The Tribal Co-operative Marketing Federation of India (TRIFED) in collaboration with NITI Aayog has successfully implemented the Van Dhan Yojana in the districts that have been identified as aspirational districts of the country. The initiative is part of the Prime Minister’s call for “Atmanirbhar Bharat” and “Be Vocal for Local Buy Tribal”. The Van Dhan tribal start-ups and the Mechanism for Marketing of Minor Forest Produce (MFP) are among the many initiatives of TRIFED, Ministry of Tribal Affairs that have proved helpful by generating employment and income for the tribal population.
As per data provided by TRIFED, as of date 37,904 van dhan vikas kendras (VDVKs), included into 2275 van dhan vikas kendra clusters (VDVKCs) of 300 forest dwellers each, have been sanctioned by TRIFED as of date. A typical VDVK includes 20 tribal members. 15 such VDVKs form 1 VDVKC. These clusters will provide the VDVK economies of scale, livelihood, and market linkages, as well as entrepreneurship opportunities to nearly 6.77 lakh tribal forest gatherers in 27 states and 2 UTs. 50 lakh tribals have been impacted by the Van Dhan start-ups programme up until now.
TRIFED and its state Agency partners in 124 districts of 27 states. In these districts, the classification has been done based on the percentage of the tribal population as well as the economic feasibility of the formation of VDVKCs in the district. TRIFED is already working in 65 aspirational districts where 521 VDVKCs have been sanctioned involving 1.55 lakh tribal beneficiaries. This can be extended to all tribal clusters of aspirational districts.
Out of the 41 aspirational districts tribal population of more than 50 percent, VDVKCs are sanctioned in 39 aspirational districts of Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Odisha, Telangana, and Tripura. The collaboration and partnership with NITI Aayog along with the support of the collectors and other district officials are aimed at a complete transformation of the tribal ecosystem across the country.