The Hindu, Thrissur, December 1, 2011
About 49 per cent tribal houses in the State do not have toilets. As many as 24,289 families do not hold ration cards. Hundreds of graduates and post graduates among the tribal communities are job less.
A survey conducted by the Kerala Institute of Local Administration in association with local bodies and the Scheduled Tribe Welfare Department reveals pathetic living conditions of the Scheduled Tribe Communities in the State.
There are 33 Scheduled Tribe communities in the State. Of the 40,1401-strong tribal population, ‘Panian’ community is the largest.
The total population of the five primitive tribal groups – Koraga, Kattunayakan, Cholanaikan, Kurumba and Kadar – is 26,273.
There 4614 landless tribal families in the State. More than 55 per cent live in dilapidated houses. In all, 39,850 houses do not have kitchen and 49 percent does not have toilets.
Half of the population deprived of pure drinking water and 1252 tribal hamlets are not electrified. More than 1300 tribal settlements face threat from wild animals.
The survey shows that there are 887 unwed mothers and 20,301 widows among ST women. Only 17 per cent of them are getting pension.
Many of the families do not have any access to medical care. Among them 4,036 are differently-abled and 2386 are mentally-challenged. The community has 40,323 chronic patients.
The literacy rate among the scheduled tribes is 72.77. Most of them used to drop out from schools at the primary level itself. Poverty and lack of access to educational institutions are the major reasons.
According to the survey, 77,680 people in the age group of 15-59 are unemployed. This includes 2112 graduates, 200 postgraduates and 2066 with professional qualifications.
Almost half the population of the community has taken loans, mostly from private institutions or individual money lenders.
The survey started in 2008 was completed in October 2011.
Source: The Hindu : States / Kerala : Census reveals poor status of tribal communities in the State
Address : http://www.thehindu.com/news/states/kerala/article2678251.ece
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