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World Tribal Day, 2021

  • 10 Aug 2021
  • 7 min read

Why in News

World Tribal Day or International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples is observed on 9th August every year.

  • It is aimed at promoting and protecting the rights of the world’s indigenous population and to acknowledge the contributions that indigenous people make towards world issues such as environmental protection.

Key Points

  • Background:
    • The day recognizes the first meeting of the United Nations Working Group on Indigenous Populations in Geneva in 1982.
      • It has been celebrated every year since 1994, in accordance with the declaration by the United Nations.
    • To date, numerous indigenous peoples experience extreme poverty, marginalization, and other human rights violations.
  • Theme 2021:
    • “Leaving no one behind: Indigenous peoples and the call for a new social contract.”
  • Indigenous Peoples:
    • Indigenous peoples are inheritors and practitioners of unique cultures and ways of relating to people and the environment. They have retained social, cultural, economic and political characteristics that are distinct from those of the dominant societies in which they live.
    • There are over 476 million indigenous peoples living in 90 countries across the world, accounting for 6.2% of the global population.
  • Significance:
    • Protecting Critical Ecosystem:
      • Around 80% of the world’s biodiversity is inhabited and protected by indigenous populations.
      • Their innate, diverse knowledge about lands, nature, and its development are extremely crucial to ensure the protection of the critical ecosystem, natural resources.
    • Preserving Languages:
      • With 370-500 million indigenous peoples representing the majority of the world’s cultural diversity, they speak the greater share of almost 7000 languages in the world.
    • Contributing to Zero Hunger Goal:
      • The crops grown by indigenous people are highly adaptable. They can survive drought, altitude, flooding, and any kind of extremes of temperature. As a result, these crops help create resilient farms.
      • Also, quinoa, moringa, and oca are some of the native crops that have the ability to expand and diversify our food base. These would contribute to the goal to attain Zero Hunger.
  • Other Global Efforts:
    • Decade of Indigenous Languages (2022-2032): It aims to conserve Indigenous languages, which helps preserve their cultures, world views and visions, as well as expressions of self-determination.
    • United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP): It establishes a universal framework of minimum standards for the survival, dignity and well-being of the indigenous peoples of the world.
    • Permanent UN Forum on Indigenous Issues: It was established with the mandate to deal with indigenous issues related to economic and social development, culture, the environment, education, health and human rights. It is an advisory body to the UN Economic and Social Council.

Tribes in India

  • Data Analysis:
    • India hosts around 104 million (that is almost 8.6% of the country’s population).
    • Though there are 705 ethnic groups that have been formally identified, out of which around 75 are Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs).
      • The Gond comprise the largest tribal group of India.
    • The largest number of tribal communities (62) are found in Odisha.
    • The central tribal belt which comprises the Northeastern states of India (including the region ranging from Rajasthan to West Bengal) boasts of the maximum concentration of indigenous population.
  • Major Constitutional Provisions:
    • Article 342 (1)- The President may with respect to any State or Union Territory, and where it is a State, after consultation with the Governor, by a public notification, specify the tribes or tribal communities or part of or groups within tribes or tribal communities as Scheduled Tribe in relation to that State or Union Territory.
    • Article 15- Prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth only.
    • Article 16- Equality of opportunity in matters of public employment.
    • Article 46- Promotion of educational and economic interests of scheduled castes, Scheduled tribes and other weaker sections.
    • Article 335- Claims of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes to services and posts.
    • As per Article 338-A of the Constitution of India, the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes has been set-up.
    • 5th and 6th Schedule- Administration and control of Scheduled and Tribal Areas.
  • Legal Provisions:
  • Initiatives:
    • TRIFED is a national-level apex organization functioning under the administrative control of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs. It is involved in schemes such as MSP for MFP and TRIFOOD.
    • Pradhan Mantri Van Dhan Yojana: A market-linked tribal entrepreneurship development program for forming clusters of tribal Self Help Groups (SHGs) and strengthening them into Tribal Producer Companies.
    • Capacity Building Initiative: Empowering tribal Panchayati Raj Institution (PRI).
    • 1000 Springs Initiative & Online portal on GIS-based Spring Atlas: Harnessing Springs, which are natural resources of groundwater discharge.
    • Digital Transformation of Tribal Schools: In the first phase, 250 Eklavya Model Residential Schools (EMRS) have been adopted by Microsoft, out of which 50 EMRS schools will be given intensive training and 500 master trainers would be trained.
  • Committees Related to Tribal Communities:
    • Xaxa Committee (2013)
    • Bhuria Commission (2002-2004)
    • Lokur Committee (1965)

Source: HT

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