India is known for its hospitality and cultural diversity. Tribal communities are officially known as Scheduled Tribes (ST). They cherish their own cultural heritage and speak distinct languages of their own. This does not necessarily mean that they have been isolated from India’s “mainstream” society in living memory.
It is wrong and does not help the tribal cause either to reduce the image of the Indian tribal society to that of destitute remnants, on the verge of dying out. – Voices from the Periphery, a multidisciplinary book on “reversing the gaze” >>
As more “exotic” destinations are becoming accessible to a globalizing tourism industry, the ecological, economical and social impact on tribal communities can no longer be ignored. Some inhabit regions known for their biodiversity, lands that are ecologically fragile by definition.
Click here to learn about the Kani, a tribe described as “Guardian angels of the river” now living near Kerala’s capital city; from an article by Dr. Achuthsankar S. Nair (Head of the Department of Computational Biology and Bioinformatics, University of Kerala) published by The Hindu.
Some “tribal areas” have been declared “wildlife sanctuaries” where infrastructure, electricity and water supply are being improved. In several tribal communities, such developments have merely added new challenges to existing ones including environmental pollution, wasteful use of precious resources and even trafficking in women and girls. No admirer of Indian culture or lover of nature would ever want to be associated with any of these. And responsible travellers will always have the welfare of local people foremost on their minds. Tourism-related information on these issues can easily be found with the help of an interactive map of India on the EQUATIONS website >>
The interactive map offered by EQUATIONS works in a regular browser but not on all mobile devices; iPad and other iOS users may simply enter a keyword (e.g. “tribal” and/or “eco”), the name of a state or region (e.g. “kerala” or “nilgiri”) in the Search field seen on the top right side of the EQUATIONS website.
Search for keywords like “tourist india travel tribal” in combination with the name of the region you plan visiting (e.g. “orissa” or “odisha”); this is quickly done with the help of the Custom Search page provided on this website >>