Tripura drafts action plan to protect nearly extinct Karbong tribe

Agartala: The Tripura government has prepared an action plan amounting to Rs 1 crore for the protection and preservation of the Karbong community, a sub-tribe of the Halam tribe.

There are two Karbong-majority hamlets in the state located in West Tripura and Khowai districts. While one has already been adopted by ONGC under its corporate social responsibility scheme, the other has remained neglected for decades.

Purana Chandra Karbong para, a locality that houses altogether 11 Karbong families, are set to be transformed into a modern village within a short period.

As per the state’s Tribal Welfare Department, an action plan has been drafted and subsequently forwarded to the department for approval, Block Development Officer Teliamura RD Block Debapriya Das said.

Located in the foothills of the Baramura hill range, the village comes under the jurisdiction of Rupacherra Gram Panchayat. “There are altogether 11 families with a total population of 43 people. Among them 22 are male and the rest are females,” Haripada Sarkar, additional Block Development Officer and in charge of the action plan, said.

“We have prepared a detailed project report for the holistic development of the Karbong community. The project incorporates the improvement of rural connectivity, electrification of the villages, seamless drinking water supply, health facilities etc,” said Sarkar, adding that the total project cost has been estimated to be a little more than Rs 94 lakh.

He said, “The existing schools and Anganwadi centres will be transformed into model schools and ICDS centres to ensure better access to government facilities to poor villagers.”

Sarkar also told EastMojo that all families had been selected as beneficiaries of the newly-launched piggery scheme, and each of the families has received financial assistance worth Rs 70,000 each. Recently, local MLA Atul Debbarma distributed 300-litre capacity water tanks among the villagers.

For housing, he said, five families have already received housing assistance under the Indira Awas Yojana and Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana rural. Three more families have been selected for the benefits under the PMAYG (Plus) scheme. “Three families, however, are not eligible for getting housing support as they already have pucca houses and government jobs,” he said.

The Block Development Officer also said that newly appointed Tribal Welfare Minister Ram Pada Jamatia had already visited the village and assured them of all kinds of support from his department. The special action plan submitted from our end is lying with the department and soon it will be cleared, he added.

Earlier, the High Court of Tripura directed the state government to initiate efforts for the socio-cultural development of the Karbong community. According to sources in the Tribal Welfare Department, efforts are also afoot to revive their cultural practices and folk arts with the help of the Tribal Research Institute, Agartala.   

The ONGC that adopted Karbong village located at Champaknagar West Tripura has a population of around 50 families altogether. 

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