Broadly speaking, eight salient points emerge from the secondary data on rural Adivasi households, which include various survey rounds of the National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) including the 66th Round (2009–10), 68th Round (2011–12) and 69th Round (2012), the Censuses of India, and other sources of official data.

  • Landlessness among rural Adivasi households is growing; correspondingly, the number of Adivasi households that used to cultivate some land has decreased. This indicates increasing proletarianisation among significant sections of Adivasi communities.
  • Among rural Adivasi households, the proportion of households whose primary occupation is wage labour is higher than the proportion of households whose primary occupation is cultivation.
  • The work participation rate among Adivasi women is higher than the work participation rate among other social groups although the wages of Adivasi women are lower.
  • A relatively high proportion of Adivasi workers are short-term migrants.
  • There is acute deprivation with respect to living conditions in Adivasi habitations and high levels of poverty among Adivasi populations relative to other social groups.
  • There is an increase in the number and proportion of Adivasi people living in urban areas.
  • There is an increase in the number of educated Adivasi youth.
  • Accumulation, in the main, is taking place through the exploitation of Adivasi land and labour by non-Adivasis; this process is driven by policies of the state.

Brinda Karat and Vikas Rawal in Review of Agrarian Studies

comments powered by Disqus
comments powered by Disqus