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An Assessment of Poverty and Living Standards of Irulas (A Primitive Tribal Group in Tamil Nadu)

Affiliations

  • Avinashilingam University for Women, Coimbatore - 641 043, Tamil Nadu, India
  • Providence College for Women, Coonoor - 643104, India

Abstract


The tribal population identified as the aboriginal inhabitants of India are seen in almost every state of India. There are some distinct backward groups among the tribal communities, who live more or less in isolation, inaccessible terrain and maintain a lifestyle that remains static through centuries. The population of these socially isolated tribal communities small in size and referred to as the primitive tribal groups (PTG) are in the lowest strata of the general tribes. In Tamil Nadu, Irulas are one of the primitive tribal groups and a major scheduled tribe. Since the Irulas are forest dwellers, they are quite familiar with the jungle produce, which they barter with the other tribal communities. The present study is an attempt to study the prevalence of poverty among the Irulas in the Nilgiris district. A detailed interview schedule was prepared containing questions on the socioeconomic and demographic features of the tribals; their health details, political and general awareness. The data were collected from the selected households in the month of October of 2008. The study brings out the widespread poverty, illiteracy, malnutrition, amongst the primitive tribal communities in the Nilgiris district.

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