New Delhi, Oct 2 (PTI) There is lack of awareness about tribal heritage and products, Union Tribal Affairs Minister Arjun Munda said on Friday and called on industry leaders to join efforts to develop the potential of Scheduled Tribes.
The minister made the remarks while inaugurating a 'Centre of Excellence (CoE) for Tribal Entrepreneurship Development' set up by apex industry body ASSOCHAM.
'A differentiated value proposition mooted by ASSOCHAM should help position and develop tribal offerings and in turn, create better livelihood opportunities for tribal artisans and the community at large,' the minister said.
Munda said the potential of the Indian tribal community has largely remained untapped due to various reasons, and 'there is lack of awareness about tribal heritage and the range of their produce across the country'.
The minister called upon all stakeholders, including the industry members, to join in the efforts of developing the potential of the tribal communities and building their capacities to enhance their contribution in socio-economic growth.
ASSOCHAM president Niranjan Hiranandani said, 'Considering that scheduled tribes are almost 20 years behind the average Indian population in terms of their development, the potential of approximately eight per cent of our population must be fully developed and leveraged.' The 'Tribal Entrepreneurship Development Programme' would optimise their contribution to the growing economy of our country and support India's vision of becoming 'Atmanirbhar', he said.
In a separate event, Munda also launched an e-marketplace only for tribal sellers and organisations working with them.
'The Tribes India e-Marketplace will be similar to selling your products on e-commerce giants Amazon or Flipkart. The difference is just that it will only be for tribals,' Managing Director of TRIFED Praveer Krishna said.
The government had set up Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India in 1987 with an aim to provide fair price for products of tribals across the country.
The agency functions under the Union Tribal Affairs Ministry.
The objective is to bring around 5 lakh tribal artisans online, thus connecting them to a larger national and international market, Krishna said.
'The suppliers comprise tribal artisans, tribal self-help groups and NGOs working with tribals. The platform provides tribal suppliers with an omni-channel facility to sell their goods through their own retailers and distributors, TRIFED's network of outlets and e-commerce partners as well as their own account in e-Marketplace,' he said.
Around 5 lakh tribal items across 20,000 categories, including textiles, paintings, home decor items, jewellery, and metal crafts, will be available on the website. PTI GVS IJT