The Maharashtra government has decided to open Aadhaar-linked bank accounts of tribal school children and their parents for the transfer of funds for the purchase of 17 different items under the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) scheme. Minister for Tribal Welfare Vishnu Savara told this to reporters at the state secretariat here today.
“This is being done to put an end to the constant complaints that poor quality items were being given to the tribal children,” he said.
There are around 1,600 government-aided ashram schools in the state with enrolment of 42,000 students.
“Seventeen essential items that include soaps, hair oil, toothbrush, towels, shoes, uniform and other items cost around Rs 4,400. The total expenditure for the DBT is Rs 98 crore, for which budgetary allocation has been made,” he said.
Replying to queries over the alleged delay in the distribution of school textbooks, notebooks and other stationery, Savara said that these items will now be given to the students on the first day of the academic year.
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“In case of the tribal areas, where banking facilities are not available, the 17 listed items will be directly given to the students by the project officer concerned,” he said.
Savara announced that taking into account the problems faced by the tribal school children studying between standard VI and standard XII, the government has decided to impart life skill training to them.
“The selected school principals and teachers will impart to them training that deals with their health, nutrition, hygiene and life skills,” he said.
The government has inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), whereby policies and programmes can be devised, monitored, evaluated and coordinated.
The Tribal Welfare department has also signed MoUs with Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Technological University for ensuring effective implementation of schemes, he added.
An MoU has also been signed with Mumbai Economics and Public Policy Institute to devise policies in sync with the present times seeking assistance from study groups formed by the institute.
The MoU signed with the Urvi Ashok Piramal Foundation relates to implementing program for health check-ups, counselling and awareness for the tribal students. The MoU signed with the National Stock Exchange (NSE) relates to survey of amenities like supply of drinking water, toilets, washrooms and other hygiene related issues, Savara added.