: Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Friday emphasised the need to preserve and promote tribal art and culture, urging the non-tribal population to be also engaged in it, an official statement said here.

Speaking at the inaugural programme of a three-day conference of tribal leaders of North East, titled ‘Voice of North East’, at Tepesia on the outskirts of the city, Sarma said tribal art and culture have greatly enriched Indian culture and civilization and it is very important to protect, preserve and promote these.

Urging the people themselves to take leadership in the preservation and promotion of tribal art and culture, he called upon the non-tribal people to also take a leading role in such endeavours.

Considering the significance of tribal art, culture, faith, customs and traditions in the growth of India’s civilization, the Assam government has established a new department, ‘Indigenous Faith and Culture department” the chief minister said.

He added that his government will continue to support all endeavours in this regard.

He further said Rs 100 crore has been earmarked for the department in the current budget and the government intended to increase budget allocation up to Rs 500 crore in the next five years.

Chairman of Akhil Bharatiya Vanavasi Kalyan Ashram Ramchandra Kharadi and chairman of the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes Harsh Chauhan were also present among others at the inaugural programme of the conference, which has been organised by Janajati Faith and Culture Protection Forum, a platform of tribal communities of North East, the statement added.

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