Tribal affairs minister urges states to procure minor forest produce from lockdown-hit tribalsPTI | New Delhi | Updated: 08-04-2020 17:34 IST | Created: 08-04-2020 17:34 IST
Union Tribal Affairs Minister Arjun Munda on Wednesday wrote to chief ministers of 15 states, urging them to procure minor forest produce from tribals who have been hit hard due to the lockdown imposed to contain the spread of coronavirus. In a letter to chief ministers of 15 states, including Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Maharashtra, Munda said the outbreak of COVID-19 has posed an unprecedented challenge across the country. "Almost all the States and UTs are affected by it, to varying degrees. Poor and marginalized including the tribal communities are most vulnerable in this situation." he said.
"This being the peak season for collection and harvest of minor forest produce (MFP)/non-timber forest produce (NTFP) in many regions makes it imperative to initiate certain proactive measures to ensure the wellbeing of the tribal communities and their economy by providing them safety and ensuring their livelihoods," the minister wrote in the letter. Munda also stressed the need to obviate the movement of middlemen from urban areas to tribal habitations to prevent the spread of coronavirus among tribal communities.
He said that the Tribal Affairs Ministry is also contemplating undertaking awareness generation on social distancing among the tribal communities through Van Dhan Self Help Groups..