Nature Talk

    It is presumed that the people who are known as ‘adivasi’ (ancient dwellers) are backward, awkward and not capable of joining the main stream of national life. In spite of in spending lot of money for their upliftment these people have progressed little in last six decades. Many social scientists have devoted lot of their studies in understanding the life style and nature of the adivasi otherwise called scheduled tribes. Economists and politicians have used their specific methods of viewing at these people. But their aspirations have remained ever eluded. Voluntary social workers, which actually spend more time in their villages, have their own bias. Some view them as very innocent simple people, some other view them as lazy introvert and some view them incapable of grasping the government sops.

   After the end of colonial rule, the sizable populations of scheduled tribe become voting citizens. So the politicians wanted them to remain happy in their own habitat by providing some shorts of facilities like reservation in jobs, giving soft term loans to meet various requirements, giving right to cultivate land etc. But their rights to exploit forest resources were denied. No non-tribal can purchase their land lest they get cheated. But when the government or any private company want to acquire their habitat land, these adivasis have to yield as law abiding citizens, sacrificing for national development.

   Experiences in the industrial areas established in tribal heartland show that the evicted families have remained in same darkness of illiteracy and poverty. Those few who have managed to get salaried job have become regular labour and imbibed vice of the ‘civilized’ people. They have abandoned the habit of consuming home brewed liquor but adopted the habit of taking bottled ‘phoren’ (foreign) alcohol.

   The situation is not totally negative but not desirably positive either. Primary health centers and primary schools have been running in remove tribal areas. Statistical account on health, education, land holding, major occupation, etc. are not satisfactory. Maternal and child mortality is still very high. In spite of these dismal life conditions of tribal and other rural poor, the country in patted on the back by most developed nations as sleeping economic tiger.

   Consumerism and flow of outside capital has become the order of the day. High technology in meant not for eradicating poor man’s health or ignorance or poverty. Destruction of forest, taming the rivers or extending Eco-tourism by the wealthy educated people are done at the expense of the hill forest dependent adivasis. The politicians and the extremist insurgents who claim to be pro-adivasi utilize both these ignorant tribal people.

   The historical process of transformation of human societies from land based economy to techno-productive economy is uneven. Those who adhered to the traditional methods and beliefs remained deprived. In community marked society, some were Hindu Caste, Muslims or tribe. Various factors were responsible for perpetuation of poverty, superstition and ignorance. Only community identity for targeting development will be misleading. Some people of some tribal community are orthodox and septic about government offer and some are open-minded.

   The national policy makers and implementing bureaucracy are yet to get at the bottom of the problem of tribal development. For this reason, some tribal persons have attained affluence while major mass is sinking in the morass of poverty, destitution and malnourishment.

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