According to the Tribal Development Report 2022, launched by the Bharat Rural Livelihood Foundation (BRLF), India’s tribal communities are at the bottom of the country’s development pyramid even after 75 years of independence.
The Bharat Rural Livelihood Foundation was set up by the Union Cabinet in 2013 as an independent society under the Union Ministry of Rural Development to scale up civil society action in partnership with central and state governments.
About the Report:
The report claims to be the first of its kind information since 1947 (after Independence).
The parameters being analyzed include their:
Art and culture
It focuses on the status of tribal communities at an all-India level and in central India.
The report highlights that indigenous communities of India have been pushed farther away from alluvial plains and fertile river basins into the harshest ecological regions of the country like hills, forests, and dry lands.
The Forest Conservation Act in 1980, the conflict has increased between environmental protection and the needs of local Adivasi communities, drove a wedge between people and forests.
The Demographic statistics:
Tribal community forms 8.6 percent of the country’s population according to the 2011 Census.
Central India is home to 80% of the tribal communities in the country.
Of the 257 Scheduled Tribe districts, 230 (90 percent) are either forests or hilly or dry lands.
National Forest Policy of 1988: It was in this policy that domestic requirements of local people were explicitly recognized for the very first time.
Capacity Building Initiative: It is aimed at empowering tribal Panchayati Raj Institution (PRI) representatives by enhancing their decision-making capabilities at the local government level.
Apart from tribal development, it also focuses on constitutional and legal provisions that protect and promote the rights and welfare of the tribal population.
1000 Springs Initiative: The initiative aims at improving access to safe and adequate water for the tribal communities living in difficult and inaccessible parts of rural areas in the country.
The initiative will help in harnessing the potential of perennial springs’ water to address the natural scarcity of water in tribal areas.
It includes the provision of infrastructure for piped water supply for drinking; provision of water for irrigation; community-led total sanitation initiatives; and provision for water for backyard nutrition gardens, generating sustainable livelihood opportunities for the tribal people.
Major Tribal Communities in India:
The most commonly known tribes of India are Gonds, Bhils (or Wheels), Santhal, Munda, Khasi, Garo, Angami, Bhutia, Chenchu, Kodaba, and the Great Andamanese Tribes.
Of all these tribes, the Bhil tribal group, as per the 2011 census, is the largest tribe in India.
It constitutes a staggering 38% of the country’s total scheduled tribal population.
The major tribal communities have their roots in Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, parts of Gujarat, Rajasthan, and Northeastern states.
The Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs):
Some tribal groups that remain more vulnerable among tribal groups are known as PVTGs (Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups).
The Dhebar Commission constituted in 1973 created a separate category “Primitive Tribal Groups (PTGs)” which was renamed in 2006 as “Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs)”.
In 1975, the Indian Government declared 52 tribal groups as PVTGs. In 1993, 23 more groups were added to the existing list which increased this number to 75 out of 705 Scheduled Tribes.
Odisha has the highest number of PVTGs.
As per the census of 2011, the PVTGs are spread over 18 states and one Union Territory (UT), in the country.
The PVTGs have some unique characteristics such as