Article 340 deals with

The conditions are now generally such that there has to be a positive policy of assisting the tribal people to develop their natural resources and to evolve a productive economic life wherein they will enjoy the fruits of their labour and will not be exploited by more organised economic forces from outside.

So far as their religious and social life is concerned, it is not desirable to bring about changes except at the initiative of the tribal people themselves and with their willing consent. It is accepted that there are many healthy features of tribal life, which should be not only retained but developed. The qualities of their dialects, and the rich content of their arts and crafts also need to be appreciated and preserved. Article of the Constitution requires that a special financial grant should be provided for programmes for the social and economic welfare of the tribal population living in scheduled areas.

Under this Article the Central Government have made a provision of Rs. The various States have provided another Rs.

Article 342 of Constitution of India

Their programmes include schemes for the building of roads, the improvement of water supply, the provision of irrigation, the development of agriculture, animal husbandry and cottage industries, and for increased educational and medical facilities. The North East Frontier Agency is populated by a large section of the tribal population and their economic and cultural development has to be brought in line with the progress made in the rest of the country. A sum of Rs. Most of the tribal areas have been neglected so far as roads and communications are concerned.

The importance of communications has now been recognised and a sum of over Rs. This amount is separate from the road grants available from the Central and the State Governments. Great care has to be taken however to see that communications are not prematurely developed so as to permit economic exploitation by outside and more advanced communities. In areas which are covered by thick jungles, the water becomes at times unfit for drinking and for cultivation owing to the accumulation of decayed leaves.

Special efforts are therefore being directed towards the construction of wells and the improvement of irrigation facilities. Later on, there was in many parts of the country an intensive and yet unsystematic exploitation of the physical region inhabited by the tribes, with very little consideration for their economic welfare.

It is desirable that tribal communities should be made the primary agents for the care and development of the forests and the exploitation of forest resources. Forest schools should be started 10 bring the young tribals up to love, care for, and work systematically for the enrichment of the forests which will mean in turn the betterment of their own lives. Though adequate facts and statistics are not available, land in the tribal areas consists generally of poor, rocky and barren soils on which in most cases only coarse cereals, pulses and roots are cultivated. The problem of land ownership has become increasingly difficult during the last few decades.

Many tribal groups became landowning communities, but in times of famine and economic difficulty, their lands passed to absentee landlords. The problem of land restoration and distribution is linked up with the larger problem of land reform affecting all agriculturists, but the tribal population could be induced and assisted to move to large uncultivated areas which are suited to their modes of living.

The tribal communities in hilly regions have long been accustomed to the system of shifting cultivation. Though in parts of the ountry they have already adopted more settled methods of agriculture and have taken to terrace cultivation using the normal village implements, there are areas where the system of shifting cultivation still prevails.

The introduction of improved methods of agriculture has to be attempted after a study of local conditions and with due regard for the level of understanding of the tribal communities concerned. People in the tribal areas are illiterate, but in spite of this and the many other difficulties in the way of the co-operative movement, a large number of co-operatives worked by social workers on behalf of the tribals have come into existence in several States. Co-operative activities should be developed in a planned manner throughout the tribal areas so that their benefits may not only be reaped by the cultivator but also by other sections of the people.

Various States have created new organisations to help the agriculturists in the tribal areas.

Important Articles of the Indian Constitution

The Grain Banks or Beej Kosh in Bombay, the Grain Golas in Bihar and other States help the people with seeds and with the storage of crops so as to build up food resources, and also give guidance for the improvement of agriculture. The community development projects will now be able to accelerate the speed of agricultural development in the tribal areas. The following areas which have been selected for community development include tribal communities :.

One development block.


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Darrang District Madhya Pradesh Bastar District. Tripura Nutan Haveli. Their free life, initiative, dexterity and desire for basic goods for domestic, religious and social life lead them to exploit the resources of their environment, and thus they are the creators of a large number of interesting crafts, which are practised not so much to supplement their income as to supply them with some of the necessities of life. They are not, however, yet fully conscious of the richness of their environments and they require to be helped to exploit commercially the clay, stone, animal, bird, insect and plant life of the forests, using their skills in organised co-operatives and exporting their products to the markets of the land.

The physical environment stimulates arts and skills which are peculiar to the culture of each tribal community. Their principal form of artistic expression is dancing which has become the inspiration of professional dancers in rural and urban areas. The cultural life of the tribes should not be interfered with ; on the contrary they should be given encouragement and opportunity to develop their tribal cultures.

Some of the diseases prevalent in tribal areas are malaria, yaws, scabies, venereal diseases, small-pox, leprosy, tuberculosis, trachoma, glaucoma, and elephantiasis. Unhygienic conditions, malnutrition, bad water, lack of protection against the climate, and in some cases harmful social customs and practices are among the causes of the widespread prevalence of disease. Throughout most of the tribal areas the belief in possession' and in the demoniacal causation of disease still prevails. But a patient programme of health education, with the assistance of mobile dispensaries, and the gradual introduction of regular medical services will introduce to the people the advantages of scientific methods in dealing with problems of health and disease.

There is a need for comprehensive health surveys in selected areas covering diet, beliefs and health practices, the etiology, prognosis and incidence of various diseases, and herbal medicines and other tribal ways of healing.

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It will, however, have to be conceded that the usual formal system of education is not likely to prove suitable to the tribal communities. It is desirable that the Commissioner of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and the Department of Scheduled Castes and Tribes in the various States should deal with the problem of the education of tribal children for some time before the Departments of Education take over the management of institutions in tribal areas.

Students in tribal areas will receive a primary-cww-basic education for eight years and basic education will receive the main attention of the Department of Scheduled Castes and Tribes during the next five years. The programme of basic schools will have to be adjusted to the needs of forest, pastoral and agricultural communities of a very simple type.


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  4. The problem of which language should be the medium of instruction in tribal areas has already received consideration not only in the Planning Commission, but by the various agencies which are working for tribal welfare. It is generally accepted that the medium of instruction in the basic schools should be the mother tongue of the child. The regional language will be introduced at the beginning of the upper primary level, and this will be the State language. State programmes of tribal education include the creation of residential education ashrams, vocational and technical training schools, and hostels for tribal students.

    There is also a need to train community organisers and other types of social workers from amongst the educated youth of the tribal communities. The criminal tribes are made up of a few pastoral communities which could not adjust themselves to the economy of settled life , small sections of forest tribes which broke away from larger tribes because they could not adjust themselves to economies resulting from the forest and land policies of successive governments; and certain groups which were tempera-mentally and psychologically unable to adjust themselves to a law-and-order society and found it profitable to take advantage of concentrated properties in settled economies rather than to earn their livelihood by productive labour.

    These nomadic communities preferred to continue their nomadic habits in urban areas where they would not find themselves bound by the need of working on land or by the laws governing the possession of land. Many of them developed peculiar concepts of property and practiced anti-social activities. But not all the persons in these communities were criminal and unwilling to adopt normal vocations and occupations. Many members of these communities have shown an inclination to become small traders and shopkeepers, and they possess skills which can be used to develop various crafts.

    With some persuasion they can, if given aid, become agriculturists. On the whole most of these communities have now settled down and only small sections of them follow their old predatory habits. There may be some groups who sometimes take to anti-social activities due to economic conditions or the opportunities offered by their environment. Certain groups still prefer to move from place to place, improvising shelter and finding ways of living without having to settle down in any particular area.

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