Talking about the life of people from tribal communities, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said that though it is full of struggle, they are blessed with the ability to overcome all difficulties.
Speaking at the inauguration function of National Tribal Carnival-2016 at Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium in Delhi, Modi said, “Our tribal communities have faced difficulties. They have also been blessed with the ability to overcome them and look ahead.”
Talking about his experience of being in tribal dominated areas, Modi said has spent years working in those places and have interacted with them closely. He said its the people from tribal communities that have saved forests in India.
“If there is someone who saved the forests it is our tribal communities. Saving forests is a part of tribal culture,” said Modi.
Modi said natural resources are mostly in forested areas which are inhabited by tribals and, while pursuing development goals, mineral resources should not be extracted in a way which is detrimental to their interests.
“There is need to extract iron ore, coal but it should not be done at the cost of tribals,” he said.
He said no one should get the opportunity to “snatch” away the rights of the tribals, and those who do, will face stringent action.
The Prime minister said, in the past, while iron ore and coal were extracted, tribal people of mineral bearing areas never benefited from it. He said following the introduction of a scheme to impose cess, the money so collected is now being utilised to expand facilities, including infrastructure, to benefit the tribals.
The government, Modi said, is now pushing for advanced technology which ensures that the environment is not severely affected in the process of mining.
Gasification of coal in underground facilities at the excavation sites is helping control pollution and damage to the health of the people in surrounding areas.
Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister also pitched for start-ups to brand and export tribal goods to domestic and foreign markets.
He said once people start buying goods manufactured by tribals, it would help in their economic empowerment.
(With inputs from PTI)