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Odisha CM has announced the inclusion of 14 more districts under the Special Development Council

Bhubaneswar:14/5/23:In a significant development, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Sunday announced the inclusion of 14 more districts under the Special Development Council (SDC).

The new districts are Balasore, Sambalpur, Balangir, Kalahandi, Nuapada, Nayagarh, Dhenkanal, Angul, Jajpur, Jharsuguda. Bargarh, Deogarh, Boudh and Ganjam.With this, the total number of districts included in SDC reached 23.

In September 2017, the Odisha government had launched SDC in nine tribal-dominated districts where 62 tribal communities and 13 particularly vulnerable tribal groups live. With the latest inclusion, 23 of the 30 districts are now included under the SDC. The new districts which were brought under the SDC are- Balangir, Ganjam, Boudh, Balasore, Sambalpur, Dhenkanal, Kalahandi, Nayagarh, Nuapada, Angul, Bargarh, Jajpur, Jharsuguda and Deogarh.

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The SDCs have been given funds for restoration, conservation and development of cultural markers for ensuring tribal cultural identity, including shrine crafts, sacred groves, music, arts, performing arts, haats and supply of musical instruments, accessories, costumes, equipment and other items. They can promote tribe-specific and area-specific Traditional Heritage Agricultural Systems and other practices which have a potential for development and replication.Terming the formation of the SDCs as a historic step, Patnaik said these councils will have representation from every tribe.

“They will have decision making powers and financial resources to preserve, promote and develop their unique socio-cultural identities and economic capacities. Meanwhile, the government has appointed chairmen for all the SDCs. With the inclusion of 14 districts, more than 80 lakh people belonging to ST communities from 172 blocks have been brought under the SDC. I hope more research will be conducted on our tribal culture, their approach to life. Empowering tribal is our aim,” said Patnaik during a programme at the local adivasi ground in Bhubaneswar.

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Reacting to the chief minister’s announcement, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) general secretary, Prithviraj Harichandan said even though the SDC came into existence long ago, only one meeting of the council could be organised. “The BJD has formed SDCs to accommodate its leaders as the chairmen of the council in different districts.” However, senior BJD leader and SDC advisor Pradeep Majhi said, “The council has been working for the betterment of tribals under the guidance of CM Naveen Patnaik.

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The State Government will spend Rs 223 crore for the development of tribals in 2023-24. More than 80 lakh tribals will be benefited from this, the Chief Minister said.

The SDC works for the preservation of tribal culture and traditions, heritage and identity of the tribes.

About Editor in chief

Ashok Palit has completed his graduation from Upendranath College Soro, Balasore and post graduation from Utkal University in Odia Language and literture.. He has also carved out a niche for himself as a scribe of eminence after joining the profession in 1988. He is also an independent media production professional. He brings loads of experience to Advanced Media, Ashok Palit as a cineaste has been active in film criticism for over three decades. As a film society activist, he soared to eminence for his profound commitment to the art film appreciation and aesthetics of cinema. His mode of discourse is often erudite but always lucid and comprehensible marked by a perfect acumen so rare in the field. A film aesthete with an immense fond of critical sensibilities, he wrote about growth and development of odia cinema in New Indian Express, The Times of India, The Hindustan Times, The Asian Age and Screen. He has been working as an Editor for Cine Samaya from 2002-2004.. He had made solid contribution on cinema in many odia Dailies and weekly such as Samaj, Prajatantra, Dharatri, Samaya, Satabadi, and weekly Samaya.

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