Sulagna Sengupta, SNS, Kolkata 27 August 2014: With Tibetans debarred from getting Central government facilities in West Bengal, the state government has decided to draft a Tibetan Rehabilitation Policy where they are entitled to all the development schemes of government of India as any Indian citizen~Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Gurantee Act (MNREGA), Rajiv Awas Yojna(RAY), National Rural Health Mission(NRHM), Public Distribution System(including issuance of ration cards), extension of loan facilities by nationalised banks.
The decision came in the wake of Chief Minister's visit to North Bengal on 1 September where she is scheduled to conduct meetings with the Gorkhas and the Lepchas and overall development of the hill community in Bengal.
Few months back a meeting was held with the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) where it was decided that a policy should be framed for the Tibetan Refugees staying in Bengal and consequently a draft policy has been framed.
The draft guideline, that Tibetans should be included in the list of beneficiaries of MNREGA, RAY , NRHM, PDS, and extension of loan facilities by the nationalised banks.
In India there are around 1 lakh 10, 095 Tibetans settled in 10 states in India , while in West Bengal there are around 30,000 Tibetans staying mostly in North Bengal.
The guideline mentioned that the state government will provide educational subsidies for education of Tibetan children in schools and universities. Special subsidy will be extended to
Tibetan students who are pursuing professional courses like engineering , medical science etc.
The state government will provide special permission and provide separate land to the Tibetan refugees to run Tibetan Bazzars where they can trade Tibetan artifacts, handlooms and handicrafts.
It was also mentioned that state government would extend financial grant in aid to the Tibetan Co-operative societies and make then self-sustainable.
The state government will also sign land lease agreement with the Central Tibetan Relief Committee(CTRC) so that Tibetans can get the rights of the land . The CTRC will decide which portions of land are to be used for agriculture, and commercial use.
The rent tenancy certificate will be issued by the state government and the government will collect the revenue fee from the local settlement officer of the Tibetan settlement.
Mr Bausdeb Banerjee, state home secretary said that they are in the process of implementing the policy soon.