According to the 2001 Census, the population of Schedule Tribes (ST’s) in the country was 8.43 crores (84.3 million), which was 8.2% of the total population of the country. These 8.43 crore tribals are living in
villages and hamlets of India.
The main concentration of Tribal population is in Central India and in North Eastern States. However, they have presence in all States and Union Territories except Haryana, Punjab, Delhi, Pondicherry and Chandigarh.
Most of the tribal areas are the condulating plateau lands coinciding with the forest areas in the country having much less density of population. It is because of these reasons that creation of critical infrastructure in the tribal areas in sectors of education, health, water, economic development has always been left out by the state and other development agencies on one pretext or the other like economic non- viability, high costs etc. This has resulted in low capacity of the economy in tribal areas to meaningfully absorb funds.
Another lacunae in the development of Tribal’s has been the lack of qualified, dedicated personnel who are willing to work selflessly in Tribal Areas for the educational, economic and social upliftment of the Tribals.
Vanwasi Kalyan Ashram (VKA) with its
dedicated personnel is filling this gap.
To meet the various needs of this large population and area, Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram (VKA) runs a large number of Programmes which can be broadly divided under five heads.
- Economic Development
- Cultural Development
Each of the programmes under the above heads is called a service project. VKA runs 14441 service projects at 10360 places in 1061 tribal developmental blocks of 301 tribal districts of India
E D U C A T I O N
According to the 2001 Census, the literacy rate of Tribals was 47.10% (General 64.8%) in which the rate of male literacy was 59.20% (General 75.3%) and female literacy 34.8% (General 53.7%). This means the literacy rate of Tribals was nearly 18% less than those of the others and of Tribal women nearly 19% lower than other women.
VKA is running 3147 Service Centres to cater to the educational needs of the Tribals
The breakup of these Service Centres or Education Centres is:
|Types of Educational Institutions||Numbers|
|Middle and High Schools||39|
|Primary schools|| 174|
|Pre-primary schools ||157|
|Ekal Vidyalay (One Teacher Schools) ||1263 |
|Balwadi/Vidya Mandir || 96|
|Bal Sanskar Kendra – Daily ||368|
|Bal Sanskar Kendra – Weekly ||453|
|Night school & Free Coaching Centres ||351 |
|Library & Reading Rooms ||49 |
|Total ||2950 |
The total no. of Beneficiaries under the above education programs was
as on 31 Dec 2008.
In addition VKA is running 197 hostels (160 for boys and 37 for girls). The number of students in these hostels is 6697 ( 5271 boys and 1427 girls.)
Students are provided free boarding, lodging, clothes, beddings, books, uniform, school fees and all other hostel facilities by Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram.
Students are generally admitted into these hostels at the level of class 4 or 5 with a few exceptions.
A donor can sponsor a hostel student or a teacher in Ekal Vidyalay (Single Teacher School at Rs.7000 or USA $150) per annum
Approximately 1,00,000 villages and hamlets out of total
tribal villages and hamlets in India are not having a public health centre within a radius of 5 kms.
The Infant Mortality Rate/1000 people (IMR) of tribals is 84.2 against 70 for all –India. The percentage of tribal children born underweight per thousand people is 60 against an all India average of 47. Malnutrition among tribals is very high particularly in Central India
The number of Medical Centres being run by VKA is 3485. Their details are given below:
|Types of Health Centres ||Numbers|
|Daily Medical centres and Hospitals || 46|
|Weekly Medical Centres || 236|
|Mobile Health centre ||2459|
|Medical Camps ||744 |
|Total || 3485|
The total no. of Patients Treated under the above Health programs was more than 1,200,000 ( 1.2 million) as on 30th September, 2009.
What else does VKA do?
Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram’s has 2459 Health Workers spread all over India.A health worker (arogya rakshak) is virtually a life saver. He goes to the door step of tribals to treat ailments. He always has with him medicines like chloroquinine or ORS
Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram’s medical van is available at 75 places in India. It is ready to carry seriously ill tribal patients to the nearest public health centre.
In addition, VKA has various special programmes under
implementation in various states. For example in Madhya Pradesh 175
villages are under a programme for water recharging by which the water
table has already risen by 15 feet. In Orissa a de-addition programme
is in progress whereby 25,000 peoole have benefitted in 500 villages.
Their per capita income have risen by Rs.1000 per month. For these
special programmes see States.
As per the figures of the Planning Commission, 45.86% of the Tribals were living below the poverty line (BPL) in rural areas and 34.75% in urban areas in 1999-2000.
As per 2001 Census figures, 44.7% of ST population were cultivators, 36.9% agriculture labourers, 21% house hold industry workers and 16.3% were in other occupations.Thus about 81.6% of the main tribal workers were engaged in primary sector activities.
To meet the needs of the Tribal population for economic development in the fields of:
- Agro and Rural Industries,
- Minor Irrigation and Water Supply
- Rural Development
- Ayurveda, Yoga, Nuturopathy and Homeopathy
- Science and Technology
- Women and Child Welfare
- Family Welfare, etc
Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram is running 213 Economic Development Centres and
1094 Self Help Groups. and lakhs of people are Benefiting By these Projects in thousand of villages.
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CENTRES(EDC)
|Types of EDC ||Numbers|
|Economic Development Centre || 109 |
|Vocational Training Centres ||
|Self Help Groups Places: ||1094 |
|Villages selected for development || 51 |
SPORTS PROMOTION CENTRES:
VKA is of the view that Sports is an essential component of Tribal life. Archery, athletics, martial arts and many other sports have been practiced by the tribals from times immemorial. In the recent past gymnastics, hockey, football too have been added in the tribal millenu.
Accordingly VKA is actively promoting Sports among Tribals. Currently more than
sports centers are being run.
In addition VKA organizes Annual sports Compaction at Block , district , State,& national level.
The main events in which Tribals participate in these annual events are
Archery, Kabadi, Khoko & Athletics.Laks of Tribals Youth participate in these events-mainly at block and district level.
SOCIAL & CULTURAL
The Tribals have lived in isolation from the mainstream society for centuries. Thus it is very necessary to integrate them with the mainstream society culturally and socially. Accordingly people from towns are taken in groups to tribal areas and they live in the small huts and eat and sleep with tribals with a feeling of brotherhood. This is called van yatra (urban people’s tour to tribal areas.).
Similarly tribal cultural groups are called to show their culture and tradition to the urban people – this is called nagar yatra (tribal people’s town tour). Such tours bring the tribals closer to the urban people.
Such Interaction of the tribal villager Interact with the urban people is a continuous process.
In the year 2008, more than 100000 Tribals benefitted by this Interaction.
5150 social and cultural
Centres are being run to promote Tribal Culture and Traditions. Social awareness is being cultivated through these centres.
The above Programmes have made a significant improvement in the lives of the Tribals. For More See Achievements