Madhya Pradesh (MP) is known for its tribal population and its cultural and social significance. As the central government notifies the new amendment to the forest conservation act and the state gears up for the upcoming assembly elections, we take a deep dive into what the tribal landscape in MP looks like!
MP is home to 21% tribal population and 13.5% of the country’s tribal population. This makes the tribal vote share extremely important for the political actors. As a result, over the years, several welfare policies and programs have been launched by the government to ensure the welfare of the tribal population in the state.
Access to land and natural resources is an extremely important factor to look at when we talk about tribals in MP. This is because most of these tribes depend on them not just for their basic sustenance but also for economic and livelihood opportunities. It will be crucial to examine how the new amendment to the forest conservation act will impact the rights of tribals over their lands and other natural resources.
Another worrying trend in the state with respect to tribals has been the rise in violence. Recent incidents of human abuse and violence show us the deep-rooted problem of how the state struggles to contain and address violence against tribals in MP despite several laws and political promises.
Issues like health and education continue to be a challenge for tribal communities in the state. For instance, the prevalence of anemia continues to be high amongst tribal women. Access to maternal care services also remains a challenge for tribal women in the state.
As political parties continue to woo tribal voters for the upcoming elections, it is important to look at where the tribal population stands in the development journey of Madhya Pradesh. There is a huge need to focus on tribal communities, not because of their political significance, but because their needs and expectations are very different and they need to be addressed in the same diverse manner.
Research by: Rishabh Shrivastava, TA
Designed by: Aishwarya Poddar, TA
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