India tribal belt
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The India's tribal belts refer to contiguous areas of settlement of tribal people of India which is to say groups or 'tribes' that remained genetically homogenous as opposed to other population groups that mixed widely within the Indian subcontinent
The Tribal Belt of Northwest India includes the states of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Karnataka. The tribal people of this region have origins which precede the ANI (Ancestral North Indian) and the ASI (Ancestral South India). In fact, the origins of these people are thought to stem back to the Harappan civilisation of the Indus valley, the oldest traceable civilisation of the Indian sub-continent which flourished between 3500BC and 2500BC.
The tribes of north-west India were once strong matrilineal societies. The changing fates and fortunes of these people has caused a gradual evolution to a more patriarchal code of living. These days the tribal societies generally follow the rule of patriliny. There are still, however, many strong cases of organised matriarchy in existence today. It is the women who organise matters such as relationships and marriages, the inheritance of land, and the distribution of wealth.
The Central India Tribal Belt stretches from Gujarat in the west up to Assam in the east across the states of Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand. It is among the poorest regions of the country. Over 90% of the Belt's tribal population is rural, with primitive agriculture.
Tribes in India
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The term “tribe” here means a group of people that have lived at a particular place from time immemorial. Anthropologically the tribe is a system of social organisation which includes several local groups- villages, districts on lineage and normally includes a common territory, a common language and a common culture, a common name, political system, simple economy, religion and belief, primitive law and own education system. Constitutionally a tribe is he who has been mentioned in the scheduled list of Indian constitution under Article 342(i) and 342(ii) .
“Tribals” are found in almost all the states of country. Currently there are between 258 and 540 scheduled tribe communities exists. The strength of these communities varies from 31 people of jarwa tribe to over 7 million gonds. Thus the gonds are big tribal community. Whereas the small communities comprising less than 1000 people include the andamanese, onge, oraon, munda, mina,khond, saora. According to recent study there are mainly 6 tribes in chhatisgarh they are gond, baiga, halba, kamar, bhunjia, korwa.
The quality of life of tribal people during pre-independence period was more deplorable and their main occupation was hunting, gathering of wood and forest products and primitive shifiting cultivation. Due to destruction of forest and non availability of proper facilities, tribal people were forced to lead a poor quality of life. After independence with the adoptation of Indian constitution in 1950 special attention was given for the upliftment of the tribal people under the ‘’article 48’’,it was mandatory on the part of the state government to make all efforts to improve economic, social, and educational standard of the tribal people.
Due to the welfare programmes tribal communities also made themselves conscious about their own clans upliftment. Now tribles are engaged in struggle for survival. They seek identity, autonomy equality and empowerment. They are moving out of ancestral lands to participate in all institution of state. All tribes or clans have their own unique cultures including language.
India is home to a large number of tribes with population of about 70 million. In terms of geographical distribution about 55% of tribals lived in central India, 28% in west, 12% in north-east India, 4% in South India and 1% elsewhere. These communities are actively working to preserve their rich cultures through broad institutional efforts.
Tribals constitute 8.14% of the total population of the country, numbering 84.51 million (2001 Census) and cover about 15% of the country’s area. The fact that tribal people need special attention can be observed from their low social, economic and participatory indicators. Whether it is maternal and child mortality, size of agricultural holdings or access to drinking water and electricity, tribal communities lag far behind the general population. 52% of Tribal population is Below Poverty Line and what is staggering is that 54% tribals have no access to economic assets such as communication and transport.
Several alarming poverty indicators underline the importance of the need of livelihood generating activities based on locally available resources so that employment opportunities could be created. Recognizing this need, the Ministry of Welfare (now Ministry of Tribal Affairs) established an organization to take up marketing development activities for Non Timber forest produce (NTFP) on which tribal men and women spends most of their time and derive a major portion of his/her income. In 1987, the Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India Limited (TRIFED) was set up with an aim to serve the interest of the tribal community and work for their socio-economic development by conducting its affairs in a professional, democratic and autonomous manner for undertaking marketing of local tribal products. To achieve the aim of accelerating the economic development of tribal people by providing wider exposure to their art and crafts, TRIBES INDIA, the exclusive shops of tribal artifacts were set up all over India by TRIFED, showcasing and marketing the art and craft items produced by the tribal people. In India tribals are also called Adivasis.