The Jharkhand government has rolled out an ambitious food post scheme (Dakia Yojana) to avail food to the endangered tribes of the state. Under this unique initiative, food will be delivered to nearly 70,000 families of particularly vulnerable tribal groups (PVTGs) of Jharkhand through special messengers.

Since these tribes keep wandering in jungles and hills, the government could not reach out to them through conventional methods of food redistribution under the National Food Security Act (NFSA).

The dwindling population of the PVTGs became a major concern for both state and central government, soon they came out with this plan to curb malnutrition and hunger deaths among these tribes, reports Hindustan Times.

The move was also initiated in the backdrop of 2001 supreme court order to provide food to all the PVTG families at a nearest point. Unfortunately, the so-called nearest points for many of the PVTGs meant travelling up to 50-60 km to and fro, which made it extremely hard for them to avail the facility.

Out of a total of 32 tribal groups in Jharkhand, at least eight groups: Asur, Birhor, Paharia (Baiga), Sabar, Birajiya, Korwa, Mal Pahariya and Souriya Paharia have been categorised as PVTGs.

These groups are low on literacy, are barely able to earn a livelihood (average monthly income could be Rs 1,000 or even less) and usually remain alienated from the usual settlements.

The scheme was started on April 3 in three three blocks including Sundar Pahari (Godda), Chainpur (Palamu) and Barhait (Sahebganj) and the administration aims to cover all 24 districts by the end of the month.

“The delivery boy will carry an Aadhaar enabled POS machine to authenticate the actual delivery,” Vinay Kumar Choubey, secretary of food and public distribution department, told Hindustan Times.

The block level officials would act as special messengers, who would deliver a packet of 35-kg rice to each household, he added.