The Ministry of Tribal Affairs has launched the “Programme for Capacity Building of Scheduled Tribe Representatives in Local Self Governments” along with “1000 Springs Initiatives”.An online portal on GIS-based Spring Atlas has also been launched.
Capacity Building Initiative:
It is aimed at empowering tribal Panchayati Raj Institution (PRI) representatives by enhancing their decision-making capabilities at local government level. Apart from tribal development, it also focuses on constitutional and legal provisions that protect and promote the rights and welfare of the tribal population.
1000 Springs Initiative
The initiative aims at improving access to safe and adequate water for the tribal communities living in difficult and inaccessible parts of rural areas in the country. The initiative will help in harnessing the potential of perennial springs’ water to address the natural scarcity of water in tribal areas. Springs are natural sources of groundwater discharge and have been used extensively in the mountainous regions across the world, including India.60% of the Indian Himalayan region residents depend on springs, though, 50% of the springs in the Indian Himalayan region have already dried up.
However, in the central and eastern Indian belt with more than 75% tribal population, springs remain largely unrecognized and under-utilized. It includes the provision of infrastructure for piped water supply for drinking; provision of water for irrigation; community-led total sanitation initiatives; and provision for water for backyard nutrition gardens, generating sustainable livelihood opportunities for the tribal people.
Online portal on GIS-based Spring Atlas:
It has been developed to make the data about the hydrological and chemical properties of the Springs easily accessible from an online platform. As of now, data of more than 170 springs have been uploaded on the Spring Atlas.