Poverty among the Scheduled Tribes(UN State of the World’s Indigenous Peoples Report (2010)
1. Indigenous people across the world suffer is proportionately high levels of poverty, illiteracy, poor health and human rights abuse.
2. The poverty levels of India’s tribals have remained persistent over time and are lower than those of Scheduled Castes, on a par with those of sub-Saharan countries.
3. It was also found that while poverty among the general population had declined between 1993-1994 and 1999-2000, there
had been little change in poverty levels among indigenous peoples.The poverty gap between Scheduled Castes and other groups in India has decreased while that between the Scheduled Tribes and other groups has widened.
4.Scheduled Tribes also score lower in education, health and other social and economic aspects measured by the
5. Whilst India is considered a middle-ranked country in the UNDP HPI ranking of countries, the indigenous communities as a group are comparable to Sub-Saharan countries, which are ranked in the bottom 25. By taking into account the poverty of indigenous peoples,the MDG goal of halving poverty by 2015 may not be achieved in India.
6. Indigenous communities in India are typically rural, and poverty among rural communities is higher than that in urban areas. There are few people without land among the Scheduled Tribes, but their lands have low productivity. The more productive lands, especially in low-lying areas, have been taken over by other communities.
7. There is also less job diversification among Scheduled Tribes. Deprived of formal education and with little access
to capital, they fail to find work, either self-employed or within regular jobs, ending up in casual employment or
8. Indigenous peoples — in both developed and developing countries — make up 5% of the world’s population but 15% of the poor and one-third of the 900 million extremely poor rural people.