Why are the problems of Indian tribals getting media attention continuously? What are the challenges Indian tribals facing today? Who is to blame for the grave reality of Indian tribals? And, now, what need to be done to improve the condition of these sons of soil? If you really want to explore these questions, just read this blog.
Geographical location and population of Indian tribals
Luckily, India is fortunate to have over 100 million tribal population. Mainly, tribal population is settled specially in the hilly and forested areas of central and north eastern regions. But, it is very sparse in the fertile plains of Ganga River.
Population wise, Bhils, Gonds, Santhals, Great Andamanese, Andha, Garo, Khasi etc. which constitute major part of Indian tribal population.
Current problems of Indian tribals
To know it better, just take a look at the census data of Indian population. So, let it be literacy, per capita income, or participation in governing agencies, the condition is not so promising.
After independence, various provisions have been made for their upliftment from chronic poverty and ignorance. Nevertheless, despite allocating a lot of money on the name of development of these people, their economic condition is more or less same.
As I visited various tribal areas of Maharashtra, Telangana and Karnataka, they have hardly any job alternatives.
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.
In case of education, 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.
Conversely, child mortality rate in the tribals is almost 85/1000, whereas national average is 40.The data of maternal mortality is almost the same.
Major problems facing Indian tribals
- Probably, there is no reliable job alternatives except to collect forest produce. In addition, due to rampant corruption in the delivery mechanism, they are unable to take benefits of government welfare schemes.
- Second, the issue of health and educational infrastructure is the same as it was. Further, incidents of atrocities and exploitation by outsiders are continuously growing.
- Third, religious and Maoist infiltration in the tribal heartland is real headache. Next, displacement on the name of development and environment is new issue.
Whom to blame for ongoing tribals backwardness?
Nearly, host of actors are responsible for the ongoing backwardness of Indian tribals.
1. Government agencies
- As per credible sources, Apathetic role of Indian government and corruption in delivery mechanism hurting developmental process of tribal regions
- Historically, 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.
2. Multinational corporations
- Geographically, tribal regions are great treasure of mineral resources. So, whenever, the issue of development arises tribals become perpetuate whipping boy.
3. Christian missionary and Maoist insurgency
- Notably, religious conversion, Maoists insurgency and much more are the by-products of the system’s inability to deliver.
- Presently, the tussle between Christian missionary and Hindu spiritual baba is well-known. Aggressively, both are trying to instil their religious philosophies on the minds of tribals. In this war, they are disregarding beautiful age old tribal culture and deities.
Now, workable measures are necessary to reduce the ongoing problems of Indian tribals.