More Odisha districts come under tribal initiative

The Naveen Patnaik government has expanded the jurisdiction of the Special Development Council (SDC), a unique targeted intervention in the tribal areas, from nine to 23 districts intending to directly touch the lives of 84 lakh indigenous people. The tribal community constitutes 22.8% of Odisha’s population.

“The SDC has been designed in such a way that we can directly improve the lives of tribals in the State. Though 50% of the funds made available to us can be spent for infrastructure, the remaining 50% can be earmarked for sports, culture, skill-training, livelihood promotion and information, education and communication,” said Pradip Majhi, advisor to SDC.

The Odisha CM said the SDC would help preserve culture and tradition of even small tribal groups.

The State has spent a total of ₹281.54 crore in more than 60,000 projects in tribal-dominated areas. This year, the government plans to spend ₹223.5 crore for the SDC.