Tribals of west Bengal Battling Food Scarcity: Study

Prelims level : Nothing much Mains level : GS 2: Issues relating to poverty and hunger.
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  • Two months after the West Bengal government denied any food scarcity as a possible cause of death of seven persons from a tribal community, a survey report has identified “food scarcity in varying degrees” in about 31% of tribal households in West Bengal.


  • West Bengal is home to a over five million tribals, with 6% of the India’s tribal population of 100 million. And, in many areas of these regions, tribals of the State are far behind in terms of human development. Recently, it has been contended that the main reason for the death of seven tribals is due to the scarcity of food. With that background in place, the survey has been conducted in 1,000 tribal households to ascertain living conditions, health and education. The report findings say that the tribal people are facing hunger problems, most of the families surveyed could hardly afford animal protein or pulses.
  • Degradation of forest and environmental degradation are cited as two more reasons for “reduced availability of natural nutrients” resulting in early deaths. The report also indicated large cases of premature deaths among tribals. The report further noted that the work participation rate is higher among the Adivasis in Bengal, forcing the children of school going age to discontinue their studies in order to fend themselves and support the families.
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