Raipur: Chief minister Bhupesh Baghel, while inaugurating the three-day National Tribal Literature Festival at Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay Auditorium in Raipur, said that there is a need to preserve and promote the tribal language, culture and civilization. He said that the National Tribal Literature Festival is being organized for the first time in Chhattisgarh. This event will definitely act as a bridge for cultural exchange between tribal and other communities.
Scheduled Castes and Tribes Minister Dr. Premsai Singh Tekam, Culture Minister Amarjeet Bhagat, Women and Child Development Minister Anila Bhediya, Former Chief Secretary Sunil Kujur, State Finance Commission Chairman Sergius Minj, Secretary Scheduled Castes and Tribes D.D. Singh were also present on the occasion.
At the National Tribal Literature Festival, Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel felicitated Padma Shri Loknayak Haldhar Nag, Sakini Ramachandra and Arjun Singh Dhurve by presenting them a shawl and coconut. While honoring the eminent poet Padmashree Haldhar Nag, the Chief Minister warmly embraced him.
Welcoming the eminent litterateurs, creators, university scholars, researchers, subject-experts, dancers, painters, who have arrived from all over the country to participate in the event, Baghel said that from Surguja to Bastar, Chhattisgarh is home to many tribal communities. All these communities have their own unique languages and cultures. He said that in Chhattisgarh, the problem of naxalism has been resolved to a great extent in the last three years. Chhattisgarh is now being known for its rich and glorious culture across the country and abroad. As the tribal culture and civilization is an important part of Chhattisgarh’s identity, our government is making every possible effort to preserve and protect it. In the same sequence, the tribal dance festival was organized as an international event, which served as an opportunity for people across the world to learn about the rich culture of Chhattisgarh. He said that it is a matter of concern that many tribes across the world as well as their culture are going extinct. Chhattisgarh Government has taken an initiative at school-level to protect and preserve the tribal culture. Under this initiative, a text book has been prepared in 16 types of dialects and the students of class I and II are being provided the facility to study in their local language. Badal Academy has been established in Bastar for the preservation and promotion of tribal languages, dialects, and art traditions. Similar academies are also being set up in other tribal dominated districts.
Chief Minister further said that the Chhattisgarh Government is committed to protect the tribal interests. Our Government has distributed the forest land rights certificates to the tribal people to ensure their rights. The State Government decided to plant fruit trees in forest areas to create employment for the forest dwellers and to meet their needs. Likewise, the number of forest produce procured at support price has been increased from 7 to 65 and value addition to these forest produce is also being ensured. Moreover, facilities of education, healthcare and employment are being ensured for the tribal people by the state government. He said that our government is working for the education, health and employment of the tribes.
Scheduled Castes and Tribes Development Minister Dr. Premsai Singh Tekam said that forests are protected by the tribal people. Nearly 80 percent of the forest produce in the country is procured from Chhattisgarh. Keeping in view the present circumstances, Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel has started 171 Swami Atmanand English Medium Schools to provide quality education to the children of poor families. Children of tribal communities are also being benefited under the scheme. Through Prayas School in the state, children of tribal communities are being provided coaching for the entrance exams for engineering and medical studies. He also underlined the need to compile tribal traditions and literature in a proper manner. He said that besides the National Tribal Literature Festival, a state level art and painting competition and dance festival would also be organized in the state for three days. Moreover, a book fair has been organized for the promotion and development of tribal literature. Here, arrangements for display cum sale of the books on tribal subjects have been made. Besides, stalls of various departments of the state like Handicrafts Development Board, Tribal Research and Training Institute, Pharmaceutical Plant Board, Public Relations Department, Mati Kala Board, Culture and Archeology Department, State Minor Forest Produce Cooperative Federation have also been set up. Stalls of Gadh Kaleva and Bastariha cuisine have also been put up.
The event was addressed by Professor Keshari Lal Verma, Vice Chancellor of Pandit Ravi Shankar Shukla University as well. Commissioner Scheduled Castes and Tribes Shammi Abidi delivered the welcome address. Various tribal community heads and officials were also present on the occasion.