New Delhi: The first-ever meeting of the
Standing Committee of National Tribal Welfare Committee
comprising representatives of all states was held on Wednesday with
an aim to prepare a draft national policy to improve the
the life of tribals and ensure that they get their rights.
Minister of Tribal Affairs Kantilal Bhuria said till
now each state was making its own policy due to which the
overall development of the community was not taking place.
"Ministers or representatives of all states are
present to discuss tribal policies and the aim is to improve
the life of tribals in the country and ensure that they get
their rights," he told reporters.
With a focus on this, the Committee will prepare a
national policy and present the draft to Prime Minister
Manmohan Singh so that it is cleared in a few months when he
chairs the next meeting, he said.
"The ministry is also working towards implementation
of Forest Dwellers (recognition of Forest Rights) Act.
Of the 30 lakh people who have applied for forest land rights,
the claims of 14 lakh tribals have been rejected due to
certain reasons, while 11 lakh people from the community have
got their land rights," Bhuria said.
He said the ministry`s endeavour is also to strengthen
the Panchayati Raj system so that tribals and forest dwellers
can approach such forums for their rights.
"Efforts are on to bring in a Bill for this," the