Tribes of India 02 – Problems of Tribal people – cultural, social, economical.

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List of Tribes Part 02

  • Majority of Kol tribe is found in Madhya Pradesh, other states include Bihar, UP, Chhattisgarh, Assam, and Tripura.
  • Most of them are landless and work on farm as laborers and sharecroppers.
  • Maria tribes can be classified into two types: Abhuj Maria and Bison Horn Maria and are found in Chhattisgarh.
          Abhuj Maria:
  • They live in isolation and inhabit the secluded enclaves of Narayanpur tehsil of Bastar District.
  • They are one of the few tribes that have many to keep their culture alive and unaffected by the vestiges of time
        Bison Horn Maria   :
  • They are found in MP and Maharashtra.
  • Their introvert nature makes them live in isolation in the interiors of dense forest areas
  • They derived their name from their unique custom of wearing a distinctive headdress, which resembles the horns of a wild bison
Mina/ Meena:
  • They are found in the northern part of Rajasthan.
  • Originally a nomadic, war like people practicing animal breeding and known for lawlessness, today most of them are farmers.
  • They are inhabitants of the Nilgiri mountains in Tamilnadu and Kerala, belonging to the Negrito (or Negroid) race
  • Hunter-gatherers by tradition, their expertise in catching snakes is legendary
  • It is one of the oldest tribal communities in the Nilgiris in Tamilnadu.
  • They are socially, educationally and even economically advanced now.
  • They have been living in the Nilgiri mountains for ages
  • They are found living only in seven settlements, referred to by them as Kokkals
  • They are the only artisan community on the hills of the Nilgiris.
  • They belong to a traditionally nomadic community, who now lead a primarily settled life in the forests of the Agasthymalai hills of the Western Ghats and Kerala
  • They have an extremely rich and unique Traditional Knowledge about the use of the resources, particularly the biological resources around them
  • They introduced Tropical Botanical Garden and Research Institute (TBGRI) to a medicinal plant in their forest from which a drug named ’jeevani’ was isolated and commercialized.
  • They are mostly found on the Idukki hills of Kerala and Tamil Nadu
  • Agriculture is their main occupation.
Lambada / Banjaras/ Sugalisa
  • They are the largest tribe of AP.
  • They live in exclusive settlements of their own called Tandas, usually away from the main village, tenaciously maintaining their cultural and ethnic identity.
  • They are expert cattle breeders and largely subsist by sale of milk and milk products.
  • They are one of the indigenous peoples of the Andaman Islands. They have inhabited the islands for thousands of years
  • Their present numbers are estimated at between 250–400 individuals.
  • They are one of the Remote indigenous peoples of Andaman and they inhabit North Sentinel Island.
  • They are noted for vigorously resisting attempts at contact by outsiders.
  • The Sentinelese maintain an essentially hunter-gatherer society subsisting through hunting, fishing, and collecting wild plants. There is no evidence of either agricultural practices or methods of producing fire.
  • Their language remains unclassified.
  • Found in the Great Nicobar Island
  • They are also on the brink of extinction as the four other hunter-gatherer tribes (the Jarawa, the Andamanese, the Onge and the Sentinelese).
  • They are of mongoloid stock unlike the other primitive tribes of the Andaman Islands which are Negrito
  • Little Andaman
  • A Negrito tribe with just 96 in number now.
  • They are divided into 5 families comprising of 15 members in all living in South Bay
  • They are pure hunter-gatherers and are not aware of agriculture

Problems of Tribal People

  1. The Problem of Geographic Separation:
  • Living in the unapproachable physical areas such as deep valleys, dense forests, hills, moun­tains, etc.
  • It is difficult for them to establish relations with others. This kind of physical as well as social isolation or seclusion has contributed to various other problems.
  1. Cultural Problems:
  • The tribal culture is entirely different from the way of life of the civilized people. They are suspicious towards the civilized people. They are clinging tenaciously to their customs and traditions.
  • The cultural gap between the civilized and the tribal people is hindering the integration of the tribal people into the mainstream of the national life of India.
  1. Social Problems:
  • The tribals have their own social problems also. They are traditional and custom-bound. They have become the victims of superstitious beliefs, outmoded and meaningless practices and harmful habits.
  • Child marriage, infanticide, homicide, animal sacrifice, exchange of wives, black magic and other harmful practices are still found among them.
  1. Economic Problem:
  • The tribal people are economically the poorest people of India. Majority of them live beta the poverty line. The tribal economy is based on agriculture of the crudest type. The main economic problems of the tribals are explained below.
  • Exploitation: The innocence, illiteracy and helplessness of the tribals are exploited by the outsiders.
  • Unprofitable Agriculture: they practice shift cultivation and possess uneconomic holdings because of which their crop yield is very less.
  • Problems of land ownership: A good portion of the land in the tribal areas has been legally transferred to non-tribals. Tribals demand that this land should be returned to them.
  • Unemployment and Underemployment: A large number of tribal young men and women are either unemployed or underemployed. They are unhappy for they are not able to get jobs that can keep them occupied throughout the year.
  • Non-Availability of Banking Facilities: Banking facilities in the tribal areas are so inad­equate that the tribals have mainly to depend on the money-lenders. The tribals, therefore, demand that “Agricultural Indebtedness Relief Acts” should be enacted so that they may get back their mort­gaged land.
  1. Educational Problems:
  • Illiteracy is a major problem of the tribals. More than 3/4 of the tribals are illiterate. They have no faith in formal educational organization. The illiterate parents do not consider it as their primary responsibility to give education to their children.
    • The Problem of Language and The curriculum of education is another main problem
  1. Problem of Health and Sanitation:
  • Due to illiteracy and ignorance the tribals are not able to appreciate modern concept of health and sanitation. They do not take much care pertaining to their own health. They have their own traditional means of diagnosis and cure.
  1. Problem of Separatism:
  • The “divide and rule” policy adopted by the British did a lot of damage to the tribal commu­nity of India.
  • The tribal groups such as Kolis, Mundas, Khasis, Santals, Naga, etc, who fought against the British were branded as “dacoits” and “robbers”.
  • The British government which wanted to humble these tribals and “correct” them gave direct encouragement to the foreign Christian missionary activities especially in, the Central and the North-Eastern Zone. These activities which led to numerous Tribal Revolts and Uprisings:
  • Smuggling, Infiltration and Drug Addiction is also another major problems

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