Representational image.

The Union ministry of tribal affairs has approved seven schools to Arunachal Pradesh so far under the Ekalavya Model Residential Schools (EMRS) scheme, under which three are functional and the rest are under construction.

Officials of the social justice, empowerment & tribal affairs (SJETA) department said this during a meeting convened by chief minister Pema Khandu here on Wednesday to review important central schemes under the departments of Women & Child Development (WCD) and SJETA.

Out of the three functional EMRS schools, two are at Bana in East Kameng and one at Lumla in Tawang, officials said.

The under-construction schools are located at Kampu in Kurung Kumey, Khela in Tirap, Tirbin in West Siang, Medo in Lohit and Dambuk in Lower Dibang Valley districts, which are supposed to be completed by March next year, the officials disclosed.

The scheme has a target that by the year 2022, every block with more than 50 per cent ST population and at least 20,000 tribal people, will have an EMRS.

These schools will be on par with Navodaya Vidyalaya and will have special facilities for preserving local art and culture besides providing training in sports and skill development.

The officials further said that five more schools in the state are under process for approval by the union Tribal Affairs Ministry.

Departmental officials headed by the respective secretaries gave details of the three important programmes being implemented in the state – EMRS implemented by SJETA, Rashtriya Poshan Abhiyan (RPA) and Pradhan Mantri Matri Vandana Yojana (PMMVY), both by WCD department.

RPA envisages bringing nutrition to the centre-stage of national development agenda with a mission to address malnutrition in a targeted approach.

As the scheme is being implemented through a web-based application, the government is providing smart phones to each Anganwadi worker to monitor through application software.

Officials said that WCD is waiting for the ministry to provide the specifications of the smart phone to be provided so that it can procure the same through GeM portal, an official communiqué informed here.

PMMVY is a maternity benefit programme. It is a conditional cash transfer scheme for pregnant and lactating women of 19 years of age or above for the first live birth.

A sum total of Rs 5,000 in three instalments (1,000, 2,000 and 2,000) is transferred to the bank account of a woman for the first live birth.

Officials said that as the application is web-based, internet connectivity in rural areas is posing a major concern in its successful implementation.

Khandu admitted the concerns and hindrances to successful implementation of the schemes, specifically due to the ongoing pandemic.

He, however, urged the implementing officials to overcome all hindrances and achieve the proposed target in a time-bound manner. He also suggested dovetailing similar schemes of other departments to reach a larger audience and benefit the people, especially the poor.

“All these schemes are women and child-centric. Therefore, we have to overcome all difficulties and reach out to them and provide them the benefits,” the chief minister said.

Khandu assured he would take up all state-specific issues in implementing the schemes with the ministries concerned.

Minister for WCD and SJETA Alo Libang was also present along with Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar and other officials.

DAMIEN LEPCHA

Damien Lepcha is Northeast Now Correspondent in Arunachal Pradesh. He can be reached at: lepcharaul@gmail.com