With an aim to improve the living conditions of the tribal communities in the Odisha, the state government launched Odisha PTG Empowerment and Livelihoods Improvement Program (OPELIP) on Thursday.
Under this program, the state government will spend Rs 795 crore for the development of 13 different PTGs (Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups) – Birhor, Mankirdia, Hill-Kharia, Bondo, Didayi, Juang, Dongaria Kandha, Kutia Kandha, Lanjia Saora and Paudi Bhuiyan – living in 1,019 villages and hamlets in the state and 84 Gram Panchayats (GPs).
Overall, the program will cover approximately 62,356 households, including 13 PGTs and 62 ST and SC households. Initially, the project will be implemented in 12 districts: Malkanagiri, Rayagada, Angul, Deogarh, Ganjam, Nuapada, Keojhar, Sundergarh, Gajapati, Kandhamal, Kalahandi and Mayurbhanj.
The overall goal of OPELIP is to achieve enhanced living conditions and reduce poverty of the target group households. The government aims to achieve this by realising the development objective of enabling improved livelihoods and food and nutrition security primarily for 32,090 PTG households, 14,000 other tribal households and 16,356 other poor and Schedules Caste (SC) households.
Besides, the program will also focus on building the capacity of the target households, securing them their entitlements over land and forest, improving their agricultural practices for enhanced production, promoting income-generating micro-enterprises for alternate livelihoods and ensuring access to education, health and other services and improving community infrastructure.