The present scenario of the condition of tribes in the changing Tamil societyAbstractTribes are primitive Introduction ‘Tribeshas been defined as group of primitive clans under recognized chief and usuallyclaiming common ancestor'(the concise oxford dictionary, oxford universitypress, Madras). Adivasis are original tribes. The legal andconstitutional term is “Schedule Tribes”.
Their settlements are mostly aroundmountains and hill areas at a distance from plains .Most of the tribes arehunters-gatherers, agriculturists, Cattle farming, etc. They usually dwell intointerior forest areas, unaccessible locations in hilly areas to avoid contactwith non tribes. This is done so to maintain their culture and follow their traditionalway of living. They are often regarded as “primitive”, since independence.
Majorityof the scheduled tribes live in rural areas their main concern is the economicexploitation. Most of them depend on forest produce for their livelihood.Tribes have been denied the rights of land, in many cases they are fined andpenalized for using the product produce which they had been enjoying sincegenerations.
Measures have been taken to avoid destruction of forest. Tribesface prejudice and violence from the society at large. Reforms are undertaken bythe government at state level to protect the welfare of tribal community.
Displacement of land stands as the major reason for the economic and socialproblem of the tribes. Present scenario of tribes Theright to preserve and enjoy the cultural heritage in harmony with nature inseverely threatened by the process of modernization and economic growth. Thereis a wide gap between developmental standards of tribals and non-tribalssection of Tamil Nadu at social setting.It is time we gather momentum to lookinto the issues of the livelihood of tribes right now.
Therecurrent problems faced by the tribes are lack of transportation, nonavailability of medical and health facilities, traditional practices that areat times detrimental to their health and behavior. Mostly the developmentalprogrammes do not reach them because of the remote habitation within theforests. In some parts of tribal settlements even officials find it difficultto access the tribal destination, as they have to ascend steep hills. .Endangered List of tribes. Tamil Nadu has 36 types of tribes six are on endangered list.
The totalpopulation has gone down to less than 2000,of this Kochuvelan, Melakudi and Mahamalasar are on the verge of extinction with the population of less than 160.Static nature of tribes Aresearch concluded that there are only 54000 number of tribes are by geneticsand the rest of tribal population do not know which group they belong to. Ofthe 36 tribal community in TN 6 major community of tribes like kota, kurumba,irular, paniyan and katunayakar has neither decreased nor increased and itremains static . They are known as particularly vulnerable tribal group(PVTG).
A shocking report says that state has been monitoring the tribal population and more than 80% of ethic group is staticin nature. Identificationof tribes is increasingly becoming difficult due to inter caste marriage,religion, conversion migration and lack of genetic or anthropological data. Only20% of tribes continue doing their ethnic occupation like rearing sheep,collecting honey, harvesting timber and other forest products. Many tribes whoare disintegrated from their group due to exploitation of non tribal end up asbonded labour in bricklin and later rescued and rehabilitated. Tribal population and details of PVTGNeed for tribal welfare Tribesin TN are cultivators, agricultural labourers and dependent on forests forlivelihood. The tribals were significantly contributed in the management andconservation of forests. The need of the hour for tribal development is toreduce the gap below the tribal and non tribal population with respect toeconomic educational and social status.
Theservice of tribal have been utilized for major afforestation and developmentalactivities of the forest department. The forest department have reached out tothe tribal through forestry programs, to equip the tribes with best infrastructuralsupport. The sole aim of the forest department program is to attend to thewelfare of tribal individuals, their families and communities living within theforest. Withouttribals the forest ecosystem stands incomplete the tribals depend on forestresource for their economy. With the help of forest department measures toimprove education, infrastructure facility in tribal villages generation ofemployment is taken care of. .Central and state scheme for tribals are aimedat · Habitatrestoration and improvement· Protectionand conservation measure· Managementplanning and human resource development· Eco developmentand community participation in conservation of bio resource· Mitigationof human wildlife conflict.· Promotionof low impact eco tourism.
Reviewof literature Selvakumarand sivakumar (2014) made a ‘study onthe current socio-economic conditions of the tribal communities in Nilgirisdistrict, Tamil Nadu. The studyhighlights the social organization , livelihood and customs of the tribes withthe rest of the state. The data forstudy was collected through field survey and secondary data covering a randomsampling of 100 households. The studyreveals that the backwardness of tribal population with respect to social,economic, health and lifestyle patterns. Jayakumarand Palaniammal (2016) made a study on ‘Socio economic status of ST in Kalrayanhills, Salem district, Tamil Nadu.’ Agriculture is predominant for majority of households, which accountedfor their income also. The study discussesthe income level of various households. The study emphasizes the need for ateention into education, which willstand as a motivating factor for improving their future.
Rajkumar,Pulla and Jayanand(2013) made an’Analysis of Socio Economic status of ST inAndhrapradesh’. Multi stage randomsampling technique was adapted for the study. Rimary data was collected with the help of pre-structuredquestionnaire. 89 samples responded forthe tool. The result revelas farming wasthe primary occupation and the heads of the households were mostly agriculturallabourers. The study refers the declinein sex ratio in the community and highlights the exploitation of uneducatedtribals by money lenders, charging high interest rates. The study recommends the Gov. to take stepsto promote banking service, for economic development and financial stability.
TameRamya(2014) aimed to study ‘socio economic status and associate problems of thetribals, A case study of village in kurung kumay district of ArunachalPradesh’. The study tries to highlightthe various aspects of socio economic structure with respect to age, marital status, educational structure,economic status etc. It attempts toexplore the problems faced by the tribal villages with respect to economic,education, sanitation and basic amenities for livelihood. The study aims at suggesting ways how toovercome their social constraints in receiving proper facility. The data was collected from villages throughinterview with the help of questionnaire. The sample consisted of age group 18 years and above. The study suggests measures to be undertakenby the Govt to improve sanitation, housing conditions, healthcare, literacyrate, credit facility, irrigation and promote self-help groups. Pulla(2013)aimes to study on ‘socio economic status of scheduled tribes’ ‘The constitutionof India insured social and economic justice, equality of status andopportunity assurance of the individuals dignity for all its citizens.
Our constitution has provisions to safeguardand promote the cultural, social, educational and economic interests of ST andSC to bring them on par with the mainstream nation’ Thispaper addresses the SES of the ST in visakapatnam district of AP in India. More than 70% of the study wereilleterates. Cultivation supports theincome for majority of households. Wagelaboureres who also form a part of the sample under study have comparably lowincome. The need for promoting educationof ST , as a motivating factor for their future is largely emphasized. Subramanian(1995) conducted a ‘a study of operation and progress of hill tribes largesized multipurpose cooperative in Tamil Nadu’ This study highlights poverty andits effects. This study is empiricalresearch based on census method.
The purpose of the study is to examine theworking of LAMP (Large sized adivasi multi purpose cooperative societies fortribal assistance)societies in Tamil Nadu. The objective of the study was toreview the socio economic conditions of tribals and the Govt schemes for promotingthe welfare of tribal population. Biswajith, Arunasis and Subhasish (2015) aims to study the’ socioeconomic status of somemselected tribes in West Bengal, India’The study wasconducted in four blocks( Sabar, Oroan, Santhal and Tota) in 2 purposivelyselected districts of WB. A total of 4oosamples were collected for study. Theresults revealed that, all the four tribes differed largelt on SES, and amongall tribal subcaste the one with low SES was related to low literacy level andit also made a difference in their livelihood and behavioral pattern largely. SunilkumarBaskey(2016) made ‘a study on the SES of tribal people in the district ofBurdwan, West Bengal’ The study was conducted in selected areas at 6 subdivisions in the districts of Burdwan, WB, purposive sampling was used toselect the sample. 766 samples were selected for the study.
The tools used were questionnaire andinterview schedule. The results of thestudy shows of the 6 sub divisions, SES is a combined measure of an individual’sfamily , economic, and social position in relation to others, based on income,education and occupation. For analyzingSES of a family the household income, education, and occupation were examined,as well as combined income of familymembers with other attributes were assessed. SES is often measured as a combination of all the said measures. SES is sum total of the scores of familymonthly income, land holding, dwelling housing, properties including furniture,luxurious items and other impediments(Aggarwal,2006) Dhargupta,et.al,(2009) made ‘a study on the effect of socio economicparameters on health status of the Toto, Santal, Sabar and Lodha tribes of WB,India’ re tested structural interview schedule was used for datacollection.
The major findings of thestudy were, education was common for all the tribes, cultivation was theprimary occupation and Sabar’s belonged to low income group. Healthstatus depended on various livelihood factors among sandals and educationstatus and other criteria were signifanctly related to health status amongLodhas Sharma (1991) made a study on’Educationand planning in India’. One of thefindings of the study were that SE conditions acted as a barrier in theeducation of tribal pupils and those educational schemes for the tribal pupilwas to provide them immediate jobs and attitude towards education was slargelyinfluenced by the motive of economic relation. Size of family had someinfluence on educational level of family.
Communication factors were the constraints in modernization. Spread of education for better utilizationsof educational opportunities, more hostel facilities need to be provided to thestudents coming from long distance. Pawar,Suresh Krishna(2012) aimed to study’ socio economic status of tribal populationin Maharashtra- A geographical analysis.
‘poverty may be absolute or relativedeprivation of well-being of a section of population’. The concept of well being is multidimentional, therefore it becomes difficult for the measurement ofpoverty. Poverty means not only materialdeprivation, which is measured by income or consumption, but it can also bemeasured in terms of low achievement in education and health. It means to be illiterate and not schooled.1969 report submitted by the tribal developmentprogramme stated the main problems of tribal communities as· Indebtedness· Landalienation· Educationbackwardness· Lack ofcommunicationFollowing the report, Govt took steps topromote the welfare of tribes with the objectives of tribal sub-plan.· To helpscheduled tribes family cross the poverty line· Toprovide basic infrastructure facilities for improving the living conditions oftribal people.
Objectives of the studyTo review the socio-economic conditions oftribals , Govt schemes for promoting the welfare of tribal population and thepresent scenario of tribes in Tamil Nadu.ConclusionThe schemes of tribals should pay muchattention towards· Infrastructuresupport for tribal settlement development· Improvestandard of living within forest areas.· Establishpartnership with tribes for development and empowerment· Engagethem in conservation and management of forest wealth.
· Todevelop required skills and utilize their knowledge for overall prosperity· Governmenthas developed many schemes for the upliftment of tribes, to enhance betterquality of life but the expected growth among them is yet to be achieved. Tribals are still facing a number of problemsincluding poverty, illiteracy, poorhealth facilities etc.· The measures taken by the government tointegrate them with the larger society is mostly futile, as they strive to livewith distinctiveness. Their traditional life is often threatened or shatteredby the advancement of encroachments around their habitat . It is right timethat we realize that these people inhabited lands far before urbanization andhave been the conservators of nature for quite a long time.
(Source: adivasi’sof India – world directory of minorities).They are indigenous people ororiginal inhabitants. Tribals are an intrinsic part of our national life withtheir rich cultural heritage. www.indiatribalheritage.org www.mainstreamweekly.
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Rajkumar, Pulla,Jayanand(2013), Analysis of Socio-Economic status ofScheduled Tribes in Andhra Pradesh, Internationaljournal of development research, ISSN:2230-9926, vol 03, issue 11, pp 136-140.Tame Ramya(2014), Socio-Economic status and associate problems of thetribals, a case study of a village in Kurung Kumay district of Arunachal Pradesh,An International journal of Humanitiesand social sciences, vol 01, issue 02, September 2014, pp 325-340.Pulla(2013), Socio-Economic status of Scheduled Tribes, International Journal of Management MERCGlobal’s, vol 01, issue01, July 2013.
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