Map | Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups & Endangered languages

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1.9. Functional Activities

1.9.1 The Commission receives a large number of petitions from all parts of the country in relation to the grievances relating to (i) alleged violation of service safeguards, (ii) matters relating to alienation of land, admission in professional and technical institutions particularly in medical, engineering etc., and (iii) atrocities. These petitions are referred to the respective organization and the reply received from the organization is sent for information to the petitioner. In most of the cases the petitioners submit rejoinders to the Commission, which are examined in consultation with the concerned organization. Depending on the nature of the reply received from the respective organization, the Commission, with a view to expedite the disposal of the petition, organizes hearings in which the senior officers of the concerned organization are called to appear before it. After detailed interaction with them, the Commission issues the proceedings of the discussion, also requesting the organization concerned to take follow up action on its recommendations within a given timeframe. In the interest of the disposal of the maximum number of petitions, the Commission clubs all the cases/ petitions pending in the Commission in relation to an organization in a single hearing. This change has led to reduction in the number of hearings and at the same time marked increase in the disposal of cases/ petitions. This also led to increased awareness in those organizations about implementation of the reservation policy in letter and in spirit. During 2007-08, Hon’ble Chairperson held hearing in respect of cases relating to 11 Ministries/ Deptts./ CPSUs while Hon’ble Vice-Chairperson conducted hearing in respect of 4 Ministries/ Deptts/ CPSUs.

1.9.2 As mentioned in the previous Report, the three functional Wings namely (i) Economic and Social Development Wing, (ii) Service Safeguard Wing, and (iii) Atrocities Wing were restructured into four Research Units (RU-I, RU-II, RU-III and RU-IV) during 2006-07. The same Units continued to function with the same operational jurisdiction during 2007-08. […]

1.9.5 With a view to making the tribal people and other persons/ Associations/ Organisations interested in tribal affairs and such bodies which have been entrusted with duties to promote tribal development, aware about the role, responsibilities and functioning of the Commission, the website of the Commission http// was launched on 12.2.2007. The information available on the website of the Commission was updated during the year 2007-08.

Source: National Commission for Scheduled Tribes, “Third Report for the year 2007-08”, pp. 9-10
Date visited: 9 March 2021

“We shall first have to give up this hubris of considering tribes backward. Every tribe has a rich and living cultural tradition and we must respect them.”

Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu on India’s Constitutional obligation to respect their cultural traditions
Gandhiji at Prayer Time, Parnakuti, Poona (1944) by Chittaprosad, the great advocate of the rights of workers and revolutionary artists. | Learn more in “Gandhi, Secularism, and Cultural Democracy” by Vinay Lal >>
Gandhian social movement | Constitution >>

“Air is free to all but if it is polluted it harms our health… Next comes water… From now on we must take up the effort to secure water. Councillors are servants of the people and we have a right to question them.” – Mohandas K. Gandhi, Ahmedabad address on 1 January 1918; quoted by his grandson, Gopalkrishna Gandhi, in “On another New Year’s Day: Mahatma Gandhi’s ‘khorak’ a 100 years ago” (The Hindu, 1 January 2018)

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.” – Book review quoting Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson | Learn more >>

Introduction to the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes

Primitive, geographically isolated, shy and socially, educationally & economically backwardness these are the traits that distinguish Scheduled Tribes of our country from other communities. Tribal communities live in about 15% of the country’s areas in various ecological and geo-climatic conditions ranging from plains to forests, hills and inaccessible areas. Tribal groups are at different stages of social, economic and educational development. While some tribal communities have adopted a mainstream way of life at one end of the spectrum, there are 75 Primitive Tribal Groups (PTGs), at the other, who are characterized by (a) a pre-agriculture level of technology, (b) a stagnant or declining population (c ) extremely low literacy and (d) a subsistence level of economy. There are over 500 tribes (with many overlapping communities in more than one State) as notified under article 342 of the Constitution of India, spread over different States and Union Territories of the country, the largest number of tribal communities being in the State of Orissa. The main concentration of tribal population is in central India and in the North- eastern States. However, they have their presence in all States and Union Territories except Hayrana, Punjab, Delhi, Pondicherry and Chandigarh.

The predominantly tribal populated States of the country (tribal population more than 50% of the total population) are: Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Union Territories of Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Lakshadweep. States with sizeable tribal population and having areas of large tribal concentration are A.P. Assam, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa and Rajasthan.

Promotion of all round development of tribals inhabiting the length and breath of our country has received priority attention of the government. There are numerous government policies for ensuring the welfare and well being of tribals. The Govts. at State as well as Central levels have made sustained efforts to provide opportunity to these communities for their economic development by eradicating poverty and health problems and developing communication for removal of isolation of their habitats. The Constitution of India seeks to secure for all its citizens, among other things, social and economic justice, equality of status and opportunity and assures the dignity of the individual. The Constitution further provides social, economic and political guarantees to the disadvantaged sections of people. Some provisions are specific to both Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and some are specific to only Scheduled Tribes. These are: […]

In pursuance of the enabling provisions mentioned […]
(i)The State legislation should be in tune with the customary law, social and religious practices and traditional management practices of community resources. (ii) Every Gram Sabha should be competent to safeguard and preserve the traditions and customs of the people, their cultural identity, community resources and customary mode of disputes resolution. […]

Source: National Commission for Scheduled Tribes, Microsoft Word – Copy_2 of_Annual_Report__Eco[1].Dev_of_STs_.doc – File415.pdf
Date visited: 26 June 2019

Shiv Sahay Singh, The Hindu, April 08, 2017 | To read the full document, click here >>

A recent Anthropological Survey of India (AnSI) publication has brought to the fore startling revelations about the Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs) in the country including the fact that no base line surveys have been conducted among more than half of such groups.

“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 – The Hindu
Date visited: 26 June 2019

[Bold typeface added above for emphasis]

Research the above issues with the help of Shodhganga: A reservoir of theses from universities all over India, made available under Open Access >>

[UT = Union Territories].
1. Andhra Pradesh
1. Bodo Gadaba
2. Bondo Poroja
3. Chenchu
4. Dongria Khond
5. Gutob
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: National Commission for Scheduled Tribes, StatewisePTGsList from MTA.pdf | Backup file (PDF, 19KB) >>
Date visited: 26 June 2019

See also

A constitution which guarantees: “The State shall not discriminate against any citizen” – The Sovereign Republic of India | Learn more >>

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