Trinamool Congress Rajya Sabha MP Abir Ranjan Biswas said on Tuesday that the representation of Schedule Tribe (ST) people in the government offices is just 6 per cent in the country.
Participating in a debate in the Upper House on the working of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Biswas said that despite the Constitutional guarantee to the ST population, we as a country have failed to accommodate the ST population.
Referring to the Ministry data on villages where ST population is greater than 25 per cent, the Trinamool lawmaker stated that it is shocking to know that only 9 per cent of these villages have a bank, only 24 per cent have a healthcare centre, and only 50 per cent of them have tap water connection.
Noting that ST constitutes 8.6 per cent of the total population of the country, CPI-M member V. Sivadasan demanded that 8.6 per cent of the total Budget allocation should be allotted for STs.
He said the government has allocated only 2.26 per cent of the total expenditure to STs in the Union Budget for 2022-23.
Joining the debate, DMK lawmaker Kanimozhi said that many students from marginalised communities have been compelled to stay out of schools and support their parents in forest-based and local livelihoods during the pandemic.
She asked the government whether it has assessed the situation.
She further said that a National Scheme of Incentive to Girl Child for Secondary Education (NSIGSE), which was started in 2008 to promote the enrolment of SC and ST girls in secondary schools and also to reduce dropouts, has been discontinued.