A large part of the district is covered with thick forests where the Proportion of Adivasi population is. quite high. Among scheduled districts in. Maharashtra, Chandrapur district ranks fourth in regard to the percentage of Adivasi population to that of total population of the district.

The total tribal population in the district numbered 183,431 or 14.82 per cent according to 1961 Census. Of the 13 tribes in the district Gond, Pardhan, Halba and Kawar are the principal ones. About these tribes the District Census Handbook of Chanda, 1961 states as follows : -

"Gond with 166,266 persons is the most predominant Scheduled Tribe in the district. Pardhan with 7,145 persons, Halba with 4,737 persons, Kawar with 2,812 persons and Kolam with 1,516 persons are the other four major Scheduled Tribes. The remaining eight scheduled tribes, together have a population of 517 persons only.

The Scheduled Tribes are concentrated more in Sironcha taluka where they form 54.26 per cent of the total population. The corresponding proportions for Gadhchiroli and Rajura talukas are 35.94 per cent and 27.43 per cent, respectively. A part of the district has also been notified a schedule area. "

Though the living conditions of the Adivasis have improved recently quite a few among them eke out a substandard existence. Most of them follow agriculture as their principal occupation. During the off season they find employment in forestry which supplements their income from agriculture. The labour participation rate is higher among them than that in the general population of the district. Their staple food is rice but in the thick forest area like Sironcha many of the Adivasis eat fruits, roots and the leaves of the trees. Most of them are non-vegetarians because of the availability of wild animals for hunting. They mostly spend their income on the purchase of foodgrains only. Their proximity to nature keeps their requirement of clothing to minimum. Their traditional dress is a langati and dhoti and in some cases a piece of cloth wrapped around the waist. However, the younger among them are taking to new modes of dress. Their women adorn their necks with handsome strings of heads and their arms sometimes with metal and glass bangles. Married women wear a lugade (sari) of strong cloth usually white with the border having a coloured strip. The majority of the Adivasis have been settled permanently in the forest area. The Adivasi dwelling is a typical hutment made of strong bamboos with wooden pillars in the four corners and the inner part of the walls made of karvi plastered with clay and dung. The dwelling is usually surrounded by strong wattle fence wherein the cattle-shed is also constructed.

Formerly the adivasi area was the most backward from the literacy point of view. Poverty and apathy towards improvement did not allow them to go in for education. Scheme for economically Backward Classes sponsored by the Maharashtra Government has made available manifold opportunities of education to them. The starting of schools in the remote areas has brought education within their reach.

The household utensils used in the adivasi families comprised mostly earthenware. Only in rare cases aluminium and brass utensils were used. Under the development plans of the Government the material conditions of these communities have been showing a marked change. Many special schemes for the welfare of the scheduled tribes have been put into operation and have made considerable progress. The important among them is the creation of two Tribal Development Blocks functioning at Yetapalli and Dewada, each with a combined allocation of Rs. 15 lakhs. Similar tribal development blocks have been proposed in various areas.