<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A Parliamentary panel has pulled up the Ministry of Tribal Affairs for being a “mute spectator” to the plight of tribals in the country, particularly the women, and asked it to “recalibrate its role”. The Committee on Empowerment of Women in its report on ‘Empowerment of Tribal Women’ also observed that “A rather nonchalant approach of the ministry is reflected in the prevailing ground realities of tribal societies.” “The Committee are of the opinion that the Ministry of Tribal Affairs has not been truly effective in playing the role of a positive catalyst for the welfare of tribal communities in the country,” said the report, tabled in Lok Sabha today. “Though the ministry is mandated to provide a focused approach on the integrated socio-economic development of the tribals in a coordinated and planned manner, the committee have observed during the examination of the subject that the ministry has remained a mute spectator to the plight of the tribals in general and tribal women in particular,” the panel said. The Committee further said it felt that if all the special plans and programmes meant for tribals had been “implemented sincerely over the years, the majority of the tribals in the country would not have still been under poverty line, and lacking in crucial health and social parameters like total total fertility rate, undernourishment, literacy rate, child mortality rate etc, till today”. The panel has made a number of recommendations to the ministry while asking it to “recalibrate” its role. The Committee strongly recommended that the government should take strongest possible steps to put an end to “diversions and lapses of Tribal Sub-Plan funds” in all states and identify “sham projects” in the name of tribal welfare to guarantee maximum returns from available funding. It also has taken serious note of the “unavailability of tribal-specific information/data with the ministry” on various important issues and welfare measures pertaining to tribals. “This is mainly because of lack of unified planning and proper monitoring of implementation mechanism for various programmes,” it observed. The Committee has recommended “the ministry to continuously coordinate with various implementing agencies, keep itself abreast of the latest figures related to the tribal issues especially pertaining to tribal women and come up with a comprehensive database on tribals within six months under limitation to them”. The panel has “strongly condemned” the attitude of the ministry with regard to trafficking of tribal women, saying, “It is a pity the government has no reliable data on the number of tribal women trafficked from tribal belts to big cities and metropolises.”(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

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Ministry ‘mute spectator’ to plight of tribals: Par panel