India’s most populous state with a small tribal population: Five communities in their original environment surviving the ravages of time – Uttar Pradesh

Uttar Pradesh is the most populous state of the country but has a small tribal population. They constitute the weakest section of the society and form distinct ethnic groups which have preserved their own separate culture identities in their original environment despite the ravages of time. In June 1967, five communities of the state were constitutionally declared as “scheduled tribes”. These are Tharu, Buksa, Jaunsari and Raji.

The Scheduled Tribe (ST) population of Uttar Pradesh is 107,963 at 2001 census, constituting a meager 0.1 per cent of the total population (166,197,921) of the State. The decennial growth of tribal population has been 42 per cent, which is 16.2 per cent higher than the growth of total population (25.8 %) during 1991-2001. The State has a total of five major Scheduled Tribes and about 18 other tribal groups. The tribal population of the State is predominantly rural with 88.8 per cent of them residing in villages.

Name of the Tribe/Districts
1. Tharu/Kheri, Balrampur and Behraich.
2. Buksa/Bijnor, Pilibhit and Farrukhabad
3. Bhotia/Agra
4. Jaunsari/Kheri
5. Raji/Gorakhpur

Source: An analytical study of socio-economic conditions of tribal farmers in Bijnor district of U.P. State by Mohammad Awais, PhD thesis 2012 []
Date visited: 10 August 2019

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