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  • 09 August, 2022

  • 9 Min Read

Significance OF Tribes

Significance OF Tribes

Every year on August 9th, there is a celebration known as World Tribal Day or International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples.

Its objectives are to advance and defend the rights of all indigenous peoples worldwide and to recognize their contributions to global issues like environmental preservation.


  • The day commemorates the 1982 Geneva gathering of the United Nations Working Group on Indigenous Populations.
  • Since 1994, it has been observed annually in accordance with a United Nations declaration.
  • Numerous indigenous peoples are still marginalized, live in terrible poverty, and have their human rights violated.
  • Theme: The Role of Indigenous Women in the Preservation and Transmission of Traditional Knowledge
  • Tribal women are the foundation of indigenous societies and are essential to the transmission and maintenance of traditional ancestral knowledge.
  • As guardians of scientific knowledge and caregivers of natural resources, they play an essential collective and communal role.
  • Numerous indigenous women are also taking the initiative to defend lands and territories and promote the collective rights of indigenous peoples around the world.

Indigenous Peoples:

  • Indigenous peoples have inherited and continue to practice distinctive traditions and methods of interacting with others and the environment.
  • They still exhibit social, cultural, economic, and political traits that set them apart from the societies that are the norm where they live.
  • More than 476 million indigenous people, or 6.2 percent of the world's population, live in 90 different nations.


Protecting Critical Ecosystem:

  • Indigenous peoples live in and take care of about 80% of the world's biodiversity.
  • The protection of the vital ecosystem and natural resources depends heavily on their innate, broad knowledge of the land, nature, and its development.

Language preservation:

  • Of the 370–500 million indigenous peoples that make up the majority of the global cultural variety, they speak the majority of the world's almost 7000 languages.

Helping to Achieve the Zero Hunger Goal

  • Indigenous people develop extremely adaptive crops. They can endure any form of climate extremes, including drought, altitude, flooding, and extreme cold. As a result, these crops aid in building robust farms.
  • Additionally, native crops like quinoa, moringa, and oca have the potential to increase and diversify our current food supply. These would contribute to the goal to attain Zero Hunger.
  • Other global initiatives include the Decade of Indigenous Languages (2022–2032), which aims to conserve Indigenous languages to maintain their cultures, worldviews, and self-determination expressions.
  • The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) creates an international framework of minimal requirements for the survival, dignity, and well-being of all indigenous peoples worldwide.

Indigenous Issues Permanent UN Forum:

Its mission is to address issues relating to indigenous people's economic and social development, culture, the environment, and concerns about human rights, education, and health. It serves as the UN Economic and Social Council's advisory committee.

Tribes in India

  • Approximately 104 million people live in India, tribes make up nearly 8.6% of the total population.
  • Although there are 705 officially recognized ethnic groups, about 75 of them are Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs).
  • The largest tribal group in India is called the Gond.
  • Odisha has the most tribal communities(62)in the entire country.
  • The largest concentration of native people may be found in the central tribal belt, which includes the Northeastern states of India (covering the area stretching from Rajasthan to West Bengal).

Constitution and legal provision

  • Article 342 (1) - The President may designate any tribes or tribal communities, or portions of or groups within tribes or tribal communities, as Scheduled Tribe in reference to any State or Union Territory, including when it is a State, after consulting with the Governor.
  • Article 15: It is unlawful to discriminate solely based on race, caste, gender, or place of birth.
  • Article 16: equality of opportunity for all applicants for public employment.
  • Article 46: Advancement of the economic and educational rights of Scheduled Tribes, Scheduled Castes, and other Weaker Groups.
  • Article 335:Claim to Services and Posts by Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes
  • Article 338-A: established the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes.
  • Administration and control of Scheduled and Tribal Areas under the Fifth and Sixth Schedules
  • Protection against Untouchability under the Civil Rights Act of 1955.
  • The Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act of 1989 was passed to stop crimes against humanity against SC and ST people.
  • The Panchayats (Extension to the Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996, contains provisions that enable the Scheduled Areas to benefit from the Panchayats-related provisions of Part IX of the Constitution.
  • The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act of 2006 recognizes and vests in traditional forest dwellers and other scheduled tribes the ownership and occupation of forest land.

Government initiative

  • The Ministry of Tribal Affairs has administrative supervision over TRIFED, a national-level apex body. It participates in programs like TRIFOOD and Minimum Forest Produce.
  • Pradhan Mantra Van Dhan Yojana: A market-linked initiative for developing tribal entrepreneurship that aims to cluster tribal Self Help Groups (SHGs) and strengthen them so they can become Tribal Producer Companies.

Initiative for Building Capacity:

  • Strengthening Tribal Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRI).
  • Utilizing Springs, which are natural sources of groundwater discharge, through the 1000 Springs Initiative and the online portal on the GIS-based Spring Atlas.
  • Digital transformation of tribal schools: In the first phase, Microsoft has accepted 250 Eklavya Model Residential Schools (EMRS), of which 50 EMRS schools will receive intense training and 500 master trainers will receive training.

Source: The Hindu

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