Tribal People is an umbrella term for a heterogeneous set of ethnic and tribal groups claimed to be the aboriginal population of India. They comprise a substantial indigenous minority of the population of India.
The word is used in the same sense in Nepal as is another word janajati although the political context differed historically under the Shah and Rana dynasties.
Many smaller tribal groups are quite sensitive to ecological degradation caused by modernization. Both commercial forestry and intensive agriculture have proved destructive to the forests that had endured swidden agriculture for many centuries.
Officially recognized by the Indian government as “Scheduled Tribes” in the Fifth Schedule of the Constitution of India, they are often grouped together with scheduled castes in the category “Scheduled Castes and Tribes”, which is eligible for certain affirmative action measures. Take an inside look into tribal cultures through incredible portraits of tribal people.