New Delhi: The unprecedented situation in our country due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has affected all segments of our society and tribals are no exception. To ease the burden of the tribal artisans during such troubled times, TRIFED, Ministry of Tribal Affairs has initiated several immediate initiatives to re-energise the lagging economic activity for sustaining the livelihood development of tribals. Addressing a video Conference to launch the Trifed Digital Platforms, through Video Conference, Arjun Munda, Union Minister for Tribal Affairs said that the Team of “Trifed Warriors” will take Tribal Commerce based on forest produces, handlooms & handicrafts to a new high for transforming tribal lives and livelihoods.
This was the key focus area of the webinar ‘TRIFED Goes Digital’ and “Be Vocal for Local’ #GoTribal ”which was organised by TRIFED on Saturday and was attended by over 200 participants. The main highlight was the launch of the TRIBES India products on the Government e-Marketplace (GeM) (with a diverse range on display) and TRIFED’s new website (https://trifed.tribal.gov.in) by Arjun Munda, the Union Minister of Tribal Affairs. In his address, Munda spoke about the unprecedented situation that our world is facing and how the migrant labour has suffered a lot. He expressed his pleasure at the efforts being put by “the TRIFED Warriors” and the Ministry officials to revive the flagging economic condition of the tribal artisans and tribal gatherers. He emphasised that empowering the tribal communities and utilising their skills, which has so far been disconnected from the mainstream, should be of prime focus and we should capitalise on opportunities that have been thrown open during the unprecedented situation.
The minister opined that TRIFED plays a major role in connecting the tribals to the mainstream and congratulated the team for their two major initiatives being launched today. Using nuggets from philosophy and management principles and real-life examples, he shared his views on the road ahead for the Ministry of Tribal Affairs and “the TRIFED Warriors” as they set about in their task to include the tribal communities in the mainstream. He urged them to focus on extracting and utilising the wealth of information and knowledge that the tribal communities have, especially with regard to the jungle, and how that can be used to not just benefit their community but also be of greater help to the country and people in these troubled times.
Pravir Krishna (IAS), Managing Director, TRIFED spoke about TRIFED’s ambitious digitisation drive and how this is aimed at creating a level playing field for more than 50 lakh tribals (artisans, gatherers, dwellers) who will be connected with the mainstream using state-of-the-art technology. Krishna also thanked the GeM team for their cooperation in making the Tribes India store going live on GeM a reality.
During the launch detailed presentation was made about the all-encompassing digital transformation strategy embarked upon by TRIFED and also the various measures put forth by the team to help ease the situation of the tribal community. The focus of the presentation was on the digital initiatives which are underway, especially two of which that have been launched on Saturday. It covered, at length, the measures taken by TRIFED and the Ministry of Tribal affairs to help ease the burden of tribals in the country. Touching upon both the MSP for MFP Scheme which has now emerged as a panacea for tribals with a total procurement of Rs 2000 crore (through government and private trade) and the successful implementation of the Van Dhan Yojana (Start-ups scheme), an initiative of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, which has resulted in the establishment of 1205 Tribal Enterprises and providing employment opportunities to 3.6 lakh tribal gatherers and 18075 Self-help groups in 22 States, the presentation covered the impact of these and other initiatives. In particular, outcomes from different champion states such as Maharashtra, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Nagaland, Manipur were highlighted as examples. The presentation also threw light on the other measures during this crisis.
"TRIFED is working on setting up of 15,000 ‘Van Dhan Social Distancing Awareness cum Livelihood Centres’ from the recently sanctioned Van Dhan SHGs among the 1205 Van Dhan Kendras. TRIFED has also collaborated with UNICEF for developing a digital communication strategy for promoting the Abhiyaan" said Pravir Krishna (IAS) speaking about the initiatives. "Additionally, TRIFED has partnered with the Art of Living Foundation’s #iStandWithHumanity Initiative with a Stand With Tribal Families component in providing much-needed food and ration for the survival of the tribal community" he added.
The digital strategy takes into account the entire supply-demand tribal chain, each and every stage, and includes a state-of-art website ((https://trifed.tribal.gov.in), which offers all information related to the organisation and its various tribal welfare schemes; setting up of an e-Market Place for Tribal Artisans to trade and directly market their produces; digitisation of all information related to the forest dwellers engaged in its VanDhan Yojana, village haats and warehouses to which they are linked.
Keeping every aspect of tribal lives and commerce in mind, TRIFED has also commenced the digitisation of the procurement of MFPs through government and private trade and the related payments to tribals. Leveraging the e-commerce boom, TRIBES India products are available at www.tribesindia.com with all regions working together to ensure that varieties and offerings of all kinds are readily accessible at other platforms such Amazon, Flipkart, Snapdeal, Paytm, and Shopclues. These products range from creative masterpieces and artefacts such as Dokra metal craft pieces, beautiful pottery, different types of paintings to colourful, comfortable apparel, distinctive jewellery and organic and natural foods and beverages.
In addition, the Tribes India e-Marketplace, coming on the heels of the Retail Inventory Management System which has automated the sourcing and sale of stocks, is an ambitious initiative to on-board almost 5 lakh Tribal Artisans on the e-market platform to provide them access to national and international markets. This is likely to be commissioned by end July 2020.
TRIFED’s Van Dhan Integrated Information Network facilitates the pooling of all information pertaining to forest dwellers engaged in Minimum Support Price Operations and its VanDhan Yojana linking them up to Village haats and Warehouses. This helps in monitoring the countrywide programme and taking decisions to facilitate smooth implementation. This scheme has been implemented in 22 States touching the lives of almost 3,61,500 Tribals. The tribal clusters identified and mapped across the country are eligible beneficiaries under Atmanirbhar Abhiyan. The aim is to work in convergence with various Ministries and agencies and help bring benefits to these vulnerable and distressed communities. TRIFED is equipped to advocate and support the tribal cause under Atmanirbhar Abhiyan.
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