The Van Dhan tribal start-ups, especially has found great acceptance in the North-East. Activities are on in full-swing. Especially in the state of Tripura where activities are on under Hmunpui Van Dhan Vikas Kendra, North Tripura.
Retail Marketing for Livelihood Development
TRIFED, UNICEF to leverage 45,000 Van Dhan Vikas Kendras to promote COVID vaccines among 50 lakh tribals.
TRIFED, UNICEF to leverage 45,000 Van Dhan Vikas Kendras to promote COVID vaccines among 50 lakh tribals
NEW DELHI, 15 July 2021 – Shri Arjun Munda, Hon’ble Minister of Tribal Affairs, today, virtually launched the “COVID Teeka Sang Surakshit Van, Dhan aur Uddyam” (Safe Forests, Wealth and Enterprises with COVID Vaccine) campaign to accelerate the pace of COVID vaccination among tribals, in India.
The campaign will leverage the 45,000 Van Dhan Vikas Kendras (VDVK) of the Tribal Co-operative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED), a national level cooperative body under the administrative control of Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Government of India.
The campaign is being launched in partnership with UNICEF and WHO. The goal is to connect over 50 lakh tribals emphasizing COVID-19 vaccination is free, available in the nearby centres and it not only protects people from hospitalization cost and death but also also helps to continue with livelihood activities.
The campaign will highlight the three key Js:
- Jeevan (Life) – Every life and livelihood is precious, so vaccination is key to life and is free.
- Jeevika (Livelihood) – You can continue with your Van Dhan Vikas Kendra and livelihood activities without any fear of getting the disease if you are vaccinated. It also saves you from hospitalization and other opportunity costs.
- Jaagrookta (Awareness) – Simplification of the process of registration for vaccination, place, accessibility to different audiences and age groups, especially women and elderly population. Van Dhan Vikas Kendras collaborate and work with other stakeholders with service as a motto and with dedication and commitment that they have a key role to make Panchayats and villages coronavirus free.
Shri Munda launched the campaign through video conferencing link-up with field camps in Mandla in Madhya Pradesh and Bastar in Chhattisgarh. Hon’ble Minister of State for Steel, Shri Faggan Singh Kulaste, Hon’ble Ministers of State for Tribal Affairs – Shri Bishweswar Tudu and Smt. Renuka Singh too were present virtually during the launch. Other dignitaries present during the launch were Shri Pravir Krishna, Managing Director, TRIFED; WHO Representative Dr. Roderico Ofrin; UNICEF India Representative Dr. Yasmin Ali Haque; and Shri Anupam Trivedi, Executive Director, TRIFED.
On the occasion, Shri Munda also launched the newly prepared Digital Directory under TRIFED’s Digital Connect Programme. TRIFED started a Digital Connect programme under which a two way communication process is proposed to be established with all tribal Beneficiaries associated with Van Dhan Vikas Yojana and Retail operations of TRIFED. Beside these, a number of other stakeholders interested in TRIFED activities are also being included to expand awareness about the schemes and activities of TRIFED and motivate them to be a part of these livelihood generating initiatives for tribals. The directory with all this information is now ready and was launched by the Hon’ble Minister, thus signalling the commencement of the Digital Connect Programme.
Launching the campaign, Shri Munda said, “We have been able to overcome two challenging waves, gained experience and are determined to stop the third wave. We have a role to play in rebuilding a new society, free of COVID infection. The campaign hopes to make our Van Dhan Vikas Kendras and villages to be the first in respective states to be declared COVID free and free of all restrictions.”
Giving details about the vaccination progress in tribal areas, he said that majority of the tribal districts were performing well in terms of COVID vaccination coverage.
"However, there still is vaccine hesitancy among certain groups due to an infodemic against the coronavirus vaccine, and myths, rumours, misinformation and disinformation are adding to the infodemic. The ‘COVID Teeka Sang Surakshit Van, Dhan aur Uddyam’ campaign focusses on reassurance, pride and self-efficacy. It promotes ‘Livelihoods with Health’ in tribal areas, fast tracks the activities of VDVK, and accelerates the pace of COVID vaccination among tribals engaged in procurement, value addition and marketing of handlooms, handicrafts and forest produces,” Shri Munda added.
The campaign will leverage the strength and network of Self Help Groups and other common touch points – Common Service Centres, fertilizers outlet centres, Haats and Bazaars, VDVKs and milk collection points, and will use wall paintings with tribal motifs to promote vaccine uptake and COVID Appropriate Behaviour.
The campaign will use non-traditional partnerships and community reach for mobilization and collective action such as involvement of traditional leaders like tadvis/patels, faith-based healers and incentivize adoption of vaccines through local health structures and COVID warriors.
UNICEF India Representative, Dr Yasmin Haque said, “COVID-19 has exacerbated issues of access to sanitation, nutrition and health services in the tribal areas making the people more vulnerable. This campaign is aligned with UNICEF’s equity approach to survival, growth and development of children. We are proud to be associated with this campaign, which focuses on vaccine equity and engages with communities that risk being left behind.”
TRIFED through the successful implementation of Van Dhan Yojana seeks to shift the focus from mere collection of forest produce to value-addition of the high utility products.
In its endeavour to promote tribal development, Trifed’s ‘Van Dhan Yojana’ seeks to shift tribal economy from supply of raw materials to value-added processing of these materials
Mangli, 45, is a thoroughbred Muria-Gond woman. When the mahua season sets in, you can see her going early in the morning with other village women to the deep woods to gather from the forest floor, the yellow mahua flowers with a heady fragrance. She gathers them in a basket custom-designed for it. She can gather about ten kilos of the flower. The to and fro walk, with the head-load on the return walk, is around twelve kilometres. She brings the mahua home and sun-dries it. And then? She smiles back at you. She will sell it to an operative of a trader, locally called a 'kochiya'. She does not know his name but knows him by face. She does not know what 'fair price' connotes. She does not know what the buyer will do with her produce. She does not know what fair-trade practices mean. Years ago, as a little girl, she accompanied her mother to the forest. Now she has a son who is married. Her daughter-in-law accompanies her to the forest. This routine has gone on for ages perhaps. Has there been no change? Yes, there is change, she says, with characteristic simplicity; the forests have thinned out.
That sums up the sad saga of tribal commerce. Once upon a time, tribal dependence on cash was marginal. Now it has increased manifold. But the economics remain at the subsistence level. Why? Because we have got used to viewing the forest-tribes as raw material gatherers, and the tribal areas as raw material storehouses. Scheduled Tribes constitute over eight per cent of our population. Successive governments have done what they thought was necessary for the upliftment of the tribes. But they perhaps did not adequately get to the heart of the matter. The forest-tribes are custodians ('owners', under the new law) of non-timber forest-produces, whose annual market value is estimated to be a staggering two lakh crore rupees. But this huge business-potential is yet to be adequately appreciated. And the strengthening of this business is yet to be adequately understood as the best driver of tribal development.
It is for this reason that the idea of NTFP-centric tribal development for forest/tribal areas needs to be pushed. It took a lot of persuasion and over 200 meetings with concerned agencies and officials at the highest levels. The initiative was aptly named 'Van Dhan', the wealth of the forests. The Prime Minister appreciated the idea and it soon came under his direct patronage as 'Pradhan Mantri Van Dhan Vikas Yojana'. Trifed was the natural choice as the nodal agency for implementation of this scheme.
It needs to be emphasised that commerce and industry involving the tribes is the best form of corporate social responsibility that India Inc. should get interested in. It offers profit with 'Punya'. The huge human resource of the forest tribes and their traditional knowledge bank of forest produces is an invaluable capital that our corporate captains have ignored for long. 'Van Dhan' is hands-on involvement in 'Sabka Vikas', inclusive development. What exactly is Trifed's role? It's to provide end-to-end solutions. Trifed has its footprint right from gathering/harvesting the forest produces that include tree-borne oilseeds, flowers, herbs, barks, leaves, honey and a host of natural spices, to their primary processing, product development, packaging, transportation and marketing. Trifed is a facilitator and can help develop linkages between the collectives of tribal NTFP gatherers on the one hand and corporates on the other. Like Mangli gathering mahua in Bastar, there are thousands of other forest-based women spread over 26 states in India who are the first-point source for over a hundred forest produces. Under the new PMVDY scheme, the emphasis is on improving value addition to the produces rather than a mere collection of the produces from the forests. Trifed aptly calls it 'Tech for the Tribes'. It is to promote the tribal 'gatherer' to become a gatherer-cum-processor. For such processing, 'Van Dhan Vikas Kendras' are being set up in strategic locations. 1205 such centres have already been sanctioned in 26 States and most of these have become functional. These involve over 3,60,000 gatherers. Some success stories have already started flowing in. The North Eastern States are doing exceptionally well, thanks to some dedicated leaders in Kohima and Dimapur. The Naga 'Van Dhan' entrepreneurs under the stewardship of Kathi Chand are making Nutra Beverages and 'Herbaceuticals' with tie-ups with the Indian Council for Scientific Research. One of their flagship products is the essential oil derived from Van Tulsi, that sells for Rs 22,000 a litre and is in great demand. The 'Senapati Van Dhan Kendra' under the leadership of Gaithaolu Thaimei is making value-added products from apples and gooseberries. SRIJAN led by Ved Arya is making processed products based on custard apples through the 'Van Dhan Kendra' in Jhadoli (Udaipur). Many more stories are emerging week after week. Trifed has been actively developing new product lines in technical collaboration with IITs and other reputed organisations. 14 such products covering energy-drinks, spices, beauty-care and drugs have already been developed. What we need is more involvement of the corporates in marketing and tertiary processing of the intermediate products made in the 'Van Dhan Vikas Kendras'. Trifed would like to remain a facilitator, to help the private sector develop sustainable facilities and systems. Apart from forest produces, Trifed also deals in the promotion of tribal handicrafts. It has 77 TribesIndia showrooms across India. It wants to promote many more through the franchise model. This opens up self-employment opportunities for hundreds of young entrepreneurs.
TRIFED holds the hands of the capable tribal artisans to hone their entrepreneurial skills and earn a respectable livelihood.
In a major initiative aimed at transforming over 5 crore tribal entrepreneurs, the government has launched "Tech for Tribal" project. The initiative has been launched by Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation (TRIFED) in association with IIT-Kanpur along with IIT-Roorkee, IIM Indore, Kalinga Institute of Social Science (KISS), and SRIJAN, Jaipur during the first phase of organising tribal entrepreneurship and skill development programme.
While talking to Millennium Post, TRIFED MD Pravir Krishna said, "The TRIFED received an overwhelming response from all leading higher education institutions in the country for strategising to infuse best in class training and capacity building for tribals to start their own business."
"The project has huge potential to make an impact over 3 lakh tribals. The TRIFED has drawn out a 5-year strategy for 10 times impact in tribal development," Krishna further said.
"We are working towards greater convergence of various schemes under key ministries of the government of India, leading national institutions, social sector and most of all industry leaders and work towards this singular goal of promoting tribal produce in a big way," said Krishna, who has been working tirelessly to hone up the marketing skills of tribals of the country. Tech for Tribals is an initiative of TRIFED, which is supported by Ministry of MSME and it aims at capacity building and imparting entrepreneurship skills to tribal forest produce gatherers enrolled under the Pradhan Mantri Van Dhan Yojana (PMVDY). The trainees will undergo an over six-week programme comprising 120 sessions.
On the occasion, IIT Kanpur Director Prof Abhay Karandikar said, "The programme offers students and innovators to solve livelihood problems through micro-entrepreneurship development. We will establish a framework for long-term institutional support in fostering tribal-centric micro-entrepreneurship. All our students, start-ups at our Incubation Centre and alumni will have the opportunity to get directly involved in mentoring tribal entrepreneurs and help them build sustainable businesses in the districts they operate."
The TRIFED expects revenue of over Rs 1,000 crores by 1,200 odd Van Dhan Vikas Kendras roll-out their value addition activities, efficiently supported by the best in class expertise available in the country.
Shri Arjun Munda, Hon’ble Minister for Tribal Affairs launches the tribal livelihoods initiative, “Sankalp Se Siddhi – Mission Van Dhan” .
Shri Arjun Munda, Hon’ble Minister for Tribal Affairs launches the tribal livelihoods initiative, “Sankalp Se Siddhi – Mission Van Dhan”
New premises of TRIFED headquarters inaugurated
Seven new Tribes India Outlets inaugurated virtually at Jagdalpur, Ranchi, Jamshedpur and Sarnath
Immunity boosting hampers, Tribes India Coffee table book among other highlights of this mega-launch event
‘Sankalp Se Siddhi’ – Mission Van Dhan, was launched by Shri Arjun Munda, Hon’ble Minister for Tribal Affairs on June 15, 2021. The event also witnessed the inauguration and launch of several other programmes, including the new premises of the TRIFED headquarters. Keeping in line with the Hon’ble Prime Minister's clarion call Vocal for Local and to build and Atmanirbhar Bharat, TRIFED has been coming up with several initiatives, all aimed at sustainable livelihoods for our tribal population.
Shri Arjun Munda formally inaugurated the new office at 4:30 pm by cutting the ribbon in the presence of Smt Renuka Singh, Minister of State, Shri Bhaskar Khulbe, Advisor to the Hon’ble Prime Minister, Shri Ramesh Chand Meena, Chairman TRIFED, and Shri Pravir Krishna, Managing Director, TRIFED.
Speaking on the occasion, Shri Munda remarked, “I am delighted to inaugurate the new premises of TRIFED and unveil some noteworthy initiatives that TRIFED has been working towards, such as Sankalp se Siddhi – Mission Van Dhan. Implementation of this crucial mission will definitely result in the transformation of the tribal ecosystem in our country. Today is definitely a momentous day for tribal people, as today sees the culmination of such valuable efforts the TRIFED team has put in consistently over the past years. It is commendable that the Ministry of Tribal Affairs and the TRIFED team has achieved this, despite the difficult circumstances of the past two years.”
Smt Renuka Singh, Hon’ble Minister of State, Ministry of Tribal Affairs said, “It is noteworthy that the new initiatives being unveiled today take care of all aspects of tribal empowerment, be it spreading awareness about the richness of tribal lifestyle and natural produce with the Immunity Boost product hampers and the attractively designed H&IG products which are not only sustainable; or preserving the culture through the vivid colourful Coffee Table book.”
Shri Bhaskar Khulbe, Advisor to the Hon’ble Prime Minister complimented the TRIFED team for their new premises and said, “I am happy that a slew of initiatives, all benefitting the tribal population are being launched today.”
The new TRIFED Office premises at NSIC Complex, Okhla Industrial Area, Phase-III, New Delhi is around 30,000 sq ft in area and has state-of-the-art infrastructure and is equipped with two conference rooms for video conferencing and other latest amenities. It houses office space for the Hon’ble Minister for Tribal Affairs, Managing Director, senior officials and all staff.
The most notable initiative that was unveiled today was “Sankalp Se Siddhi – Mission Van Dhan”. TRIFED has been implementing several noteworthy programmes for the empowerment of the tribals. Over the past two years, The ‘Mechanism for Marketing of Minor Forest Produce (MFP) through Minimum Support Price (MSP) & Development of Value Chain for MFP’ has impacted the tribal ecosystem in a major way. It has injected Rs 3000 crores into the tribal economy, even during such difficult times, aided by government push. The Van Dhan tribal start-ups, a component of the same scheme, has emerged as a source of employment generation for tribal gatherers and forest dwellers and the home-bound tribal artisans. In less than two years, 37,362 Van Dhan Vikas Kendras (VDVKs), subsumed into 2240 Van Dhan Vikas Kendra Clusters (VDVKCs) of 300 forest dwellers each, have been sanctioned by TRIFED out of which 1200 VDVK Clusters are operational. Under Retail Marketing, a total number of 134 Tribes India Outlets have been opened till date, which have made a total sale of Rs.53.66 Cr. Besides, two TRIFOOD Projects at Jagdalpur and Raigarh (Maharashtra) are being shortly commissioned for undertaking value-addition of various forest products being procured by beneficiaries of Van Dhan Kendras. As a result of above, an estimated amount of Rs. 3800 Cr. has so far been injected in tribal economy and has impacted lives of 50 Lakhs Tribal Population. TRIFED now plans to expand its operations through convergence of various schemes of different Ministries and Departments and launch the various tribal development programs in Mission Mode under “Sankalp Se Siddhi – Mission Van Dhan” for expediting its implementation in a Mission mode. Through this mission, establishment of 50,000 Van Dhan Vikas Kendras, 3000 Haat Bazaars, 600 Godowns, 200 Mini TRIFOOD Units, 100 Common Facility Centres, 100 TRIFOOD parks, 100 SFURTI clusters, 200 Tribes India retail stores, ecommerce platforms for TRIFOOD and Tribes India brands is being targeted.
The other initiatives launched today include the Van Dhan Software Application. Designed to receive and process the Van Dhan proposals online, the software application has GIS integration, can monitor Van Dhan Project implementation activities and can generate related reports. A Digital Connect programme under which a two way communication process is proposed to be established was also launched today.
Shri Munda also inaugurated 7 more Tribes India outlets, 2 in Jagdalpur, 3 in Ranchi, 1 in Jamshedpur and 1 at Sarnath. Showcasing tribal products from all over the country, the outlets will have specific GI and Vandhan corners and will display the large variety of GI tagged and natural products from different parts of the country. The Sarnath outlet is the first successful collaboration with the Ministry of Culture at an ASI heritage site. With these outlets, the total number of Tribes India outlets have gone up to 141.
A Tribes India Coffee Table Book which showcases the rich cultural tribal heritage and highlights the journey of various tribal artisans practicing different arts and crafts and how TRIFED has impacted their livelihoods, was also unveiled today. With the mission to make Tribes India the ultimate gifting destination, TRIFED has compiled a hamper of Unique handicrafts, GI products and immunity boosters from different parts of the country. These hampers, unveiled today, will make for unique gifts both here and abroad. TRIFED has also been providing Skill upgradation & Design Development Workshops for the development of Tribal Artisans through Handicraft and Income Generation Training Programs. During the pandemic, efforts were made for skill development of the tribal artisans and 17 training Programs were approved for benefitting 340 tribal artisans and developing 170 new designed products. Twenty five newly designed products from the recently completed Design workshop training programs for the Boksa tribal artisans at Rishikesh and Meena tribal artisans at Jaipur, were also launched.
Shri Pravir Krishna, Managing Director, TRIFED said speaking on the occasion, “TRIFED is working consistently on its mission towards making the tribals atmanirbhar and self-reliant. These are just a glimpse of the activities it has undertaken in this regard. The team is striving in this direction and will continue to do so.”
With the emphasis of the PM on Vocal for local and building a self-reliant India, TRIFED, as the nodal agency working towards tribal empowerment, continues to launch and start new initiatives that helps in improving the income and livelihood of the tribal people, while preserving their way of life and traditions.
To further the cause of socio-economic development of the underdeveloped tribal population of the country, TRIFED, since its inception is engaged in establishing and functioning through its retail outlets placed in strategic locations in different
TRIFED Corporate Affairs Division
TRIFED has initiated steps to foster VanDhan Micro enterprises through 50-100 State level Producer Companies. VanDhan Producer Companies aims at enhancing productivity, cost reduction, efficient aggregation, large scale processing for value addition, better by-product utilization and efficient marketing of the produce.
It is a proud moment for us to present the progress that we have made in the implementation of Van Dhan Yojana, touching the lives of 3.6 Lakhs Forest Produce gathering tribals enabling them to take entrepreneurial path. We stand with 18,075 Self Help Groups across India with funding of Rs.165.79 Cr. at present.
The ESDP training of VDVK Medi in Rajasthan has been completed on March 19, 2021
Till date, Gramshree Foundation Trust with SRIJAN has imparted total 2 VDVK ESDP Trainings.
Trainings for next batches for several other VDVKs have already been planned.
As a part of its Village and Digital Connect initiative, TRIFED’s regional officials across the country have been visiting villages with a significant tribal population for the past month. This is being done to oversee the implementation of these programmes and ensure that the programmes are reaching the tribals and they are benefitting from the existing schemes and initiatives.
ESDP training and presentation was provided by trainers from TISS Mumbai to Van Dhan Vikas Kendra members in Junnar District Pune. It was a positive and successful interactive session with all participating members.
Van Dhan Vikas Kendra Babhni, Sonebhadra, Uttar Pradesh has taken a big step forward by launching its own products, which include a range of items such as peanuts, turmeric powder.
What is a highlight is that these products are professionally processed, branded and packaged.