India houses the largest number of people living under the poverty line. The people belonging to scheduled tribes are among the poorest in the country, according to national data. According to the National Health and Family Survey 2015-16, 45.9% of scheduled tribe members were in the lowest wealth bracket.
The ministry of tribal affairs has called for private partnerships with the corporates to initiate and undertake welfare programs of these communities. The initiative named ‘Adopt a tribal district’ would entail setting up or organising self-help groups of 30 tribals for the corporate. The organisation will also have to undertake their training in gathering minor forest produce, processing it at home, and selling it at the local market.
Karjat in the Raigad district of Maharashtra state is home to several tribal communities such as Thakar (or Thakur), Katkari, Kokna, Koli, and Warli. These communities have been living in houses made of thatched walls and roofs for centuries. In order to uplift their lifestyle, 173 Employees of Samsung C&T worked alongside the local community in Nandgoan village as part of its partnership with Habitat for Humanity India aimed at building homes for families in need of decent homes.
In order to ensure holistic development of the village, the villagers are also provided with waterwheels – a portable vessel that makes fetching drinking water from a nearby water source easier than having women headload multiple pots of water. The village has also been equipped with the smart classroom in Chafewadi Z.P. School for further development of the youth. The smart classroom will provide 380 students with access to laptops, smart t.v. and digital technology.
Tata trusts are also doing their bit towards tribal welfare. The Trusts’ Central India Initiative is looking to develop feasible technology options to bring prosperity to tribal communities in the Central Indian tribal belt. This aims to bring prosperity in the region through creating lakhpati farmers – farmers who earn upward of a lakh of rupees from agriculture and allied activities and are part of vibrant community institutions.
The Trusts have convened 40 experts ranging from technology experts and entrepreneurs, state agencies, implementation partners, researchers, media donors, and resource support organizations to identify a bunch of feasible digital technology options which can support in the making of lakhpati farmers in the tribal pockets of India.