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Mega Conclave of Special Development Council commences in Bhubaneswar

Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik inaugurated the Mega Conclave of the Special Development Council (SDC) at the Adivasi Exhibition Ground in Bhubaneswar on Saturday. The event, organized by the ST & SC Development, Minorities & Backward Class Welfare Department, witnessed the participation of about 2,000 members from 23 SDCs, along with 1,750 stakeholders. The gathering celebrated the achievements of SDCs and their distinctive contributions to preserving tribal culture and identity.

Addressing the audience, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik praised Odisha’s pioneering initiative through SDC, underscoring its crucial role in safeguarding the rich heritage of tribal communities, encompassing their dance forms, music, environment, and ecosystems. The State Government’s commitment to granting full autonomy to SDCs was emphasized, allowing them to address the socio-cultural needs of all 62 tribal communities, including the 13 Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs).

Highlighting the significant enrichment of Odisha’s overall culture by tribal arts and culture, the Chief Minister assured that the State Government would take further steps for their preservation and propagation. He commended the preservation of over 11,000 religious places and the organization of more than 600 sports and cultural festivals at the block and district levels. Additionally, the creation of 21 bilingual dictionaries was acknowledged.

During the Conclave, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik felicitated ‘Ho Samaj Sagan Akala’ from Debahudi, Harichandanpur, Keonjhar, for their outstanding contribution to preserving and promoting culture. He also granted Community Forest Rights Titles to seven ‘Jahira’ of Mayurbhanj. In a symbolic gesture, the CM presented musical instruments to members of the Koya Tribal Group of Malkangiri, Kutia Kandha Tribal Group of Kandhamal, and dance costumes to the Gond Tribal Group of Nabarangpur.

A special moment occurred as the Chief Minister posed for a photo with 13 couples hailing from the Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs) during the Conclave. The event also saw the release of a coffee table book titled ‘Sacred Groves of Tribal Odisha,’ prepared by the research team of the State Level Administrative Unit. Furthermore, the Chief Minister unveiled ‘Swatantrata Sangram re Odishara Janajati’ by Samarendra Bhutia, a publication by SCSTRTI.

Jagannath Saraka, Minister, Scheduled Tribe & Scheduled Caste Development, Minorities & Backward Classes Welfare & LAW, Odisha, addressed the audience at the SDC Mega Conclave. Pradeep Kumar Majhi, Advisor, Special Development Council, Roopa Roshan Sahoo, Commissioner-cum-Secretary, ST & SC Development, M&BCW Department, Indramani Tripathy, Director, ST, and other officials were present at the event.

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