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Katkari Tribe

  • 26 May 2020
  • 3 min read

Why in News

Katkari tribal youth from Shahpur in Maharashtra are making a name by selling Giloy and other products online during lockdown.

  • They received help under the Pradhan Mantri Van Dhan Yojana (PMVDY) run by the Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED).
    • TRIFED is a national level apex organisation functioning under the administrative control of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs.
  • Giloy (Tinospora Cordifolia) is an Ayurvedic herb that has been used and advocated in Indian medicine for ages..

Key Points

  • Katkari is one of the 75 Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs).
  • Katkaris are located primarily in Raigad and in parts of Palghar, Ratnagiri and Thane districts of Maharashtra as well as in some places of Gujarat.
  • Katkaris were historically forest dwellers.
    • The name Katkari is derived from a forest-based activity – the making and bartering or sale of Catechu from the Khair tree (Acacia Katechu).
    • Catechu is an extract of acacia trees used variously as a food additive, dye, etc. It is extracted by boiling the wood in water and evaporating the resulting brew.
  • The British administration had classified them under the Criminal Tribes Act, 1871.
    • The Act described certain groups of people as ‘habitually criminal’. The stigma associated with the Act continues.

Pradhan Mantri Van Dhan Yojana

  • Pradhan Mantri Van Dhan Yojana (PMVDY) is a retail marketing led value addition plan for Minor Forest Produce (MFP), meant for forest-based tribes to optimize the tribal income, locally.
    • MFP means all non-timber forest produce of plant origin and includes bamboo, canes, fodder, leaves, gums, waxes, dyes, resins and many forms of food including nuts, wild fruits, honey, lac, tusser etc.
    • It provides both subsistence and cash income for people who live in or near forests. They form a major portion of their food, fruits, medicines and other consumption items and also provide cash income through sales.
  • Under the program, MFP-based tribal groups / enterprises of around 300 members are formed for collection, value addition, packaging & marketing of Minor Forest Produces (MFPs).
    • These tribal enterprises are in the form of Van Dhan Self Help Groups (SHGs) which is a group of 15-20 members and such 15 SHG groups will further be federated into a larger group of Van Dhan Vikas Kendras (VDVKs) of around 300 members.
  • TRIFED supports the VDVKs through providing them with model business plans, processing plans & tentative list of equipment for carrying out the value addition work of MFPs.


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