THE PEOPLE

SCHEDULED TRIBES.

As many as 34 tribes have been declared as Scheduled Tribes in the three tahsils of Gadhciroli, Sironca and Rajura. The declared lists are different for Gadhciroli and Sironca on the one hand and Rajura on the other. No tribe is recognised as a Scheduled Tribe in the tahsils of Candrapur, Waroda and Brahmapuri. The 1961 Census enumerated only 13 of the 34 Scheduled Tribes [The remaining 21 Scheduled Tribes for which no one was returned in the notified areas are as under:

Andh, Baiga, Bhaina, Bharia-Bhumia, Bhattra, Bhunjia, Birhul, Dhanwar, Gadaba, Kamar, Kharia, Kondh, Kol, Korwa, Majhwar, Munda, Nihal, Oraon, Parja, Saonta and Sawar.] in the notified areas, such as Bhil, Binjhvar, Gond, Halba, Kawar, Khairwar, Kolam, Korku, Koya, Nagesia, Pardhan, Pardhi and Thoti. They numbered 1,83,431 or 14.82 per cenr. of the total population.

The following table gives the 1961 Census statistics about the Scheduled Tribes in the district:

TABLE No. 15

SCHEDULED TRIBES POPULATION

Name of Scheduled Tribe

Population

Percentage to total population of the district

Percentage of each Scheduled Tribe population in

Males

Females

Rural areas

Urban areas

(1)

(2)

(3)

(4)

(5)

(6)

ćAll Scheduled Tribes

91,565

91,866

14.82

99.71

0.29

(1) Bhil

91,547

43

0.01

100.00

--

(2) Binjhwar

4

6

N

100.00

--

(3) Gond

82,979

83,287

13.43

99.74

0.26

(4) Halba

2,351

2,386

0.38

100.00

--

(5) Kawar

1,379

1,433

0.23

100.00

--

(6) Khairwar

137

138

0.02

100.00

--

(7) Kolam

778

738

0.12

100.00

--

(8) Korku

--

6

N

100.00

--

(9) Koya

13

13

N

88.46

11.54

(10) Nagesia

15

13

N

100.00

--

(11) Pardhan

3,579

3,566

0.58

98.77

1.23

(12) Pardhi

20

17

N

100.00

--

(13) Thoti

22

23

--

100.00

--

ćInclusive of persons from the Scheduled Tribes who have not reported their individual tribe.

N = Negligible.

The Gonds are the most predominant of the Scheduled Tribes from the Point of view of numerical superiority and cultural identity. With a total of 1,66,266 persons, they form about 13.43 of the total population of the district and about 99.74 per cent of the tribal population. Pardhan, with 7,145 persons, is the second largest among the Scheduled Tribes. They are followed by Halba (4.737 persons), Kawar (2,812 persons), and Kolam (1.516 persons).

The tribal population is concentrated to a very great, extent in Sironca tahsil where they comprise about 54.26 per cent, of the total population. The corresponding percentages for Gadhciroli and Rajura tahsils are 35.94 and 27.43, respectively. It is noteworthy that the tribal population in the district increased from 130,694 in 1951 to 183,431 in 1961.

" The Scheduled Tribes arc very much behind in literacy and education compared to the total population. Particularly the females among them have extremely low rates of literacy. The Gond which is the predominant Scheduled Tribe appears to be the most; depressed group in this respect. Other Scheduled Tribes comparatively have slightly higher literacy rates. It is so because the Gond is a group name and includes a large number of Madia or Maria Gonds of Bhamaragad, who still live in the most primitive environment, "

" Nearly 93 per cent of the workers from the Scheduled Tribes work as cultivators and agricultural labourers in the district. The labour participation rate is higher (62 per cent.) among them than that (58 per cent.) for the general population of the district. It is so because the Scheduled Tribes are entirely a rural people and have a much more depressed economy. Many special schemes for the welfare of the Scheduled Tribes are in progress. The important among them arc the two Tribal Development Blocks functioning at Yetapalli and Devvada, each with a combined allocation of Rs. 15 lakhs for stages I and II. Similar Tribal Development Blocks are proposed to be opened at Bedgaon, Dhanora and Karwafa in the district. " [District Census Handbook, 1961, Chanda District, Page 21.]

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