Category Archives: Rural poverty

“[I]ncome security of tribal peoples has been adversely affected by losses and access to productive resources (rights to forest or agricultural lands coupled with poor compensation). Debts are one of the main coping strategies, resulting in a hand-to-mouth existence for those affected.” – Tribal nutrition: UNICEF’s efforts to support the tribal population, especially children who suffer from malnourishment
https://www.unicef.org/india/what-we-do/tribal-nutrition
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=11674

“[I]n agriculture, members of the family can be drafted to work on the family’s farm, as also in other farm and non-farm work. This phenomenon is quite widespread in India today: of the nine crore [90 million] rural families who draw their main income from unskilled manual labour, four crore are small and marginal farmers. Through overwork and self-exploitation, peasant farmers are able to cling on to their land. […] The moneylender combines the roles of input supplier, crop buyer, labour employer and land lessor. This interlocked grid works in tandem with the oppressive caste system, with the poorer, ‘lower’ caste farmers, facing a cumulative and cascading spiral of expropriation. All the above reasons provide a strong case for state intervention in multiple agricultural markets.” – Mihir Shah (Distinguished Professor, Shiv Nadar University) in “Plough to plate, hand held by the Indian state”(9 April 2021)
https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/plough-to-plate-hand-held-by-the-indian-state/article34275034.ece
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=11674

“By urban standards, the Bhils were poor but not impoverished [until the 1980s]. Very few Bhils worked outside their villages, and most of them seemed to be content with how they were. They grew whatever they required, and their methods of cultivation were simple: they scattered the seeds on the slopes of the hills and let them grow naturally. The forests around were rich in fruits, vegetables and herbs, which were collected. […] They had no faith in the promises of the government of being suitably rehabilitated [in the wake of submersion of their villages caused by the “Sardar Sarovar” dams along the Narmada river].” – Yoginder Sikand in “Simple ways of life” (Deccan Herald, 23 December 2012)
https://www.deccanherald.com/content/300193/simple-ways-life.html
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=10420

“315,000 farmers took their own lives between 1995 and 2018, as the numbers (huge underestimates) of the National Crime Records Bureau show. Millions either became agricultural labourers or migrated out of their villages – since many allied occupations had also died – in search of jobs.” – P. Sainath (founder of PARI “People’s Archive of Rural India”) in “We Didn’t Bleed Him Enough”: When Normal is the Problem (counterpunch.org , 12 August 2020, first published in Frontline magazine)
https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/08/12/we-didnt-bleed-him-enough-when-normal-is-the-problem/
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=35352

“[T]he adivasi and Dalit middle class speaks for a mass of poor whose material interests diverge from theirs insofar as they require a radical restructuring of the state’s institutions and its economic policies. […] Class differentiation has produced a semi-proletariat of small farmers and labourers, especially in regions of dryland cultivation, whose size can only be guessed at. Its economic position is sometimes as desperate as that of the rural under-class – witness the rising tide of farmers’ suicides over the last two decades – yet caste assertion undercuts class solidarity.” – Shashank Kela in “A party of the poor?” (india-seminar.com, Caste Matters, May 2012)
https://www.india-seminar.com/2012/633.htm
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=11674

“Everyone wants to learn but the problem is atmosphere, the medium of teaching and the method of teaching, besides the facts of economics. It is the reason why tribal children find it difficult to integrate with the mainstream. Another factor is the cost of schooling. According to a 2015 report by the Indian Ministry of Human Resource Development, the annual secondary school drop-out rate among Indigenous children in India is just above 40 percent compared with the national average of about 25 percent. The ministry lists “economic” issues as the biggest reason for the dropouts – families just cannot afford to keep their children in school.” – Santal educationist Boro Baski in “The Indian school where Indigenous children are ‘never outsiders” by Rosemary Marandi (Al Jazeera Education, 10 February 2020)
https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/indian-school-indigenous-children-outsiders-200128131128144.html
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=34790

“Is it eccentric to live in beautiful scenery in the hills among some of the most charming people in the country, even though they may be ignorant and poor?” – Verrier Elwin quoted by Ganesh Devy
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=15861

“Instead of creating a strategy based on reacting or responding to the symptoms of poverty, we want to create a new possibility in which poverty would have no space to exist.” – Kalyan Akkipeddi (“A Search for Resilience”)
https://ted.com/tedx
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=26213

“Poor implementation of existing schemes in the tribal regions has meant that not only poverty continues at an exceptionally high levels in these regions, but the decline in poverty has been much slower here than in the entire country, as shown in this table (for the years 1993-94, 1999-2000 and 2004-05)” – “Rural Population Living Below Poverty Line (In Percent), Planning Commission, Twelfth Five Year Plan Document” by Ashok A. Sonkusare, Joint Adviser (S&T), NITI Aayog/Planning Commission
https://data.gov.in/resources/rural-population-living-below-poverty-line-percent
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=23847

“Although there has been a decline, the level of poverty in the tribal population is still much higher than the national average and the gap between the two continues to be one of the major issues of concern in poverty discourse in India.” – Virginius Xaxa (Delhi School of Economics) in “The Status of Tribal Children in India: A historical perspective” (Opportunities, Working Paper No. 7, 2011), Institute for Human Development India & United Nations Children’s Fund, India
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=10430

“In the matter of poverty, group inequality is still a matter of concern for Kerala as we see in the following chapter: Absolute deprivation continues to be largely concentrated among the marginalised communities, such as the tribals (adivasi) and fishing community […] and the hiatus between the Scheduled Castes and non-Scheduled Castes is a distressing symptom of a still uncured aspect of horizontal inequality in the State. […] [G]iven the historical experiences of land encroachment, acquisition of forest land by the Government and tribal displacement, the STs [Scheduled Tribes] remain vulnerable, the proportion of households with more than one hectare declining over time.” – Human Development Report 2005 Kerala (Government of Kerala (2006), pp. 57-61
https://niti.gov.in/planningcommission.gov.in/docs/plans/stateplan/sdr_pdf/shdr_kerala05.pdf
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=5169

“India has the highest number of slaves in the world, with estimates ranging from 14 million to 18 million people. In India, many people work as slave labour in the brick kiln industry – this includes women and children. Now, as in the past, not all slaves are forced into slavery. Historically, some experienced such severe poverty that they had no choice but to sell themselves to be bound to another person. And similar cases still happen around the world today.” – Catherine Armstrong (School Lead for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, Loughborough University, UK) in “India is home to the world’s largest slave population (Scroll.in, 21 October 2018)
https://scroll.in/article/898862/india-is-home-to-the-worlds-largest-slave-population-yes-slavery-still-exists
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=19122

“Nehru was fascinated by the spontaneity of tribal culture and their capacity of joy and heroism in spite of their appalling poverty, destitution, and ignorance.” – Tribal Philosophy and Pandit Nehru by Chittaranjan Mishra in: Odisha Review (November 2017)
https://magazines.odisha.gov.in/Orissareview/2017/November/engpdf/100-110.pdf
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=16310

In search of best practice: How to protect society’s most vulnerable persons from human trafficking – United Nations & Walk Free Foundation

What is trafficking in persons? | Read the full article here >> Broadly, trafficking is the exploitation of people, most often for sexual exploitation or forced labour. The different elements are captured within the UN ‘Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and … Continue reading

Posted in Activities, Figures, census and other statistics, Misconceptions, Modernity, Organizations, Quotes, Rural poverty | Comments Off on In search of best practice: How to protect society’s most vulnerable persons from human trafficking – United Nations & Walk Free Foundation

“Development is invariably a form of change, but not all forms of change can be termed development”: A context for India’s tribal heritage, past and present

A useful analytical framework to study the deprivation and development of Adivasis in the larger Indian context. THE selection of papers in this volume, presented at the International Seminar on “Adivasi/Scheduled Tribe Communities in India: Development and Change” in August … Continue reading

Posted in Accountability, Adivasi / Adibasi, Adverse inclusion, Anthropology, Assimilation, Colonial policies, Commentary, Community facilities, Customs, De- and re-tribalisation, Democracy, Eastern region – Eastern Zonal Council, Ecology and environment, Economy and development, Education and literacy, Forest Rights Act (FRA), Globalization, Health and nutrition, History, Literature and bibliographies, Media portrayal, Misconceptions, Modernity, Organizations, Press snippets, Quotes, Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Rural poverty, Scheduled Tribe (ST), Seven Sister States & Sikkim – North Eastern Council, Tips, Topics and issues, Tribal identity, Worship and rituals | Tagged , , | Comments Off on “Development is invariably a form of change, but not all forms of change can be termed development”: A context for India’s tribal heritage, past and present

Tip | How many ‘Scheduled Tribes’ are there in India? And what distinguishes them from other communities? (‘tribal’ or otherwise) – Information provided by the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes

There are over 700 tribes (with overlapping communities in more than one State) which have been notified under Article 342 of the Constitution of India, spread over different States and Union Territories of the country. The largest number of main … Continue reading

Posted in Assimilation, Constitution and Supreme Court, Democracy, Economy and development, FAQ, Figures, census and other statistics, Government of India, History, Organizations, Quotes, Regions of India, Resources, Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Rural poverty, Scheduled Tribe (ST), Tips | Comments Off on Tip | How many ‘Scheduled Tribes’ are there in India? And what distinguishes them from other communities? (‘tribal’ or otherwise) – Information provided by the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes

Traditional social structures of Adivasis and the constitutional right to food

Legally entitled to a full stomachFifty percent of the world’s hungry live in India. But India is a democracy, which gives her citizens a lot of rights – for instance, the constitutional right to food. Based on this right, Indian … Continue reading

Posted in Accountability, Adivasi / Adibasi, Community facilities, Constitution and Supreme Court, Democracy, Economy and development, Education and literacy, Figures, census and other statistics, Government of India, Health and nutrition, Misconceptions, Modernity, Organizations, Press snippets, Quotes, Resources, Rural poverty | Comments Off on Traditional social structures of Adivasis and the constitutional right to food

Slideshow | “Visible Work, Invisible Women” by photographer P. Sainath

Selected for the Grand Prize for promoting civil cooperation through his writing Noted journalist P. Sainath has been selected as one of the three recipients of the Fukuoka Prize for 2021. Mr. Sainath will receive the ‘Grand Prize’ of the … Continue reading

Posted in Childhood and children, Customs, Dress and ornaments, Economy and development, Education and literacy, Forest Rights Act (FRA), Health and nutrition, Homes and utensils, Media portrayal, Names and communities, Photos and slideshows, Press snippets, Quotes, Rural poverty, Storytelling, Success story, Tribal elders, Women | Comments Off on Slideshow | “Visible Work, Invisible Women” by photographer P. Sainath