Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has launched the Special Development Councils (SDCs) for nine tribal-dominated districts across the state.
The nine districts include Nabarangpur, Malkangiri, Koraput, Rayagada, Kandhamal, Gajapati, Keonjhar, Mayurbhanj and Sundargarh.
Launching the councils at a special function held here, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said the SDCs will focus on preservation and promotion of tribal culture and traditions, heritage and unique identity of tribal communities along with their socio-economic development.
“The State Government would provide Rs 1.5 crore as grant-in-aid to each block of the nine districts which is over and above the funds allotted under different schemes. A total of Rs 175 crore will be spent per annum through these councils,” informed Naveen Patnaik.
The move will benefit around 14 lakh tribal families on their cultural, educational, sports and economic development activities, he claimed.
SC/ST Minister Ramesh Chandra Majhi, Skill Development Minister Usha Devi, Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhy, Chairpersons of SDCs and tribal people from various parts of the state were present on the occasion.
Odisha has 62 categories of tribes, out of which, 13 tribes are known as “Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups” (PTGs), some of which are aboriginal ones, who need special attention.