The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a dramatic loss of human life worldwide and presents an unprecedented challenge to public health, food systems and the livelihood. World Health Organization called Covid-19 public health emergency of international concern and declared a pandemic on 11th March 2020. India was struck by the outburst of COVID – 19 at the same time and took immediate, necessary actions by announcing a nationwide lockdown. The economic and social disruption caused by the pandemic is devastating and significant number of people are at risk of falling into extreme poverty.
The Ministry of Tribal Affairs is committed to safety and wellbeing of the tribal population of India during the pandemic through following all guidelines and protocols provided by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. MoTA has focused its interventions in health on spreading awareness about COVID – 19, improving accessibility to the essential medical services and thermal screening of tribal people. Essentials like – masks, soap, PPE kits to frontline workers have been distributed in various areas. Mobile Medical Units and other medical facilities were provisioned in different locations.
Medical Plant clusters have been developed under AatmaNirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan with support community members and utilizing their local knowledge of medical plants, in collaboration with Ministry of AYUSH.
Ministry has also extended its interventions for economic support during the pandemic by revising the Minimum Support Price (MSP) of forest produce, adding 23 new items under MSP list, sanctioning of 1126 Van Dhan Vikas Kendra to create employment opportunities for 3.6 lakh tribal under Van Dhan Yojana and provisioning of financial, capacity and advisory support for establishment of village enterprises.
National Scheduled Tribes Finance and Development Corporation (NSTFDC), under the Ministry of Tribal Affairs extends financial support for self-employment to tribal and provide assured availability of need based financial support, capacity and advisory services for establishment of village enterprises/ self-employment through its institutional platform to 55,000 tribal individuals.