Mamata announces separate tribal affairs department



Kolkata: To ensure added importance to tribals in the state, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday announced a separate department of tribal affairs, which would be under her.

"Tribal people have many grievances, but they don't know where to lodge complaints to draw attention immediately. Therefore, a separate tribal affairs department will be created just like the minority affairs department and it will remain under me," Banerjee told reporters at the state secretariat.

With the decision to create a separate department, matters relating to tribal affairs would be transferred to the new department from the backward classes welfare department.

The decision followed a meeting between the CM and Akhil Bharatiya Adivasi Vikas Parishad (ABAVP) during which, ABAVP state president Birsa Tirkey submitted a memorandum to her.

"The advasis are looking up to you and your government with great hope and eagerness for the survival of entire community. The tribal society could be saved if they are given opportunities and autonomy to frame their own developmental schemes, projects and self governance as provided under the Constitution.

"A strong and prosperous tribal community will help create a happy, prosperous and stronger West Bengal," Tirkey said in his memorandum.

The tribal delegation expressed happiness over the decision and thanked the Chief Minister while hoping it would help them prosper.

PTI