Adivasi In India

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Adivasis are the indigenous population of India who predominantly depend on forests for their livelihood and identity (references). India has the largest Adivasi (indigenous) population in the world accounting to 104 million (8.2% of the national population), yet it took government of India nearly 60 years to acknowledge the historical relevance of forests for Adivasi communities through Forest Rights Act,2006 (references). The disregard for Adivasi societies is sometimes reflective even on community name assigned by the mainstream non Adivasis. For example, one of the tribal groups in Kerala are known by the name Adiyas (ആദിമ root word which in Malayalam means slave). Assigning such community names by the non Adivasis were some of the linguistic illustrations of Adivasi subjugation and dominance (references). Adivasi are primarily forest dwellers, grazers, agriculturists, laborers and reside mountain and hilly areas adjoining forest areas (references). Contrary to the mainstream Hindu communities, Adivasi are egalitarian group however, they are known to have strict gender roles and responsibilities. Women in Adivasi communities share accounts of a mutualistic relationship with forests and natural resources developed through their material and non-material pursuits (references). However, colonial exploitation and historical alienation from ancestral land has impacted the socio-economic balance of the community with many of the human development indicators spiraling downward
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