Minister for Tribal Affairs, Food, Civil Supplies & Consumer Affairs Chowdhary Zulfkar Ali today called upon Union Minister for Tribal Affairs Jual Oram and took up various issues with him pertaining to welfare and development of tribal population of J&K, especially with regards to education.During the meeting, Zulfkar briefed the Union Minister that Jammu & Kashmir Tribals constitute 12% of state’s total population.He said although the J&K Government has taken several initiatives for upliftment of Scheduled Tribe Community, due to limited resources available, the desired results have not been achieved in the state so far. He said that the tribal population still considerably lacks basic facilities like portable drinking water, electricity, education, and health. He urged for urgent intervention of Union Government so that these basic amenities can be made available to these people.Stating that Tribal population of the state is scattered all over the three regions of state viz Jammu, Ladakh and Kashmir, the Minister demanded for establishment of Centre of Excellence, in each region so that necessary impetus can be given for enhancing education levels in the community.Zulfkar also demanded for establishment of 22 Vocational training Centres for tribal population in each district of the state to instill necessary skill in tribal students so that they can become self-reliant.He also demanded for enhancing funds under Article 275 and Tribal Sub Plan so that enhanced developmental efforts can be undertaken on ground.
He informed the Union Minister that presently, various welfare and developmental activities are being undertaken under Article 275 and TSP viz setting up of infrastructure by providing educational classrooms, opening/up-gradation of existing classrooms, smart classrooms, e-classrooms, construction/repairs/Renovation of ST Girls and Boys Hostels besides various other works.Pressing for establishment of Aashram Schools in the Tribal Areas, Minister said that there is a need for establishing such schools in each district to cater to those students who have no guardian or care taker, so that their education does not suffer.Terming education as important to change the fate of tribals, Minister said that they are working on the establishing of Eklayva Model Residential Schools in various parts of the state but said that additional schools are required on the same pattern to ensure proper educational facilities for tribal students. He demanded establishment of Eklavya Model Residential School at Kupwara, Bandipora, Leh, Koteranka (Rajouri), Kishtwar, Reasi, Udhampur, Ramban, Jammu & Srinagar.Highlighting the need of Tribal Hostels in J&K, Minister said that among the total 1,25,48,926 population of J&K, there are 14,93,299 Tribals but not all tribals have access to hotel facilities. He demanded for hostels in the state that cater to people belonging to all 14 tribes residing in the state. He demanded 22 Schedule Tribe Boys Hostels and 22 Schedule Tribe Girls in the state so that all tribal people get educational benefit.Union Minister listened to the demands of the Minister and assured proper action from Government of India.