Demanding to declare Ladakh as a Tribal Area under Article 244 of the Indian constitution, a meeting was held with Arjun Munda, Union Minister for Tribal Affairs on August 17.
Gyal P Wangyal CEC submitted a copy of memorandum demanding Ladakh under the provision of the sixth schedule which will ensure inclusive development of the region.
Gyal P. Wangyal informed Arjun Munda that Ladakh has never received the facilities, incentives and other tribal rights which the region deserves being a tribal area with its distinct cultural identity and inhospitable topography.
He said that with Modi government declaring Ladakh as UT has fulfilled the long pending demand. At the same time, he impressed upon the desire of local people and the need to ensure the protection of land, environment, fragile ecology and unique identity of Ladakh.
Jamyang Tsering Namgyal, MP Ladakh informed Arjun Munda that Ladakh is predominantly a tribal area with 98% of its population engaged primarily on the primitive land-based economy. He said that the majority of people in Ladakh have limited means of livelihood, poor connectivity, harsh climatic conditions, the undeveloped market for their products and low employment opportunities.
He also spoke of the strategic importance of Ladakh being a border area and the fragile ecology of the region susceptible to global warming.
Jamyang strongly advocated the Union Government to extend full support in safeguarding the welfare of the tribal population. He mentioned that Ladakh fulfills all the criteria to be declared as tribal area and bringing Ladakh under the provision of schedule sixth.
Arjun Munda said that this recent declaration of Ladakh as UT has shown the concern of PM Narendra Modi for the people of Ladakh. He said that in coming days there will be new rules, acts, amendments in UT Ladakh and the autonomous Hill Council will be brought into proper constitutional framework.
He further assured that all the decisions will be taken considering the aspirations, culture, identity, demography and other factors in favour of the locals. Also, he assured to look into the matter and take up with higher authorities at the center level.
Renuka Singh, MOS Tribal Affairs, Tsering Sandup, Deputy Chairman; all the Executive Councilors; R C Meena, Chairman TRIFED; Chering Dorjay, Former MLC and others were also present.