Welfare is not a matter of charity. Welfare programmes in the beginning were directed to provide a few basic curative and rehabilitative services. Over the years, a development orientation in contrast to curative and custodial approach was given to welfare programmes. At present these are oriented towards providing preventive, developmental and rehabilitative service to the Scheduled tribes and Scheduled Castes, other backward classes and weaker sections.
The Indian constitutions prescribes protection and safeguards for SC/ST and other weaker sections either especially or by way of insisting on their general rights as citizen with the object of a promoting their educational and economic interests and removing social disabilities they are subject to.
The constitutional commitments, referred to above, prompted the policy makers and the planners to accord high priority to the welfare and development of Ss right from the beginning of the country’s development planning launched in 1951. The Ninth Plan (1997-2002) aimed to empower Scheduled tribes by creating an enabling environment conductive for them to exercise their rights freely, enjoy their privileges and lead to a life of self confidence and dignity, on par with the rest of society.