Tribes In Tamil Nadu

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The tribes of Tamil Nadu comprise significant number of population ranging from dwindling to massive. A striking fact about these Tamil tribes is the hugely contrasting and complementing relationship that they share. On one hand, a specific tribe is engaged in intellectual activity like tea or coffee cultivation, or mass milk producing and on the other hand some other tribe is engaged in yet-primordial activities like witchcraft or occult. The Todas occupy central position amongst Tamil Nadu tribes, with the most happening activities being performed by them. They are also legendary for their too artistic houses with ornate motifs. Kannada and Tamil are the dominant languages with the south-Indian tribes. The Kotas and the Irulas are also noteworthy within the tribals section in Tamil Nadu, excelling in handicrafts work and agriculture.

The majority of the Adivasis in Tamil Nadu belongs to the following tribes: Todas, Kadars, Irulas, Kotas, Kattunaikas, Kurumans, Muthuvans, Paniyans, Pulayans, Malayalees, Kurumbas, Eravallans, Kanikkars, Mannans and Paliyans. According to the Census Report 2001, the total STs Population in Tamil Nadu is 651,321 (1.04 percent of the total population in Tamil Nadu). There are six particularly vulnerable tribal groups (PVTG) in Tamil Nadu, such as Irular, Kattunaikan, Kotas, Kurumbar, Paniyan and Todas. Adivasis’ literacy rate is 27.89 percent. About 87 percent of Adivasis are living under the poverty line and have lost their indigenous identities. Government’s schemes have not reached them and still many villages do not have basic amenities like drinking water, schools, electricity, road and transport. Exploitation, ignorance and discrimination are some of the stumbling blocks for the development of Adivasis. About 53 percent of Adivasis do not have permanent houses while about 48 percent do not have permanent employment. The Government has not yet addressed these issues properly


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