An inspiration to many young girls from the Koya tribe: Jayanti Buruda, “the first female voice from the tribe to enter the mainstream media” –  Odisha

“If women are empowered, there is more development in society” – Droupadi Murmu
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Girls among the Koya tribe have a staggeringly low literacy level. “Girls hardly go to school, the literacy rate among girls is below 15 percent,” she adds. With little infrastructure for education and a strong tradition of early marriages within the community, most girls are bereft of any formal education. However, encouraged by their father, Jayanti and her four sisters have been educated. “Ours is the first educated family in the tribe in Malkhangiri,” she says. Her sister, in fact, is the first graduate of the community.

Jayanti currently works with Kalinga TV and reports from Malkangiri. Malkangiri is known as one of the most Naxalite-affected areas of Odisha. It also became home to Bangladeshi refugees who were rehabilitated from 1965 under the Dandakaranya Project. In the early 90s, thanks to the LTTE, Sri Lankan Tamil refugees were also rehabilitated here.

Jayanti’s dream to become a journalist has come true, but she still faces several challenges on the ground. “Being the only woman journalist on the field in Malkangiri is difficult. There is a lot of gender discrimination. Male colleagues seldom take me or my work seriously. I need to fight at every step” […]

Apart from being a journalist Jayanti also runs her NGO that focuses on education, especially for girls from her tribal community.

Source: “Meet the First Female Journalist of a Community Where Girls Hardly Go to School” by Lakshmi Karunakaran,, February 12, 2018
Date accessed: 16 June 2018 

“Tribal communities are a standing example of how women play a major role in preservation of eco historic cultural heritage in India.” – Mari Marcel Thekaekara (writer and Co-Founder of ACCORD-Nilgiris) | Learn more >>

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See also

Adverse inclusion | Casteism | Rural poverty


Crafts and visual arts

Demographic Status of Scheduled Tribe Population of India (Census figures 2011)

Denotified Tribes, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Tribes – Report and Recommendations (Technical Advisory Group)

Fact checking | Figures, census and other statistics

Human Rights Commission (posts) | (Government of India)

Imprisonment & rehabilitation

Search tips | Names of tribal communities, regions and states of India

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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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