Tribes | VOL. 12, ISSUE 72, May-June 2012

Tribes of Chhattisgarh

About one-third of Chhattisgarh’s population is tribal. Another 16 per cent belong to scheduled castes while 42 per cent are from other backward castes. The State is largely rural in character with about 80 per cent of its population living in rural residences and largely depending upon agriculture as means of livelihood. Although the share of primary sector in the net state domestic product has gone down over the years accompanied by progressively increasing share by the secondary sector indicating that the State is undergoing industrial development, agriculture is still the mainstay of thousands of tribes. As per the 2004-2005 data by the National Sample Survey, the tribal and non-tribal population is not very different in their social attributes such as marital status, but the tribal and non-tribal divide manifests itself in the parameters of literacy and attainment of education. The tribal females are much closer to non-tribal females than their male counterparts suggesting that females irrespective of their non-tribal/tribal status occupy a gendered space in the educational hierarchy as females. Overall, 28 per cent of non-tribal male population is illiterate as compared to 41 per cent among tribal males whereas these percentages are 50 and 60 per cent respectively amongst females (Figure 1). It can be seen that contrary to older generation where tribal/non-tribal status impacted the way they would have access to literacy,...

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