- The major policies of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs aim to ensure the overall development of both Scheduled Tribe men and women. However, within the Scheduled Tribes, women often suffer from a greater disadvantage.
- Ministry of Tribal Affairs therefore, while trying to ensure that women benefit equally from general schemes also has some special schemes meant for the benefit of ST women and girls as given below:
(i) Scheme of Girls & Boys Hostels for STs: Under the scheme, Central assistance is given to States / UTs / Universities for construction of new hostel buildings and / or extension of existing hostels. State Governments are eligible for 100% central share for construction of all Girls’ hostel and also for construction of Boys’ hostel in naxal affected areas. The funding pattern for other Boys’ Hostel to State Governments is on 50:50 basis.
(ii) Scheme of Ashram Schools in Tribal Areas: The objective of the scheme is to provide residential schools for STs to increase the literacy rate among the tribal students and to bring them at par with other population of the country. Under the scheme, State Governments are eligible for 100% central share for construction of all Girls’ Ashram Schools and also for construction of Boys’ Ashram Schools in naxal affected areas. The funding pattern for the other Boys’ Ashram Schools is on 50:50 basis.
(iii) Scheme for Strengthening Education among ST Girls in Low Literacy Districts: This scheme is being implemented in 54 identified low literacy Districts where the ST population is 25% or more, and ST female literacy rate is below 35%, or its fractions, as per 2001 census. Any other tribal block in a district, other than aforesaid 54 identified districts, which fulfill the same criteria for tribal population and ST female literacy rate, are also covered. The areas inhabited by Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs) and naxalite affected areas are given priority. This scheme aims to bridge the gap in literacy levels between the general female population and tribal women, through facilitating 100% enrolment of tribal girls in the identified Districts or Blocks, more particularly in naxal affected areas and in areas inhabited by Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs), and reducing drop-outs at the elementary level by creating the required ambience for education. The scheme is implemented through Voluntary Organizations (VOs) / Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and autonomous society / institutions of State Government / Union Territory Administration. Ministry provides 100% assistance for running and maintenance of educational complexes for ST girls which include free education, boarding and lodging, books, uniforms, medical help, coaching, incentives to girls, periodical awards,etc. The scheme envisages convergence with the schemes of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan and Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidhyalaya of Ministry of Human Resource Development. It meets the requirement of primary level students as well as middle/secondary level students and provides residential facility to ST girl students to ensure their retention in schools.
(iv) In addition to above, to maximize retention of ST students within various stages of school education and promoting higher learning, monetary incentives are provided by Ministry of Tribal Affairs in the form of scholarships such as Pre Matric Scholarship, Post Matric Scholarship, National Overseas Scholarship, Scholarship for Top Class Education and Rajiv Gandhi National Fellowship for ST students.
(v) Special Central Assistance to Tribal Sub Scheme (SCA to TSS) (hitherto known as SCA to Tribal Sub Plan (TSP)): It is 100% grant from Government of India. Its objective is to bridge the gap between Scheduled Tribes (ST) population and others by providing support for education, health, sanitation, water supply, livelihood, skill development, minor infrastructure etc. It is a flexible scheme and supplements the efforts of the line Ministries/Departments.
(vi) Grants under Article 275(1) of the Constitution: It is 100% grant from Government of India. Funding under this programme is to enable the State to meet the cost of such schemes of development as may be undertaken by the State for the purpose of promoting the welfare of Scheduled Tribes in that State or raising the level of administration of Scheduled Areas therein to that of the administration of the rest of the areas of that State. Funds are provided to States for various sectoral interventions.
The Ministry has insisted upon the States, that in interventions under Special Central Assistance to Tribal Sub Scheme, and under Article 275(1) grants, one third beneficiaries should be women / girls.
(vii) Adivasi Mahila Sashaktikaran Yojana: National Scheduled Tribes Finance and Development Corporation (NSTFDC), an apex organisation under Ministry of Tribal Affairs is implementing this exclusive scheme for tribal women. Under the scheme, Scheduled Tribes women can undertake any income generation activity. Loans upto 90% for scheme costing upto Rs.1 lakh are provided at a concessional rate of interest of 4% per annum.
Some major schemes of other Ministries are as follows:
- The Department of Rural Development, inter-alia, is implementing various rural development programmes namely, Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana- Gramin (PMAY-G), Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY), Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM) and National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP) to bring about overall improvement in the quality of life of the people in rural areas, including tribal women. Department has been earmarking funds towards Scheduled Tribe Component (STC)(erstwhile Tribal Sub Plan) under Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana-Gramin (PMAY-G) and Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM).
Under Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana-Gramin (PMAY-G) (erstwhile Indira Awaas Yojana), 60% of the target allocated are being earmarked for SCs/STs subject to availability of eligible PMAY-G beneficiaries as per Socio Economic Caste Census (SECC) 2011. Moreover, there is provision of 5% of the allocation at national level as reserve fund which can be utilized for settlement of households benefitted under the Scheduled Tribes and other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 commonly known as FRA beneficiaries. Primitive Tribal Groups and beneficiary families of the FRA are being covered on priority to achieve saturation. Under DAY-NRLM, the guidelines stipulate that at least 50% of the women beneficiaries shall be members of the SCs/STs. Funds are released to the States/UTs under ST Component and utilized as per programme guidelines.
Following schemes administered by Ministry of Women and Child Development are intended to benefit all women, including ST women:
1) Beti Bachao Beti Padhao Scheme
2) One Stop Centre Scheme
3) Women Helpline Scheme
4) UJJAWALA : A Comprehensive Scheme for Prevention of trafficking and Rescue, Rehabilitation and Re-integration of Victims of Trafficking and Commercial Sexual Exploitation
5) Working Women Hostel
6) Rajiv Gandhi National Creche Scheme for the Children of Working Mothers.