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Recently, the Minister of Tribal Affairs reviewed various initiatives under ‘Sankalp Se Siddhi-Mission Vand Dhan’. By TRIFED (Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India).
About Van Dhan Scheme:
- The initiative aims to promote MFPs-centric livelihood development of tribal gatherers and artisans.
- It mainstreams the tribal community by promoting primary level value addition to MFP at grassroots level.
- The Van Dhan Scheme is an initiative of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs and TRIFED.
- It was launched on 14th April, 2018 and seeks to improve tribal incomes through value addition of tribal products.
- The Ministry of Tribal Affairs will implement the scheme as the Nodal Department at the Central Level, and the National Nodal Agency will be TRIFED.
- At State level, the State Nodal Agency for MFPs and the District collectors are envisaged to play a pivot role in scheme implementation at grassroot level.
- The Managing Committee of the Kendras at the local level is proposed to manage them. The Managing Committee will consist of representatives from Van Dhan Self-Help Groups (SHGs) in the cluster.
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Significances Of Van Dhan Scheme:
- Empowerment of Tribal Communities: The scheme plays a crucial role in empowering tribal communities by providing them with opportunities for sustainable livelihoods. It aims to uplift their economic status and improve their standard of living through the establishment of Van Dhan Vikas Kendras (VDVKs) or tribal livelihood centers.
- Value Addition and Market Linkages: The Van Dhan Scheme emphasizes value addition to non-timber forest products (NTFPs) collected by tribal communities. It encourages them to process these raw materials into finished goods, such as handicrafts, herbal medicines, and food products. By adding value to the forest produce, tribal communities can earn higher incomes. The scheme also facilitates market linkages for the sale of these value-added products.
- Preservation of Traditional Knowledge: The scheme recognizes and preserves the traditional knowledge and skills possessed by tribal communities regarding forest resources. It encourages the transmission of this knowledge to future generations and promotes sustainable practices for the utilization of forest produce. This not only helps in the conservation of biodiversity but also contributes to the preservation of cultural heritage.
- Skill Development and Capacity Building: The Van Dhan Scheme focuses on skill development and capacity building of tribal communities. It provides training programs to enhance their knowledge and expertise in value addition, entrepreneurship, product development, quality control, and marketing. These skills enable the tribal members to become self-reliant and actively participate in the local and regional economy.
- Employment Generation: By promoting value addition and market linkages, the Van Dhan Scheme creates employment opportunities for tribal communities. It encourages them to form self-help groups (SHGs) and cooperative societies to collectively engage in various activities, such as collection, processing, packaging, and marketing of forest-based products. The scheme also supports the establishment of processing infrastructure and equipment, leading to further job creation.
- Conservation of Forest Resources: The Van Dhan Scheme indirectly contributes to the conservation of forest resources. By promoting sustainable harvesting practices and value addition to forest produce, it reduces the dependence on destructive activities like illegal logging and promotes the sustainable use of natural resources. This helps in preserving the biodiversity and ecological balance of forest ecosystems.
The Van Dhan Scheme is a government initiative that focuses on tribal livelihood development by promoting value addition to forest produce. Through the establishment of Van Dhan Vikas Kendras and involvement of self-help groups, the scheme aims to empower tribal communities, create employment opportunities, and enhance their income generation. It emphasizes skill development, market linkages, and preservation of traditional knowledge. The scheme contributes to the conservation of forest resources and overall socio-economic upliftment of tribal communities.