethnic communities in the region.
- Examples of prominent tribes are Garo, Khasi, Jaintia, Adi, Mizo, Karbis Nyishi, Angami, Konyak, Bhutia, Kuki, Rengma, Bodo and Deori.
What is Pradhan Mantri Van Dhan Yojna?
- Pradhan Mantri Van Dhan Yojna is an initiative targeting livelihood generation for tribals by harnessing the wealth of forest i.e. Van Dhan.
- The programme aims to tap into the traditional knowledge & skill sets of tribals by adding technology & IT to upgrade it at each stage and to convert the tribal wisdom into a viable economic activity.
- The Van Dhan Yojana or Van Dhan Scheme is a component of the The ‘Mechanism for Marketing of Minor Forest Produce (MFP) through Minimum Support Price (MSP) & Development of Value Chain for MFP’ was launched on 14th April, 2018.
- Implemented by TRIFED as the nodal agency at the national level, the Van Dhan start-ups is a well-thought master plan for the socio-economic development of the tribal population of the country. Its crucial steps are enumerated below –
- An initiative targeting livelihood generation for tribal gatherers and transforming them into entrepreneurs.
- The idea is to set-up tribal community-owned Van Dhan Vikas Kendra Clusters (VDVKCs) in predominantly forested tribal districts.
- A VDVK Cluster shall constitute of 15 tribal SHGs / Van dhan Kendras, each comprising of up to 20 tribal NTFP gatherers or artisans i.e. about 300 beneficiaries per Cluster.
- 100% Central Government Funded with TRIFED providing Rs. 15 lakhs for each 300 member Van Dhan Kendra Cluster.
Key points about Pradhan Mantri Van Dhan Yojana
What is TRIFED?
- Registered under the then Multi-State Cooperative Societies Act 1984, TRIFED came into existence in 1987 as the national nodal agency under the aegis of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, working towards the socio-economic development of the tribal people from all states.
- TRIFED started its operations in 1988 with its head office in New Delhi.
- In its mission to empower these downtrodden tribal people, by promoting the economic welfare of their communities across India (through development of marketing and the sustained upgradation of their skills), TRIFED started the procurement and marketing of tribal art and craft items through its first retail outlet called TRIBES INDIA in New Delhi in 1999.
- TRIFED is responsible for developing, designing and pivoting PMVDY across India.
What is Mechanism for Marketing of Minor Forest Produce (MFP)?
- The ‘Mechanism for Marketing of Minor Forest Produce (MFP) through Minimum Support Price (MSP) & Development of Value Chain for MFP’ Scheme stand out in particular as a beacon of change that has impacted the tribal ecosystem as never before.
- Ministry of Tribal Affairs, which draws its strength from The Forest Rights Act of 2005, aims to provide remunerative and fair prices to tribal gatherers of forest produces.
What is VDVK?
- VanDhan Vikas Karyakram has been effectively implemented across the country.
- The country-wide initiative targets livelihood generation for tribal gatherers and transforming them into entrepreneurs.
- This involves the setting-up tribal community owned Van Dhan Vikas Kendras (VDVKs) in predominantly forested tribal districts.
Huge Success in North East
- The Van Dhan Yojana has emerged as an important source of employment generation for tribal gatherers and forest dwellers and the home-bound tribal artisans and is taking our tribal brethren towards Atmanirbhar Bharat and self-reliance. Nowhere is this more visible than in our North-Eastern States.
- The North-East is leading the way with 80% of the established VDVKs.
- Manipur, in particular, which has emerged as the Champion state where the Van Dhan programme has emerged as a major source of employment for the local tribals and this achievement was duly recognised by the central government by conferring it the “Champion State” title in October, 2020.
- The most significant aspect of the Pradhan Mantri Van Dhan Yojana programme in Assam is the creation of a brand called ‘TRISSAM’ in order to bring about a uniform identity for all products manufactured by the tribal beneficiaries.
- Bamboo cultivation has remained a sustainable livelihood option for about 5,000 tribal families of Tripura, and value-addition of various bamboo items such as ‘bamboo water bottle’ (An eco friendly innovation of the Bamboo and Cane Development Institute,Tripura) under PMVDY has begun to redefine the lives of the poor tribal communities with major income generation.