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Satish Rastogi

Educational, socio-cultural and health care needs among scheduled tribes of Nandurbar District, Maharashtra: A diagnosis by YCM Open Univ Nasik, India

Satish Rastogi
Evaluation Division,YCM Open University,Nasik-422222,Maharashtra,India

Mansaram Pagar
Geography Department,ASC College,Manmad,University of Pune,Maharashtra,India

It is essential to develop an awareness of modern society by preserving good things of unique culture among Scheduled Tribes in Nandurbar, Maharashtra, India.The Investigators had used Participatory Appraisal Technique for an assessment of their Socio Cultural , Health Care and, Educational needs being as below.

A)Socio -Cultural Needs - Child labour, Child marriage, Electronic revolutions.Modern Agricultural technology .Sexual abuse through sale of girls,Orthodox social belief ,Gambling ,Lack of Interaction among them.

B) Health Care Needs –Infant mortality, Early child birth, Dangers of Tobacco, local made wine. Family planning, Health of pregnant ladies and newly born babies,Anemia, Asthma, TB, Diabeties, Vitamines deficiency, malaria, skin diseases, leprosy, Nutritional Deficiency, Diarrhoea, Back Pain, Weakness, Night blindness. Cleanliness in and around their huts.Preserving safe and clean drinking water.

C) Educational Needs -Eradication of illiteracy, Knowledge of programmes offered by YCMOU Nashik. Awareness of jobs for them like, Mason, Carpenter, Plumber, Wireman, Automobile Mechanic, Health care/ Village life workers, Primary Teacher, Skilled Agricultural worker, Preparing toys/showpieces by using raw material in and around their area, Weaving, Knitting, Embroidary, Tailoring, Herbal & food products. It is helpful for Video Production.

India is the second largest country after South Africa ,having a large population of Scheduled Tribes. Some of them are much forward because they are educated and earning handsome amount of money.But, a large number is still living in dense forests and they are quite aloof from the main culture of the country. The Maharashtra State in India has 7.318 Millions (9.27%) population as scheduled tribes living in dense forests adopting old techniques, traditions in their day to day life. They are aloof and unaware of modern trends, culture, technologies, development as the Government efforts at Central, state and even at local level for the last 55 years could not efforts of Government do not reach to the common tribal person being unaware of these efforts. The Yashwantrao Chavan Maharashtra Open University at Nasik with a target of becoming a mass varsity has this population as target group for developing an awareness of their essential needs. may be a primary task for the development of these tribes. An urgent need was to diagnose the causes for very slow progress and providing remedies for accelerating their involvement with the society. They may require some support for raising an awareness of their essential needs. These tribes follow primitive methods of occupation, such as Hunting, Gathering of minor forest produces, and therefore, they are backward economically as well as educationally. They have their own common dialect, which differs from Tribe to Tribe, but no written Script. Their cultural identity is one of the major bottlenecks in the way of their social development. Their perception about a developed society is altogether different. They generally perceive their situations as full of road blocks in coming at par with the main stream, which is overwhelmingly a modern society. The inferiority complex so formed appears to be a hurdle in the way of their social development. A golden means seems to be concerned with raising in them an awareness of modern society by preserving good things of their unique culture. Every care has to be taken during this process of change that the tribal sentiments are not hurt. It can be easily done by showing through Videos having their men who have adopted modernization for a better living. The problem of being in debt, shifting, land alienation are directly related with their socio-economic status. Their poverty is because they are jobless or they do not know about various jobs lying reserved, and so, vacant for them. The technological revolution has given birth to many new type of industries, and so, new type of jobs too. Very few of them migrated to cities have developed awareness and accordingly got good jobs as per their likings. A survey of educational levels and various skills among these Tribes is essential for developing a sense of economic security, self-sufficiency and socio-cultural identity in this group. The investigator had taken up these three needs thinking that educational awareness would enlighten these tribes to search a suitable job and finally meet their economical or monetary requirements. The socio-cultural needs would inspire them to come at par with the developed society as well as meeting the problem of inferiority complex among these scheduled tribes. These groups of illiterate tribals enjoy very rarely the health care facilities and leave themselves to God for His mercy. Some of them become cure while most of them die due to sickness. Awareness of healthcare needs may help them in keeping their efforts for taking the precautions against common diseases and knocking the doors of health units for their treatments.


This pilot study was undertaken by the investigator to diagnose essential needs among Scheduled tribes related to Education, Socio-culture and Health care needs. In order to meet these needs it was felt essential to diagnose the gap between expectations and perceptions of these tribe communities. The difference between perceptions and expectations has revealed a gap to be bridged by using media. Therefore, it was thought as essential to conduct a survey for diagnosing the gaps related to Educational, Socio-cultural and Health care needs among Scheduled tribes. It has also adopted a democratic and andragagical approach for assessing the essential needs of these tribal people for framing a suitable curriculum for them.


  1. To take a stock of various common diseases among Scheduled Tribes of Maharashtra and the steps taken by them as preventive measures.

  2. To study the Socio-Cultural heritage and its positive ethos and values for preservation by the target groups.

  3. To examine the Socio-Cultural values as barriers in the way of change among target groups.

  4. To understand Educational needs of target groups for proposed multimedia regarding awareness of various educational programmes available for them.

  5. To recommend some effective remedial measures for meeting these needs.


The investigator had participatory appraisal technique for an assessment of all three essential needs. He invited NGOs particularly from Bharat Agro Industrial Federation (BAIF) Pune, Literate Tribal Youths, Educationists Sociologists, School/College teachers from among these tribal communities for first day interaction, while illiterate tribes and some NGOs were invited on second day for assessing Healthcare needs. Aim of the meeting was explained by the Project Director Professor Satish Rastogi. The participants were asked to write an essay on any of the three topics as below.

Educational Needs of Scheduled Tribes

Health Care Needs of Illiterate Scheduled Tribes.

Socio-Cultural Needs of Illiterate Scheduled Tribes

This exercise took about one hour and then the participants were divided into three groups based on their essay topic. They selected their group leaders who discussed main points of their essays. These essays were scrutinized for sorting out common points among them. These common points and some specific points were sorted out for presentation before all . These Groups presented the summary of discussion during concluding session followed by an interaction among all participants. These findings have become the basis of this report. The second day meeting had no definite schedule/Time table, because it was with illiterate tribals for their health care needs. However, there were about 15 literate persons from different areas to help the project team for translation and to enrich the information given by the tribals. They also verified the information given by the tribal people about their health care needs. The Project Director explained the aim of visit. About 20 Tribal persons, both Male and Female expressed their views / grievances regarding their Health care needs. These were noted down on the spot. The participants spoke in Marathi and Gujarati language and Tadvi (local dialect). These were briefed by literate persons present in the meeting. The presentations made by them were their sentiments about lack of Health care facilities, use of Jadi/Buti (Natural plants) for different diseases, the precautions undertaken by them for various diseases, and an apathy of the Government machinery was explained by them. The meeting ended with their folk dances presented by their persons followed by their songs. The tunes and tones used by them may be of much use in developing Audio / Video media for them regarding three needs under consideration.

Findings of this Study

A) Socio-Cultural Needs:-The target group is economically very weak. The male and female adult members work for whole day and they force their children also for same or similar work.It has created a problem of “child labour” among these tribals.The child marriage is a part of their traditions and heritage. It has raised infant mortality rate among them. Many girls become mother before 18 years of age. Awareness among them is essential against this tradition. They have no link with the developed society. This has deprived of them from enjoying the fruits of modern developments, facilities, technology available with the developed society. It is essential that an awareness of the same be developed by using media. It should have a role by there own men showing the benefits of an awareness of developments, facilities available with forward society and use of technology for their betterment. It will generate new type of jobs in their villages and finally help in elevation of poverty. Killing the animals on festivals to offer the God (Pashubali) be stopped by raising an awareness among Scheduled Tribes. Whatever is good with their culture, must be preserved and by doing so, the fruits of new innovations be inculcated among them. Awareness of Modern Technology in the field of Agriculture be inculcated in the mind among the target group. Their traditional folk dances, songs be preserved and be media for awareness development. Sale of girls/women for money has caused the sexual abuse. Self employment and rehabilitation of such ladies be done.Poverty and illiteracy are two major causes for their exploitation. These tribes are lured for accepting other religions. Eradication of illiteracy and orthodox belief about day to day work will finally develop among them a curiosity for scientific developments. It will help them for accepting anything, only after giving a thought and interaction with others.An awareness of national culture, social status and styles, various Governments Schemes, Rules and regulations be developed through NGOs by using `Electronic Media.' An awareness of loss due to unscientific traditions is essential. A feeling of inferiority complex because of being a scheduled tribe is harmful. They think that others will not accept them equal at par with developed society due to their different and peculiar dialects, dress and style of living. The need is to develop self confidence among them that they form an important component of a social system. Vocational opportunities like Kutir Udyog, Small industries, be developed for them. It will check their migration to other places and help them in being settled at one place.A respect for their folk songs, folk dances, etc. be shown by rest of the society. They should be motivated to build their village in a systematic manner and form different associations (Mandals) like youth forum, cultural forum, ladies forum etc. They should organize different competitions, interactions among themselves on various issues related to their interest and betterment. Awareness among the target group is developed about a bad habit of Gambling and Inhuman acts like killing the child or animals for offering to God as part of worship is an evil. Various Tribal communities should develop contacts among themselves for exchange of cultural heritage like folk songs and folk dances etc.

B) Health Awareness Needs:-An awareness of dangers due to local made wine, Tobacco, etc. be developed among them as it affects not only health but also their wealth. They become slowly financially and physically Weak. An awareness of family planning, family welfare, health of children is essential. They have animals like, cows, goats, hens, pigs etc. The health of these animals depends upon, putting them at a clean and dry places. It is essential to take care of animals and their health along with family members. Effect of early marriage on health of girls is a matter of concern. An awareness of the same be developed among the target groups.An awareness and protection from their diseases like Anemia, Cold Cough, Malaria, Skin diseases, Leprosy Nutritional deficiency Asthma, Diarrhea, Back pains, Weakness, Night-blindness, etc. be developed. An awareness be developed of cleanliness at their village, in and around their house and of drinking water. Doctors should regularly visit the tribal villages for examining the villages and providing medicines to them.

C) Educational Needs- Some students become dropout cases for earning as a labour due to poor monetary condition of the family. They should be made aware of various programmes offered by Open and Distance Learning System for getting a need based education of their choice in tribal area. This center should organise awareness programmes in different villages with proper assistance and support from panchayats, Zila Parishads and NGOs working in these areas. Education should bring major changes among them about:- Knowledge of a modern society and its benefits, Competency of doing some vocational activity for monetary gain,and, Attitude change towards education and its benefits. An enquiry with employment exchange be made about the availability of various jobs for Scheduled Tribes and accordingly an awareness of the same be made through media among them. Various short term jobs like, Mason, Carpentry, Plumber, Wireman (electricity), Data Entry Operator with DTP skills, Stenographer, Automobile mechanic, Village life worker, Health care worker, Primary Teacher, Skilled Agriculture worker, preparing toys/ show pieces by using raw material in and around their area be taught to them. The ladies may learn Weaving, Knitting, Imitation Jewellary, Embroidery, Tailoring work as a part time job. The Ayurvedic medicines and Herbal products by using herbs available in forests may be prepared and sold. They should grow herbs for its mass production and use as medicine. Various food products like Pickle, Papad, Chatni, Wafers, Masale, etc. are prepared by tribal women and for this purpose necessary training be given to them. Literacy of 3 `R' Reading, Writing and Arithmetic, be developed among illiterate tribes. It should be supported with some vocational courses, which may provide those means to earn. It will make them literate as well as self dependent too. The courses run by Government are available in towns/cities but not in remote villages being on Satpuda Range of hills. As a result, these tribals in remote areas do not get an opportunity to learning for earning. These courses be started at Block levels at least with the help of Zila Parishad and Block level Authorities. The villagers be convinced with the benefits of education of various types by using interactive media and video films. This education should be imparted to them free of cost. Various cottage industries like milk production from cows, goats, Buffaloes etc., Production of compost manure, using waste of various animals, may be done through co-operation among villagers. Personality development programmes be organized along with vocational courses for developing confidence among them. Information regarding availability of financial institutions for loan and raw material be given to them for their own business or profession.


This survey was based on Participatory Appraisal Technique. The target group tribal people and some workers in different fields in and around tribal villages interacted on three major issues as a)Socio cultural needs b) Health care needs c) Educational needs.It was decided to meet these needs by using electronic media (specially Audio/Video) or CDs being interactive in nature and in local dialects. The tribal people in their customary dress and songs may play various roles for raising an awareness of these needs. The major course content may be as - Child labour, Child marriage, Modern society based on Electronic revolutions. Pashubali and Narbali, Modern technology in the field of Agriculture. Sexual abuse through sale of girls / women Orthodox belief about society Removing inferiority complex by building up a confidence about their potential for various activities. Gambling, Forming associations at various levels for the purpose of interaction and barring from each other's experience, knowledge and attitude. Infant mortality, Early child birth, Dangers of Tobacco, local made wine.Family planning, Health of pregnant lady and newly born baby and of animals. Anemia, Asthma, TB, Diabetes, Vitamins deficiency, malaria, skin diseases, leprosy, Nutritional Deficiency, Diarrhea, Back Pain, Weakness, Night blindness. Cleanliness in and around their huts. Preserving safe and clean drinking water. Eradication of Illiteracy. Orthodox attitude towards their Culture. Knowledge of various programmes offered by YCMOU Nashik. Information about various short term jobs like Mason, Carpenter, Plumber, Wireman, Stenographer, Automobile Mechanic, Health care/ Village life workers, Primary Teacher, Skilled Agricultural worker, Preparing toys/showpieces by using raw material in and around their area, Weaving, Knitting, Embroidery, Tailoring, Herbal products / Herbal medicines prepared from local herbs, Preparation of food products like - Papad, Pickle, Chatni, Wafers, Masale etc.

Future Plan of Action

This pilot study has revealed various Socio-cultural, Healthcare and Educational needs of Scheduled Tribes of Nandurbar District. It has chalked out an idea about course content to be covered for multimedia development. Next step will be the development of Audio / Video scripts and their recording in local Tribal dialect of Nandurbar area. The effectiveness of the proposed multimedia will be assessed through interview, group interaction and observations while at work. Final report will cover all these things based on statistical analysis stating effectiveness of the proposed multimedia. It will be prescribed among all members of the target group, if found effective in raising an awareness of various needs under consideration.


The Project Director acknowledges with thanks the monetary support of Indian Rupees 1,00,000/- granted by the Chairman, Indian Council of Social Sciences Research, New Delhi, India for this survey. Also, the Vice Chancellor of Yashwantrao Chavan Maharashtra Open University, Nasik -422 222, Maharashtra, India deserves a sense of obligation for permitting the Project Director and providing him every administrative support for this Project. The Participants during meetings deserve a vote of thanks for an active participation and making the project a success.


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