Van Dhan generating livelihoods for tribals, says Arjun Munda
New Delhi: While inaugurating a workshop on Van Dhan and Entrepreneurship Development, Union Minister for Tribal Affairs Arjun Munda said that initiative is generating livelihoods for tribals by harnessing the wealth of the forest — Van Dhan.
The workshop, which was organized by TRIFED – an arm of Tribal Ministry, was organized to tap the traditional knowledge and skills of tribals and add branding, packaging and marketing skills to optimise their income through a market led enterprise model by setting up of Van Dhan Kendras (VDVKs) in the different parts of the country.
On the occasion, Minister of State for Tribal Affairs Renuka Singh, Minister of State for Steel Faggan Singh Kulaste and senior officials of various ministries and departments were also present. The Scheduled Tribe (ST) parliamentarians present at the workshop were apprised about the potential benefits of Van Dhan scheme and suggestions were sought from them for implementing and expanding the scheme in their respective constituencies. The objective of PMVDY is to create tribal enterprises for employment and entrepreneurship development of 45 lakh tribals, involving 1 lakh SHGs/5000 VDVKs covering 27 states and 307 districts during the next 3 years. In his welcome address, TRIFED chairman Ramesh Chand Meena apprised the members of Parliament of both the Houses about the scheme of Van Dhan Vikas Karyakram under PMVDY of the government which has been initiated by TRIFED with support of Tribal Ministry.
On the occasion, TRIFED MD Pravir Krishna said that value addition of MFPs by tribals can help improve their income substantially as presently they get only a fraction of the value chain.
"During a short period starting from August 15, 2019 TRIFED has so far sanctioned proposals for establishment of 1,101 Van Dhan Kendras in 26 states and 1 UT. The process of establishment of Van Dhan Kendras has gained momentum in the states and 406 Van Dhan Kendras have identified tribal beneficiaries, 174 have done training of SHGs/VDVKs and 41 kendras have initiated process of value-addition and processing operations," he said.