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Explore India’s tribal cultural heritage with the help of another interactive map >>

Topics and issues
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Sitemap – Names of tribal communities
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The 100 most frequently mentioned tribal communities on this website

“Our findings revealed shocking facts, of the 75 PVTGs, base line surveys exists for about 40 groups, even after declaring them as PVTGs,” states the publication: The Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups of India — Privileges and Predicaments.

Base line surveys are done to precisely identify the PVTG families, their habitat and socio-economic status, so that development initiatives are implemented for these communities, based on the facts and figures. The publication emphasises State governments must urgently conduct such surveys to arrive at accurate demographic and socio-economic figures of the PVTGs.

Among the 75 listed PVTG’s the highest number are found in Odisha (13), followed by Andhra Pradesh (12), Bihar including Jharkhand (9) Madhya Pradesh including Chhattisgarh (7) Tamil Nadu (6) Kerala and Gujarat having five groups each. The remaining PVTGs live in West Bengal (3) Maharashtra (3), two each in Karnataka and Uttarakhand and one each in Rajasthan, Tripura and Manipur. All the four tribal groups in Andamans, and one in Nicobar Islands, are recognised as PVTGs. […]

There is a huge variation in the number of PVTGs ranging from a few individuals as in case of Great Andamanese, Onge and Sentinelese and about a little more than a thousand people as in the case of Toda of Nilgiris. Although PVTGs are slowly witnessing decadal increase in their population, quite a few still face stagnation such as the Birhor in central India. Some are declining like the Onge and Andamanese.

Smallest population size among the PVTGs are the Senteneles (as per the last contact effort on March 9, 2005, groups of 32 and 13 persons were sighted at different places). They still shy away from others. The Great Andamanese (57 persons) and the Onge (107 persons in 2012 as per Andaman Adim Janjati Vikas Samiti) are the dwindling populations. In main land, the Toto of West Bengal (314 families with 1,387 persons as per 2011 census) and the Toda of Tamil Nadu (1,608, inclusive of 238 Christian Todas as per TRC, Udagamandalam [Ooty], 2011)) have population less than 2000 persons. The Saharia people of Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan are the largest among the PVTGs with population more than 4 lakhs. […]

Source: “Vulnerable tribes: lost in a classification trap” by Shiv Sahay Singh, (The Hindu, 8 April 2017)
Address: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/vulnerable-tribes-lost-in-a-classification-trap/article17894997.ece
Date visited: 18 September 2021

“National development and the development of tribal communities are linked to each other.” – Droupadi Murmu
Speeches by the 15th President of India >>

Find up-to-date information provided by, for and about Indian authors, researchers, officials, and educators

List of web portals covered by the present Custom search engine

Action for Community Organisation, Rehabilitation and Development (ACCORD) – www.accordweb.in

Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE) – www.atree.org

Freedom United – www.freedomunited.org

Government of India (all websites ending on “.gov.in”)

Shodhganga (a reservoir of Indian theses) – https://shodhganga.inflibnet.ac.in

Survival International – www.survivalinternational.org

Unesco – https://en.unesco.org

Unesco digital library – https://unesdoc.unesco.org

Unicef – www.unicef.org

United Nations – www.un.org/en

Video Volunteers – www.videovolunteers.org

To search Indian periodicals, magazines, web portals and other sources safely, click here. To find publishing details for Shodhganga’s PhD search results, click here >>

Search tips

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”, or “children’s right to education”.

Specify any other issue or news item you want to learn more about (biodiversity, bonded labour and human trafficking, climate change, ecology, economic development, ethnobotany, ethnomedicine, global warming, Himalayan tribe, hunter-gatherers in a particular region or state, prevention of rural poverty, water access).

For official figures include “scheduled tribe ST” along with a union state or region: e.g. “Chhattisgarh ST community”, “Scheduled tribe Tamil Nadu census”, “ST Kerala census”, “Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group Jharkhand”, “PVTG Rajasthan”, “Adivasi ST Kerala”, “Adibasi ST West Bengal” etc.

In case the Google Custom Search window is not displayed here try the following: (1) toggle between “Reader” and regular viewing; (2) in your browser’s Security settings select “Enable JavaScript” | More tips >>

[*] Some clarifications on caste-related issues by reputed scholars

Understanding “caste” in the context of Indian democracy: The “Poona Pact of 1932”
“Mahatma Gandhi and BR Ambedkar differed over how to address caste inequities through the electoral system. Their exchanges led to the Poona Pact of 1932, which shaped the reservation system in India’s electoral politics. […]
Two prominent figures who have significantly contributed to this discourse are Mahatma Gandhi, Father of the Nation, and Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar, Father of the Constitution. The two stalwarts of Indian politics, while revered equally by the public, had contrasting views on the caste system. Their subsequent debates have shaped the course of Indian society and politics. While Gandhi denounced untouchability, he did not condemn the varna system, a social hierarchy based on occupation, for most of his life. He believed in reforming the caste system through the abolition of untouchability and by giving equal status to each occupation. On the other hand, BR Ambedkar, a Dalit himself, argued that the caste system disorganised and ‘demoralised Hindu society, reducing it to a collection of castes’. […] 
And yet, despite their differences, they developed an understanding to work for the betterment of the marginalised.” – Rishabh Sharma in “How Ambedkar and Gandhi’s contrasting views paved way for caste reservation” (India Today, 6 October 2023)
URL: https://www.indiatoday.in/history-of-it/story/ambedkar-gandhi-caste-system-poona-pact-1932-reservation-2445208-2023-10-06

~ ~ ~

“That upper caste groups should declare themselves to be OBCs [Other Backward Castes] and want to avail of the reservation policy is a pandering to caste politics of course, as also are caste vote-banks. It is partially a reflection of the insecurity that the neo-liberal market economy has created among the middle-class. Opportunities are limited, jobs are scarce and so far ‘development’ remains a slogan. There’s a lot that is being done to keep caste going in spite of saying that we are trying to erode caste. We are, of course, dodging the real issue. It’s true that there has been a great deal of exploitation of Dalit groups and OBC’s in past history; making amends or even just claiming that we are a democracy based on social justice demands far more than just reservations. The solution lies in changing the quality of life of half the Indian population by giving them their right to food, water, education, health care, employment, and social justice. This, no government so far has been willing to do, because it means a radical change in governance and its priorities.” – Romila Thapar  (Emeritus Professor of History, Jawaharlal Nehru University) interviewed by Nikhil Pandhi (Caravan Magazine, 7 October 2015)
URL: https://caravanmagazine.in/vantage/discipline-notion-particular-government-interview-romila-thapar 

~ ~ ~

Casteism is the investment in keeping the hierarchy as it is in order to maintain your own ranking, advantage, privilege, or to elevate yourself above others or keep others beneath you …. For this reason, many people—including those we might see as good and kind people—could be casteist, meaning invested in keeping the hierarchy as it is or content to do nothing to change it, but not racist in the classical sense, not active and openly hateful of this or that group.” – Book review by Dilip Mandal for Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents (The Print, 23 August 2020)
URL: https://theprint.in/opinion/oprah-winfrey-wilkerson-caste-100-us-ceos-indians-wont-talk-about-it/487143/

~ ~ ~

“The theoretical debate on caste among social scientists has receded into the background in recent years. [However] caste is in no sense disappearing: indeed, the present wave of neo-liberal policies in India, with privatisation of enterprises and education, has strengthened the importance of caste ties, as selection to posts and educational institutions is less based on merit through examinations, and increasingly on social contact as also on corruption. There is a tendency to assume that caste is as old as Indian civilization itself, but this assumption does not fit our historical knowledge. To be precise, however, we must distinguish between social stratification in general and caste as a specific form. […]
From the early modern period till today, then, caste has been an intrinsic feature of Indian society. It has been common to refer to this as the ‘caste system’. But it is debatable whether the term ‘system’ is appropriate here, unless we simply take for granted that any society is a ‘social system’. First, and this is quite clear when we look at the history of distinct castes, the ‘system’ and the place various groups occupy within it have been constantly changing. Second, no hierarchical order of castes has ever been universally accepted […] but what is certain is that there is no consensus on a single hierarchical order.” – Harald Tambs-Lyche (Professor Emeritus, Université de Picardie, Amiens) in “Caste: History and the Present” (Academia Letters, Article 1311, 2021), pp. 1-2
URL: https://www.academia.edu/49963457

~ ~ ~

“There is a need for intercultural education. We all need to work together to bridge these divides not only between religions and castes but also regions. It is not correct to think that one part is better than the other. Some of the limitations of India as a whole are due to our common heritage, say the one that has restricted women from having a flourishing life for themselves.” – Prof. V. Santhakumar (Azim Premji University) in “On the so called North-South Divide in India” (personal blog post in Economics in Action, 13 April 2024)
URL: https://vsanthakumar.wordpress.com/2024/04/13/on-the-so-called-north-south-divide-in-india/

“Cover Your Country” by PARI: Rural people speak about their lives through photos, narratives, film, and audio materials >>

Video | “I saw women working 90 per cent of the time. They did backbreaking jobs for which you need an erect spine,” says P. Sainath in Visible Work, Invisible Women: Bricks, coal and stone | RuralIndiaOnline.org >>

In Marginalised but not Defeated, Tarun Kanti Bose (a seasoned public interest journalist) asserts that “the mainstream development paradigm is being questioned and new rainbows of collective, community reassertions are happening across the tribal belt in India. More so, in most cases, led by brave, empowered and resilient women.” | Learn more: https://countercurrents.org/2023/05/book-review-marginalised-but-not-defeated >>

“In less than 200 years, photography has gone from an expensive, complex process to an ordinary part of everyday life. From selfies to satellites, most of the technology we use and spaces we inhabit rely on cameras. […] While photographic documentation can aid in shaping history, it can also be a window into the horrors of the past.” – Read more or listen to Butterfly Effect 9 – The Camera on CBC Radio Spark 26 May 2023 >>

Official details: State/UT wise population of STs

NAME OF THE PARTICULARLY VULNERABLE TRIBAL GROUPS (PTGs) (EARLIER CALLED AS PRIMITIVE TRIBAL GROUPS) – STATE / UT WISE
[UT = Union Territories].
 
1. Andhra Pradesh
1. Bodo Gadaba
2. Bondo Poroja
3. Chenchu
4. Dongria Khond
5. Gutob
Gadaba
6. Khond Poroja
7. Kolam
8. Kondareddis
9. Konda Savaras
10. Kutia Khond
11. Parengi Poroja
12. Thoti
 
2. Bihar (including Jharkhand)
13. Asurs
14. Birhor
15. Birjia
16. Hill Kharia
17. Korwas
18. Mal Paharia
19. Parhaiyas
20. Sauria Paharia
21. Savar
 
3. Gujarat
22. Kathodi
23. Kotwalia
24. Padhar
25. Siddi
26. Kolgha
 
4. Karnataka
27. Jenu Kuruba
28. Koraga
 
5. Kerala
29. Cholanaikayan (a section of Kattunaickans)
30. Kadar
31. Kattunayakan
32. Kurumbas
33. Koraga
 
6. Madhya Pradesh (including Chhattisgarh)
34. Abujh Marias
35. Baigas
36. Bharias
37. Hill Korbas
38. Kamars
39. Saharias
40. Birhor
 
7. Maharashtra
41. Katkaria (Kathodia)
42. Kolam
43. Maria Gond
 
8. Manipur
44. Marram Nagas
 
9. Orissa
45. Birhor
46. Bondo
47. Didayi
48. Dongria-Khond
49. Juangs
50. Kharias
51. Kutia Kondh
52. Lanjia Sauras
53. Lodhas
54. Mankidias
55. Paudi Bhuyans
56. Soura
57. Chuktia Bhunjia
 
10. Rajasthan
58. Seharias [Sahariya]
 
11. Tamil Nadu
59. Kattu Nayakans
60. Kotas
61. Kurumbas
62. Irulas
63. Paniyans
64. Todas
 
12. Tripura
65. Reangs
 
13. Uttar Pradesh (including Uttarakhand)
66. Buxas
67. Rajis
 
14. West Bengal
68. Birhor
69. Lodhas
70. Totos
 
15. Andaman & Nicobar Islands
71. Great Andamanese
72. Jarawas
73. Onges
74. Sentinelese
75. Shom Pens

Source: State/UT wise population of STs and their percentage to the total population in the respective states/UTs and to the total STs population in the Country,  as per Census 2001 | National Commission for Scheduled Tribes
Address: https://www.ncst.gov.in/content/stateut-wise-population-sts-and-their-percentage-total-population-respective-statesuts-and
Date Visited: 30 July 2021
Backup file dated 6 April 2017 (PDF, 19 KB)