The tribal population in India is 84.51 million, which constitutes 8.14% of tribal population. There are about 449 tribes and sub tribes in different parts of India. Half of India’s tribal people live in the forests and forest fringes and their economy is linked with the forests. TamilNadu has 7.21 lakh tribal populations as per 2011 census which constitutes 1.10% of the total population. There are 36 tribes and sub tribes in Tamil Nadu. Literacy rate of the population is 27.9%. Most of the tribals in Tamil Nadu are cultivators, agriculture labourers or dependent on forests for their livelihood. There are six primitive tribes in Tamil Nadu. The tribal groups in Tamil Nadu are distributed in almost all the districts and they have contributed significantly in the management of the forests.
The need of the hour for Tribal Development is to reduce the gap between the Tribal and non-tribal population with respect to economic, educational and social status, The objective is to integrate the Tribals into the main stream of economic and social development. Out of the 36 Scheduled Tribe communities in the state, 6 Tribal Communities (ie) Toda, Kota, Kurumbas, Irulur, Paniyan and Kattunayakan have been identified as Primitive Tribal. The area where the population of Scheduled Tribes exceeds 50% of the total population is declared as Integrated Tribal Development Programme area.
The tribal communities live inside the Reserved Forests, in the vicinity in fringes and outside and are also called ‘forest dwellers’. Their socio-cultural life is centered on nature. Degradation of forests have reduced the resource availability and the employment opportunities for tribals and has also affected the food availability, livelihood options and the quality of life of the tribals. In this State, the Forest Department has taken many initiatives through programs like ITDP, HADP, WGDP, TAP for tribal development and has been, a Department closely associated in tribal welfare activities.
There is need to understand in greater detail the present relationship and dependency of tribals with forests and their change in life styles due to ecological disturbances and generate more information.
OBJECTIVES OF THE SCHEME
- To provide infrastructure support for development of tribal settlements.
- To provide health, education, electricity, drinking water, housing and approach road and thereby improve the standard of living of tribals within forest areas.
- To establish partnerships with tribals for their development, empowerment and engage them in conservation and management of the forest wealth.
- To develop required skills for tribals, tap and utilize their knowledge for infrastructure development in settlements thereby ensuring confidence building and overall prosperity in their life systems.
Tribals in natural resource management & conservation
The Forest Department in Tamil Nadu has particularly cared to impart the best education for tribals by running 20 schools in tribal areas in Thiruvanamalai, Vellore and Coimbatore districts. Realizing the need of tribals for forest ingredients, this State has also issued orders providing for free collection and use of MFP for tribals. The services of tribals have been utilized in all the major afforestation and development activities of the forest department. The tribal settlements have also been provided with the best infrastructure support through various forestry programmes. Thus the Forest Department programme and policies have attended to the welfare of the tribal individuals, families and communities living within the forests.
Tribals are the integral part of the forest eco-system and their economy depends on the forest resources. Tribal villages are mostly enclosures located within the forest area. Hence, Forest Department naturally has a major role to play due to the poor development in remote tribal areas. Employment generation, improving the infrastructure facilities in tribal villages and education has been given adequate impetus.
EDUCATION-TRIBAL SCHOOLS RUN BY THE FOREST DEPARTMENT
Tamil Nadu Forest Department is successfully running 20 Tribal schools in Jawadis , Jamanamarathur and Pollachi and have been able to attract tribal children due to the facilities offered in the school. Primary education to tribals in Jawadis where started by the Forest Department as early as 1951 at Jamanamarathur and extended to other villages. In Tiruvannamalai Division there are 11 schools which includes 2 elementary schools, 8 middle schools and one higher secondary school. In Tirupattur Division there is one higher secondary school, 2 High schools, 2 Middle schools and 2 Elementary schools. There is one Middle school in Vellore and Pollachi division. The details of schools run by Forest Department are as follows:
|Sl. No.||School Name|
|1||Jamanamarathur Higher Secondary School|
|2||Veerappanur Middle School|
|3||KilVilamuchi Middle School|
|4||Kovilur Middle School|
|5||Jamanamarathur Middle School|
|6||Kalyanamandai Middle School|
|7||Melpattu Middle School|
|8||Puliyur Middle School|
|9||Vazhakkadu Middle School|
|10||Athipattu Elementary School|
|11||Komutteri Elementary School|
|12||Pudurnadu Higher Secondary School|
|13||Nellivasal High School|
|14||Pudurnadu High School|
|15||Perumpalli Middle School|
|16||Thagarakuppam Middle School|
|17||Nellivasal Elementary School|
|18||Vasanthapuram Elementary School|
|19||Palampattu Middle School|
|20||Tribal School, Topslip|
Over 4500 students are given education in these schools which is run by the Forest Department. The local people and the parents appreciate the efforts taken by these schools in imparting quality education to the students. There is a provision for separate accommodation and toilet facilities for both boys and girls.
Details of expenditure incurred under Tribal development schemes as follows
NABARD Assisted Project
Under Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF), a scheme was taken up with an outlay of Rs.5.07 crore for improving the infrastructure facilities in the tribal schools functioning under the control of Forest Department. An amount of Rs.1.01 crore was spent during 2007-08 and Rs.4.06 crore was spent during 2008-09.
Integrated Tribal Development Programme
The tribal communities have a symbiotic relationship with forests and the existence of both is mutually beneficial. Government policies also insist in implementing special programmes in tribal areas to improve their quality of life. Hence, Forest Department naturally has a major role to play due to the poor development in remote tribal areas. Employment generation, improving the infrastructure facilities in tribal villages and education has been given adequate impetus. During 2012-13, an amount of Rs.10.10 crore was sanctioned for improvement of katcha houses, improvement of roads and existing Schools. The details are as follows.
|Sl. No||Description of Works||Physical Target||Financial Target (Rs.in crore)|
|1.||Improvement of katcha houses (91 Villages)||1000 Nos.||2.20|
|2.||Improvement of Roads development||64.75 km||5.90|
|3.||Improvement of existing Schools||2.00|
An amount of Rs.6.27 crores was spent upto 2013-14.
|Year||Expenditure (Rs, in lakhs)|
|DISTRICT WISE TIRBAL POPULATION (AS PER 2011 CENSUS)|
|S No||District||Total Population||Scheduled Tribes||% of District|
|2001 Total||2011 Total||Total|
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