The Gudalur valley in the Nilgiris is home to four distinct indigenous communities – Paniyas, Kattunayakans, Mullukurumbas and Bettakurumbas.
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On 15th December, 2014, members from 31 Tribal Gram Sabhas of the Gudalur and Pandalur Taluks organized a protest to demand their rights in the forest.
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My name is Ramesh. I work in The Shola Trust as a wildlife conservationist. In this blog, I am writing about my conversation with my grandfather, Bomman thatha (grandfather) about the bonding between adivasi people and the forest.
Bomman thatha is from the Bettakurumba tribe. He lives in the village, Kanjikolly, along the edge of Mudmalai and of course has a great knowledge about forest and honey collection, fishing, collecting tubers and medicinal plants.
Tribal boys and girls (who complete school but often have no further opportunities) could be trained as community health workers or nurses and incentivised to stay and work in their own communities. A successful example is the ASHWINI Gudalur Adivasi hospital in the Nilgiris, where the management and most staff (except the doctors) are tribal.
Source: “Taking healthcare to India’s remote tribes” by Soumya Swaminathan, The Hindu, September 2, 2014
Date Visited: 31 August 2020
- Adverse inclusion | Casteism | Childhood | Rural poverty
- Demographic Status of Scheduled Tribe Population of India (Census figures 2011)
- Denotified Tribes, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Tribes – Report and Recommendations (Technical Advisory Group)
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- “What are the Rights of Scheduled Tribes? – Government of India (National Commission for Scheduled Tribes, NCST)
- “What is the Forest Rights Act about?” – Campaign for Survival and Dignity
- “Who are Scheduled Tribes?” – Government of India (National Commission for Scheduled Tribes, NCST)
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Search tips: in the search field seen below, combine the name of any particular state, language or region with that of any tribal (Adivasi) community; add keywords of special interest (health, nutrition endangered language, illegal mining, sacred grove); learn about the rights of Scheduled Tribes such as the Forest Rights Act (FRA); and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, women’s rights, and children’s right to education; specify any other issue or news item you want to learn more about (biodiversity, climate change, ecology, economic development, ethnobotany, ethnomedicine, global warming, effective measures to prevent rural poverty, bonded labour, and human trafficking).
- ACCORD – Action for Community Organisation, Rehabilitation and Development
- Articles by Mari Marcel Thekaekara (writer and Co-Founder of ACCORD-Nilgiris)
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- What is the Forest Rights Act about?
Who is a forest dweller under this law, and who gets rights?
- “Who are Scheduled Tribes?”: Clarifications by the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes – Government of India
The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Forest Rights Act) gives members of tribal communities the right “to collect, use, and dispose of minor forest produce including bamboo, brush wood, stumps, cane, tussar, cocoons, honey, wax, lac, tendu or kendu leaves, medicinal plants and herbs, roots, tubers.” – Azim Premji University Team