Recently, the Himachal Pradesh state government has finally issued notification to give Scheduled Tribe (ST) status to the Hattee community of Trans-Giri area of Sirmaur district.
About Hattee community
- They are a close-knit community who got their name from their tradition of selling homegrown vegetables, crops, meat and wool etc. at small markets called ‘haat’ in towns.
- Their homeland straddles the Himachal-Uttarakhand border in the basin of the Giri and Tons rivers, both tributaries of the Yamuna.
- This community’s men generally don a distinctive white headgear during ceremonies, and is cut off from Sirmaur by two rivers called Giri and Tons. Tons divide it from the Jaunsar Bawar area of Uttarakhand.
- The Hattees who live in the trans-Giri area and Jaunsar Bawar in Uttarakhand were once part of the royal estate of Sirmaur until Jaunsar Bawar’s separation in 1815.
- They are governed by a traditional council called Khumbli.
- The two Hattee clans, in Trans-Giri and Jaunsar Bawar, have similar traditions, and inter-marriages are common.
Q1) Who are Scheduled Tribes?
The framers of the Constitution took note of the fact that certain communities in the country were suffering from extreme social, educational and economic backwardness on account of the primitive agricultural practices, lack of infrastructure facilities and geographical isolation. The Constitution of India in Article 366 (25) prescribes that the Scheduled Tribes means such tribes or tribal communities as are deemed under Article 342 of the Constitution to be Scheduled Tribes.