India is fortunate to have over 100 million tribal population, mainly settled in the hilly and forested areas with great cultural diversity. Not only are they known for the harmonious peaceful co-existence with nature, but they are also credited for shaping as well as enriching the great cultural treasure. However, evidences points out that states negligence left them vulnerable on the mercy mearge forests products or outside actors, for the sake of others. And now, the state of Indian tribals is unthinkable. Through this blog, I have tried little to highlight the true reality of Indian tribals…
Socio-economic reality in the tribal heartlands of India-an eye opener
As I mentioned earlier that India is home of about 100 millions tribals population. After independence, various provisions have been made as well as later incorporated for the upliftment of largely neglected tribals. Nevertheless, despite allocating a lot of money on the name of development of these people, theirs economic condition is more or less same.
As I visited various tribal areas of Maharashtra, Telangana and Karnataka, they have hardly any job alternative. Even today, they have to adjust on the meagre forest products. Moreover, in order to maintain livelihood, these people collects forests products even on the cost of life.
The state of schools and hospitals are only for records.The rate of child mortality and maternal mortality rates are almost double of national rates. Child mortality rate in the tribals is almost 85/1000, whereas national average is 40.The data of maternal mortality is almost the same.
Incidents of malnutrition in the eastern and southern states
Leading newspapers reports over the malnutrition in the tribal areas highlight the true reality. Despite a lot of nutritional programmes, deaths of children due to lack of even staple food raises many questions over the delivery system as well as attitude of service agencies,working there. They cannot ask for theirs rights to the authority. If they do so, they have to face harassment.Poor education and lack of awareness is largely ascribed to the rampant corruption in the tribal fund.
If we take a historical look, then we can easily conclude that despite constitutional protection and provisions, tribal development is a cause of concern for India.
We know that lack of development is nothing less than a entry gate for sympathizers who might use these people to advance theirs own interests.
Religious conversion, Maoists insurgency and much more are the byproduct of the systems inability to deliver justice.
Development and displacement on the name of development and tigers
Development and displacement are closely associated with the tragedy of tribals ever since the British rule.
Spatial distribution of tribals is concentrated in the resource rich, environmentally sensitive areas. So, whenever, the issue of development arises tribals become perpetuate whipping boy.
The deposits of minerals are mostly found in the hilly or plateau regions. The issue of Korean giant is the best example of this reality.
Secondly, tribal displacement is also a burning issue. In reality, they are facing this situation for which they are not responsible.
Tribals are the protector of forests.They do not degrade forests, nor responsible for loss of biodiversity but those who are in the luxurious position.
We cannot treat tribals as the second class citizens. Actually, they are the son of soil or adivasi means living since the beginning of civilization.
Outsiders penetration in the tribal habitat after independence
There is no dearth of sympathizers. They are there not to uplift poor nor to give the massage of humanity but to compel them to embrace theirs religion.
The tussel between Christian missionary and Hindu spiritual baba is well-known. Both are trying to instill theirs religious philosophies on the minds of tribals, disregarding beautiful age old tribal culture and deities.Tribal need development in line with their culture or way of life.
Maoists insurgency is also a serious issue. The so called scholars are busy in inculcating the ideas of theirs heroes and are convincing them to opt for alternative. Unquestionably, all groups are using innocent tribles to advance theirs interests and no one is going to fight for the liberation of tribals from the agony of poverty.
No doubt, development is serious issue in the tribal areas of India. At the same time, corruption and poor delivery mechanism is also deserves blame.
It is clear that short-comings of successive governments are responsible for the plight of Indian tribals and the penetration of outsiders.
Had they worked better according to the provisions of constitution, the tribal regions would have become a role model for other people in the world.
Most importantly, tribal people need development but in line with their culture. Introducing new elements means inviting catastrophy.