Main challenges faced in achieving the inclusion of tribals in Himachal Pradesh

Q. Underline the key challenges in the process of tribal development in 
Himachal Pradesh.  (HPAS 2023 GS-1) 4 Marks


The state of Himachal Pradesh covers an area of 55,673 square kilometers, out of which 23,655 square kilometers fall under Scheduled V area. This area constitutes 42.49 percent of the state's total area. The Scheduled Area is home to a population of 173,661 people, out of which 123,585 are tribals. The tribals make up 71.16 percent of the total population in this area. The official list of scheduled tribes in Himachal Pradesh includes Gaddis, Gujjars, Kinnara or Kinnauras, Lahaulas, and Pangwalas, along with some other smaller tribes like Bhot/Bodh, Beda, Jad/Lamba/Khampa, and Swangla. The Himachal tribes generally reside in the upper and middle levels of the hills. It is believed that most of the tribal groups in HP migrated from the plains and adjoining areas from time to time. The ST population is quite dominant in Lahul & Spiti and Kinnaur, which are two rural districts of the state. They contribute to 81% and 58% of the total population of the districts, respectively. 

The basic challenges encountered for the inclusion of tribals in Himachal Pradesh are as follows:

1. Infrastructure Needs: The tribal areas in Kinnaur, Lahaul-Spiti, Pangi, and Bharmour face challenges due to extreme climate, rugged terrain, and isolation. This leads to inhospitable living conditions, inadequate communication, residential, educational, and medical facilities, and underdeveloped transportation facilities that hinder overall development.

2. Education: Tribal populations, particularly women, lag behind in literacy and educational attainment compared to the general and Scheduled Caste populations. Despite government efforts, tribes are still behind in development parameters. Education is crucial for overall tribal development and confidence-building.

In 2011, the overall literacy rate was about 82%, with a male literacy rate of 89% and a female literacy rate of 75%. The literacy percentage among Scheduled Tribes has increased from 65.5% in 2001 to 73.64% in 2011. The male literacy rate was 83.17%, and the female literacy rate stood at 64.20% in 2011, which is still well below the state average and far less than that of their male counterparts.

3. Lack of NGOs, Social Reformers, and Workers: NGOs and social workers are actively involved in various activities in urban and rural areas but have a limited presence in tribal areas. The government has taken various initiatives for the inclusion of tribals in Himachal Pradesh, such as the formation of five ITDPs, single line administration, and various educational scholarships, etc.

4. Employment Opportunities Related: The lack of employment opportunities in the tribal areas forces the majority of tribal population to depend on rainfed agriculture, which is seasonal. As a result, they have to migrate to towns and cities during the peak tourist seasons for earning their livelihood. Suggestions include convergence with other government projects/ programs for the skill development of tribal youth in the project area.

5. Grazing Issues: According to consultations held with communities in the tribal areas for the preparation of the TDF, there is a substantial increase in the flock size of transhumants resulting in grazing issues. However, over the years, the number of animals as shown in the grazing permits has remained the same. This is resulting in resource conflict between communities as the forest area allotted for grazing is insufficient, and the transhumant communities use panchayat or private lands for grazing.

6. Produce Storage/Processing/Marketing Related: The lack of storage facilities and market yards poses challenges in the sale and storage of surplus agricultural/horticulture produce. The absence of processing facilities hinders value addition and timely marketing. Suggestions include creating storage facilities and market yards.

7. Access to Amenities: Tribal populations lack access to tap water, and a significant percentage defecate in the open. Non-ST people have better access to clean cooking fuels. Suggestions include providing basic amenities like healthcare and education in consultation with communities.

8. Cultural and Religious Problems: The tribes believe that interactions with other cultures will spoil their own culture.

9. Problems of Administration and Government: Very few officers and employees are interested in serving in remote tribal regions, leading to a lax implementation of government policies.

10. Internet and electricity disturbances.

11. Lack of availability of trained health care practitioners.


1. Greater information on forest management and community rights. 

2. Opportunities for engaging in forestry operations to supplement incomes.

3. Greater benefits from forests, including timber distribution. 

4. Inclusion of community preferences in plantations.

5. Providing basic amenities like healthcare and education in consultation with communities.

Constitutional Safeguards 

The Constitution of India has provisions for Scheduled Tribes in the country. This is to address the challenges faced by them and the lack of access to development facilities in the regions where they reside. The main safeguards include promoting their educational and economic interests and protecting them from injustices and all forms of exploitation. The constitution also safeguards the indigenous communities from the general rights of all Indian citizens to move freely, settle anywhere, and acquire property by imposing certain restrictions to conserve the customs and traditions of these communities. It also allows States to make reservations in public services in case of inadequate representation and requires them to consider the claims of these communities in appointments to public services.

The constitutional safeguards related to tribals are:

 i. Article 14, related to equal rights and opportunities; 

ii. Article 15, prohibits discrimination on grounds of sex, religion, race, caste etc.; 

iii. Article 15 (4), enjoins upon the state to make special provisions for the STs; 

iv. Article 16 (3), empowers states to make special provisions for reservation in appointments or posts in favour of STs; 

v. Article 46, enjoins upon states to promote with special care educational and economic interests of STs, protection from social injustice and exploitation; 

vi. Article 275 (I), grant‐in‐aid for promoting the welfare of STs;

vii. Article 330, 332, 335, related to the reservation of seats for STs in Lok Sabha and State Assemblies; and 

viii. Article 339, 340, related to Control of the Union over the Welfare of STs and powers to investigations thereof. One of the important Acts which ensures Social Safeguards of the STs is "Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989. 

HPAS MAINS,HPGK,TRIBAL COMMUNITY,Challenges, himachal pradesh,general studies

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post