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Our Focus
   Indigenous Peoples Land and Resource Rights
   Tribal women
   Tribal adolesence and children




Indigenous Peoples Land and Resource
UN declaration on the Rights of the Indigenous Peoples reaffirms the rights to their traditional lands and other resources for their survival. Right to Self Determination, informed Pre Prior Consent, Women and Child and cultural identity are also recognized and the member countries are adhered to ensure them.

Government of India enacted Scheduled Tribes and other Forest Dwellers (Forest Rights Regulation Act) in 2006. It brought huge hope of justice to the Indigenous peoples of the Country. It was either implemented or near completion in many States of the country expect in Tamil Nadu which did not issue even a single land title till today. Even after 5 years, the State did not inform the provisions and procedures of the Act to the concerned people. Illiterate and ignorant Indigenous peoples are not aware and to unable to disseminate the information to fellow people due to geographical isolation of this scattered community.

The Act also has the provision provides rights to appropriate the Minor Forest Produces in a sustainable manner to the Indigenous peoples. But the age old British Colonizers ‘The Indian Forest Act’, 1927 restricted the forest dependant communities to a large extent for such appropriation. There arose a nexus between Forest Authorities, the legal protectors and real protectors, the Indigenous people.

Extensive and illegal mining of the hasty and greedy corporations in indigenous Peoples territories causes huge destruction to their lands, forests and water resources. Illegal mining exhausts the wealth at large. Pre Prior Informed Consent was not obtained from the concerned indigenous Peoples. Concessions were given to Multinational Corporations while the Artisanal and Small Scale Miners were no regularization and encouragement. In the minding regions there are displacements and hence conflicts. In the process of collecting MFPs and demanding sustainable and eco friendly mining conflicts prevail between the State and Indigenous peoples.
Issues of Indigenous Women
Women are discriminated by social, economic and gender bias in the society. So, the women become the secondary human beings and they are left out of the mainstream of development. Access to education, employment, health care and participation are almost denied. However, Indigenous Women are little better than the urban women. They are equal with their men since both are illiterates, work together the same kind of work and face the same exploitation and marginalization.

Indigenous women’s lack of literacy, reproductive education and land rights pushes them to various constrains. Child marriage, teen pregnancy, high mortality rate and prevalence of HIV/ AIDS are the results of them. Women land right is not in practice in Indigenous communities. So, the Indigenous women have to enlarge their struggle to gain equality in this right too. Indigenous women’s participation in decision making is not at all in the community. They have to struggle a lot to obtain it.
Issue of Indigenous Adolescents
Indigenous adolescents are known for their low in literacy rates and they get married when attain puberty. This is most common in tribal groups in India. Without any basic knowledge about mother hood and child caring many girls get marry. As a result, teen age pregnancy, abortions and maternal deaths occur. Really it is a violation of the rights of an adolescent girl. There is the cultural taboo that prohibits discussions on sex and sexuality. Due lack of reproductive information, they could not adopt safe sex practices. Majority of the girls get child marriage and after giving one or two births they become very weak, anemic and dietary deficient. It is common that adolescent pregnancies and unsafe traditional abortion practices are wide spread among adolescent girls.

Tribal girls are prone to rape either by their neighbor or lovers due to the social determinants; feminization of poverty, inadequate platforms to bring out and inefficiency of enforcing authorities. Now the Government has taken steps to include adolescent awareness in the school curriculums but the poor illiterate tribal girls are excluded as they are school drop outs.
Issues of Indigenous children
Education is a basic human right and regarded as an important element in enhancing the lives of the lives of disadvantaged and deprived population of any country. Indigenous children still remain the most deprived group in terms of access to education and drop-outs. Girls are the most affected ones whom the socio economic, cultural and psychological factors hinder more. Government of India takes various steps to improve the education of its population which show some progress index but it is not satisfactory with regard to Indigenous children. Gender gap increases at the higher levels of education. Up to primary level the sex ratio of school attending children is fair but in the later stages it diminishes every at level. The reasons behind this tragedy are that there is limited number of schools in a vast geographical area, lack of road and transport amenities, ignorant parents, teacher’s absenteeism, school timing and irresponsible supervision. About 18 per cent of children between the ages of six and 14 are out-of-school in the district, compared to eight per cent for the rest of the state. Drop-out rates are high in the indigenous populated areas where 52 per cent of girls and 33 per cent of boys do not complete eighth grade. Indigenous people who are vicious cycle of poverty, deprivation and violations wounded psychologically. The same state prevails among the children and they are not interested in education which is almost participating in a social order which is unjust.
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Quick Info
TNTDS was founded by Ms. A. Kalai Selvi, an Indigenous woman and Mr. C. Arokia Dass, a Dalit activist in the year 1986
Our vision is for a world where indigenous Peoples are recognized and respected; free to live on their own lands, safe from violence, oppression and exploitation.
Our Mission is to protect and promote the Rights of the Indigenous People through education, capacity building, organization and Collective Action.
TNTDS deploys the strategy of educate, organize and agitate to gain dignity for the Dalits.