PIB Press Releases

Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Dr Virendra Kumar launches a Scheme for Economic Empowerment of DNTs (SEED)

Department of Social Justice & Empowerment develops an online portal to ensure seamless registration and data storage of these communities

Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment, Dr Virendra Kumar launches the Scheme for Economic Empowerment of DNTs (SEED) here at Dr Ambedkar International Centre, New Delhi for the welfare of De-notified, Nomadic and Semi Nomadic Communities.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Virendra Kumar said that the DNTs, NTs, SNTs are one of the most deprived and economically weaker communities in India. There are historical reasons for this. The misery of these communities began with the enactment of the Criminal Tribes Act, 1871 during British rule. These communities were subjugated, persecuted and neglected. The policies of the colonial government affected lives and livelihood adversely. Little did the colonial state realize the plight of these communities after they were branded as criminals under various colonial acts. This led to the forcible alienation from their traditional occupations and habitations. They remained hunter-gatherers and pastoral/peripatetic.

Even after the Independence; they have not benefitted much from the planned development of over seven decades. They were deprived of state support like the SCs/STs. Various efforts were undertaken for bringing these communities into the mainstream. Accordingly, the first commission was set up in October 2003 during the first NDA Government to look into the problems of these communities. The Renke Commission was set up in 2008.

Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Dr Virendra Kumar launches a Scheme for Economic Empowerment of DNTs (SEED)
Photo credit-press release by PIB

The government was pained to see the miserable condition in which the members of these communities are living and to give impetus for planned development of these communities, the National Commission was constituted in 2015 under the chairmanship of Shri Bhiku Ramji Idate. This commission was tasked among others to identify and proper listing of these communities in different states, to evaluate the progress of development of these communities in the states so that a systematic approach can be developed for the development of these communities.

Based on the recommendation of this commission, the Government of India set up the Development and Welfare Board for DNTs, SNTs &NTs (DWBDNCs) in 2019.

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The Government also decided to create an umbrella scheme for the empowerment of these communities and accordingly, the Scheme for Economic Empowerment of DNTs, SNTs &NTs (SEED) has been formulated with four components that affect their livelihood.

The government is committed for the upliftment of the last man standing and is determined to bring him into the mainstream of overall development: Dr. Virendra Kumar

Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Dr Virendra Kumar launches a Scheme for Economic Empowerment of DNTs (SEED)
Photo credit-press release by PIB

The four-component of the SEED scheme are:

  1. Educational empowerment- Free coaching to students from these communities for Civil Services, entry to professional courses like medicine, engineering, MBA, etc.
  2. Health Insurance through PMJAY of National Health Authority.
  3. Livelihoods to support income generation, and
  4. Housing (through PMAY/IAY)

The scheme will ensure expenditure of Rs.200 crore to be spent over five years beginning 2021-22. The DWBDNCs has been tasked with the implementation of this scheme.

One important feature of this scheme is the online portal which has been developed by the Department. This portal will ensure seamless registration and will also act as a repository of the data on these communities. The portal is very user friendly and easily accessible on mobile phones with its mobile application. It will provide the real-time status of the application to the applicant. The payment to the beneficiaries will be made directly into their accounts. 

“This government is committed for the upliftment of the last man standing and is determined to bring him into the mainstream of overall development,” said Dr Virendra Kumar.

Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Dr Virendra Kumar launches a Scheme for Economic Empowerment of DNTs (SEED)
Photo credit-press release by PIB

“This scheme is a first small step towards the progress and development but not the last for these communities who have been subjected to neglect and apathy for many years,” the Union Minister added.

On this occasion, Minister for State for Social Justice and Empowerment Shri A. Narayanswamy Said that the De-notified, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Tribes are the most neglected, marginalized and economically and socially deprived communities. That is why it is extremely important to bring changes in the collective thinking about these communities.

This Government, under the guidance of our Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi Ji, has taken the initiatives for proper rehabilitation of these communities and for identification of areas of intervention for their progress. Accordingly, a Welfare Board for De-notified, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Communities has been constituted.

He said that this Government is committed to ensuring the overall development of these communities in a true sense following the mantra of our Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi Ji – Sabka Saath, Saabka Vikas, Sabka Viswas, Sabka Prayaas.

Shri R. Subrahmanyam, Secretary, Shri Surendra Singh, Joint Secretary, Department of Social Justice & Empowerment and Shri Bhiku Ramji Idate, Chairman, Development and Welfare Board for De-notified, Nomadic Communities were also present on the occasion.

Disclaimer : This is an official press release by PIB.

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