Tribal belt in central India not shared fruits of growth: Ramesh

April 21st, 2012 - 12:13 am ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, April 20 (IANS) The tribal belt in central India has not shared fruits of high economic growth witnessed by the country over the past few years, Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh said Friday and added that the proposed Bharat Rural Livelihood Foundation (BRLF) will help take benefits of development to these areas.

Addressing a seminar on “Role of Private Philanthropy in Social Development,” organised by Professional Assistance for Development Action (PRADAN) here, Ramesh said the tribals in central India feel marginalised.

“The primary objective of the foundation is to work in the central tribal belt,” he said.

The BRLF is slated to have have a Rs.1,000 crore corpus, half of it from the private sector.

Ramesh said BRLF will be a lean organisation which will help scale up activities of organisations such as PRADAN, which work in rural areas to help people come out of poverty.

He said BRLF would have functionaries in place in “four to six months” and will be good channel for companies looking to fulfill their obligations of corporate social responsibility.

Ramesh also referred to the government’s initiative of Prime Minister’s Rural Development Fellows, which allows young post-graduates to work in rural areas for two years.

He said 156 young persons had been selected as fellows under the programme.

Ramesh said his ministry will provide funds for setting up university chairs for study in development practice.

The seminar had been organised to mark 30 years of PRADAN, an organisation working with the poor in marginalised and isolated villages of central and eastern India to enable them to live a life of dignity.

Founded in 1983, PRADAN has 400 professionals working across seven states and works with nearly 2.5 lakh families.

Deep Joshi, co-founder of PRADAN, said that country’s rural population would remain sizeable despite trends towards urbanisation and part of the effort to improve lives of the marginalised sections had to go in raising their confidence.

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