UNDER a new project to reach out to families of tribal students and assess what kind of help they may require during the current pandemic and lockdown, teachers and superintendents from Adivasi Ashram Schools have begun calling parents to advise and inform them on policy-making.
Called Sneha Setu or ‘bridge of affection’, the state Tribal Development department project will help officials understand the core concerns of tribal communities, said Tribal Development Minister K C Padvi.
“The project aims to connect with our students’ families and convey a single message to the tribal community — that we are in this together,” said Padvi. “A dialogue with parents will also help us understand their main concerns. The department will then work to formulate welfare policies after evaluating and analysing the information collected,” the minister said.
The extended lockdown has led to extensive loss of livelihood for tribals in large parts of the state with work at brick kilns, construction sites and markets among others shut since mid-March. A report by various civil society organisations has also found that access to protected areas to gather forest produce has been difficult in some regions.
Principal Secretary, Tribal Development department, Manisha Verma said the onus is on the department to engage with the parents of ashram school students and enquire about their wellbeing. “Sneha Setu is a channel which will help form the connect with the community,” Verma said.
The 104 teachers and superintendents operating the Sneha Setu programme will use tele-calling app, Super Receptionist. Verma said training has been imparted to teachers to conduct an “open dialogue” about any urgent needs, including essentials, and slowly inform them about multiple welfare schemes that the department has as well as the cash transfers made to students via Direct Benefit Transfer.
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