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 tribal groups which have been categorized by
Ministry of Home Affairs as Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTG)s.
PVTGs reside in 18 States and UT of A&N Islands.
- In 1973, the Dhebar Commission created Primitive Tribal Groups (PTGs) as a separate category, who are less developed among the tribal groups.
- In 2006, the Government of India renamed the PTGs as Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs).
- PVTGs have some basic characteristics -they are mostly homogenous, with a small population, relatively physically isolated, social institutes cast in a simple mould, absence of written language, relatively simple technology and a slower rate of change etc.
- Pre-agricultural level of technology,
- Low level of literacy,
- Economic backwardness,
- A declining or stagnant population.
- The Ministry of Tribal Affairs implements the Scheme of “Development of Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs)” exclusively for them .
- Under the scheme, Conservation-cum-Development (CCD)/Annual Plans are to be prepared by each State/UT for their PVTGs based on their need assessment, which are then appraised and approved by the Project Appraisal Committee of the Ministry.
- Activities for development of PVTGs are undertaken in Sectors of Education, Health, Livelihood and Skill Development , Agricultural Development , Housing & Habitat, Conservation of Culture etc.
- 100% grants-in-aid are made available to States as per the provisions of the scheme.
- 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.
Some PVTGS in the News: Chenchu,Abujh Marias
- Andaman & Nicobar Islands :Great Andamanese,Jarawa,Onge,Sentinelese,Shompen