Baiga Tribe

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Recently, the Baiga Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group (PVTG) became the second to get habitat rights in the state of Chhattisgarh.

About Baiga Tribe:

  • The Baiga Tribe is one of the Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs).
  • They reside in Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Odisha, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.
  • Occupation: Traditionally, the Baiga lived a semi-nomadic life and practised slash-and-burn cultivation. Now, they are mainly dependent on minor forest produce for their livelihood.
  • They practice a form of shifting cultivation called, "Bewar."
  • Mahua is an important aspect of Baiga's food and drink. It is an intoxicant prepared from the fermentation and distillation of the flowers of the Mahua tree.
  • Tattooing is an integral part of Baiga culture, every age and body part has a specific tattoo reserved for the occasion.

What are habitat rights?

  • Habitat rights recognition provides the community concerned rights over their customary territory of habitation, socio-cultural practices, economic and livelihood means, intellectual knowledge of biodiversity and ecology, traditional knowledge of use of natural resources, as well as protection and conservation of their natural and cultural heritage.
  • These rights safeguard and promote traditional livelihood and ecological knowledge passed down through generations.
  • They also help converge different government schemes and initiatives from various departments to empower PVTG communities to develop their habitats.
  • These rights are given under section 3(1) (e) [rights including community tenures of habitat and habitation for primitive tribal groups and pre-agricultural communities] of The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 also known as the Forest Rights Act (FRA). 

Q1: Who are Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups?

Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs) is a term used in India to identify certain indigenous communities or tribes that are considered to be at a higher risk of vulnerability and marginalization due to their distinct cultural, social, and economic characteristics.

Source: Baiga tribal group gets habitat rights in Chhattisgarh: What this means, significance